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How Pycnogenol helps support an active lifestyle - and helps athletes too

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It’s widely acknowledged that staying active is key to living a long and healthy life.  Maintaining a healthy body has plenty wide-ranging benefits, such as improving mood, boosting self esteem and staving off chronic illnesses.  Research also links an active lifestyle with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, stroke and some cancers too.  So, as you can see, there are plenty legitimate reasons for us to get up, get out the door and get active.

However, whatever your level of ability, physical exercise will take its toll.  For example, both the cardio-respiratory system and skeletal muscle are affected by exercising, which can limit performance. The body’s need for oxygen increases, so we might need to inhale between 10 − 20 times more oxygen than when we rest.

So, for those of us wanting to take regular exercise or who are training for a big sporting event, taking natural supplements can help our bodies cope with the demand of exercise and boost our performance.

One natural supplement growing in popularity with both casual exercisers and serious athletes is Pycnogenol, a natural French pine bark extract.

Pycnogenol is scientifically proven to relax blood vessels and improve blood flow. In fact, there are dozens of scientific journal articles that back up this claim.

It also acts as a natural energy enhancer - in fact, during a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study design experiment at California State University, it was found that Pycnogenol had a link with sports endurance. Results showed statistically significant increases of athlete endurance in those who took the supplement, compared to those who took the placebo.

But this super supplement does more too: an increase in exercise causes sore muscles and leads to fatigue, but Pycnogenol has been shown to ease these symptoms too in both athletes and healthy, normal individuals. It’s thought the supplement improves blood flow to muscle tissue, easing cramps.

This is obviously great news to athletes!

But what is Pycnogenol, and where does it come from?

Pycnogenol is extract from the bark of Maritime Pine trees that are grown exclusively in Les Landes de Gascogne forest, along the coast of southwest France.

The company that licence Pycnogenol ensures the forest is natural and unspoilt, and that the trees remain free from both pesticides and herbicides.

Pycnogenol contains procyanidins, bioflavonoids and organic acids, which all offer extensive natural health benefits - and contribute to those listed above.

Pycnogenol is not a new supplement, nor is it a fad.  In fact, scientists have been studying the extract extensively over the last 40 years; more than 280 academic studies have been published providing the extract’s efficacy and safety as an ingredient.

So, whether you’re training for a marathon or trying to pick of the pace and improve your day to day health, you may benefit from the Pycnogenol supplement.

Pycnogenol can be found as in ingredient, contained in many combination supplements for sports performance, or taken on its own in capsule form. 

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