Chiu-Chou, C., Lu-Ling, C., Kun-Ning, C., & Chia-Hua, K. (June 03, 2010). Effects of rhodiola crenulata and cordyceps Sinensis based supplementation on endurance performance and physiological stress in altitude trained subjects. Presentation 1936 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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This study examined whether rhodiola crenulata supplementation improved altitude acclimatization, endurance performance, and decreased physiological stress during altitude training. Young males (N = 18) were matched on oxygen consumption and assigned to either a placebo (N = 9) or rhodiola crenulata (N = 9) group. Ss trained at altitude (2,200 m) for two weeks. Supplements were 2,000 mg of rhodiola rosea (1,400 mg) plus cordyceps sinensis (600 mg) and starch for the placebo group. Oral doses were consumed daily from two weeks before the altitude training to the end of two weeks of training. Measures of aerobic capacity, post-exercise heart rate variability, hematological profile, and stress hormone levels, were taken two weeks before, during, and after the two-week altitude training.

Maximal oxygen consumption and post-exercise lactate recovery were not significantly altered after training in either group. Bruce treadmill protocol running time was significantly increased only in the rhodiola crenulata group. Red blood cell and hematocrit levels were elevated in both groups to comparable extents after the altitude training. Erythropoietin at altitude was significantly increased to greater levels in the placebo group than in the rhodiola crenulata group. Maximal oxygen consumption, and post-exercise heart rate variability were significantly reduced in both groups at day 1 during the transition back from altitude to sea-level. After altitude training, cortisol levels were significantly reduced in rhodiola crenulata group, which indicates decreased physiological stress.

Implication. Rhodiola crenulata supplementation increases EPO sensitivity for erythropoiesis during altitude acclimatization, reduces physiological stress during environmental transition and enhances treadmill running performance after altitude training.

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