Riboflavin May Help in Muscle Soreness

posted Jun 27, 2017, 8:53 AM by Running Club   [ updated Dec 13, 2017, 12:57 PM ]
According to a article I received today, Vitamin B2 (or riboflavin) may help prevent muscle soreness. The article focuses on ultramarathons - the study was done on Western States runners - but we all experience soreness when we up our mileage at times, don't we?  

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) helps reduce muscle pain and soreness after completing an endurance run, concluded a study published in December 2017. Among its many functions, riboflavin protects tissues against oxidative damage and plays an important role in cell repair. 

In this double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers assessed whether supplementation with riboflavin could have beneficial effects during and after completion of an ultramarathon. The study authors assigned participants of the 2016 161-kilometer Western States Endurance Run ultramarathon to receive either 100 mg of riboflavin or a placebo containing maltodextrin and 0.5 mg of ß-carotene shortly before the event and when reaching 90 km. Riboflavin can cause urine to appear bright or fluorescent yellow, which might reveal to participants which treatment they were receiving. Consequently, the placebo included the small amount of ß-carotene, which can lead to a similar urine color change. The participants reported muscle pain and soreness ratings before, during, immediately following, and for 10 days after the race. On the third, fifth, and tenth days, subjects also ran 400 meters at maximum speed. 

Thirty-two of the 44 runners enrolled in the study (18 in the riboflavin group, 14 in the placebo group) finished the race and completed the study. In the subjects given riboflavin, researchers observed markedly lower muscle pain and soreness ratings during and immediately following the ultramarathon. The riboflavin group also had faster run times in the 400-meter sprints compared with the placebo group 3 and 5 days after the ultramarathon. 

According to the study authors, "This preliminary work suggests that riboflavin supplementation before and during prolonged running might reduce muscle pain and soreness during and at the completion of the exercise and may enhance early functional recovery after the exercise."

Reference:  Hoffman MD, et al. Sports Med Open. 2017;3:14.