Can pomegranates improve athletic performance? The antioxidant content of pomegranates and pomegranate juice may improve endurance and aerobic performance in athletes according to a study in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, during which 500ml of pomegranate juice was consumed by athletes for 15 days. Another study also demonstrated that pomegranate extract improved performance within 30 minutes of ingestion for sports involving intermittent running. Do pomegranates have anti-inflammatory effects? There have been various studies into the potential anti-inflammatory properties of pomegranate. Initial research has indicated that the fruit may help fight inflammation in the gut, while other studies have looked into the potential anti-inflammatory effects of punicic acid from pomegranate seed oil on breast cancer cells. A paper in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences also reported a small trial in which patients with type 2 diabetes consumed pomegranate juice each day and showed fewer markers of inflammation in their blood after 12 weeks.