Duranti, G., Parisi, A., Ciminelli, E., Ceci, R., Cerulli, C., Quaranta, F., Tranchita, E., Borrione, P. & Sabatini, S. (2009). Effects of chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on sport performance and antioxidant capacity in trained males: Preliminary results. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

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This study investigated the effects of chronic Rhodiola Rosea supplementation on physical performance parameters, redox status, and the capacity of substrate consumption during endurance exercise in a group of male athletes (N = 14). After an initial test evaluating the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), Ss underwent a chronic supplementation with Rodhiola Rosea (170 mg/d) or placebo every morning for four weeks in a double-blind clinical trial. At the end of the supplementation period, Ss underwent a cardiopulmonary exhaustion test at 75% of their VO2max.

Maximum heart rate, the Borg Scale level, VO2max, and duration of the test were essentially the same after Rhodiola Rosea or placebo intake. Rhodiola Rosea significantly reduced plasma free-fatty acid. There was no effect on blood glucose or blood antioxidant status. Blood lactate and plasma creatine kinase decreased significantly in the Rhodiola Rosea group compared to placebo.

Implication. Rhodiola Rosea supplementation may be useful for endurance exercise because it decreases lactate levels, creatine kinase (a parameter of skeletal muscle damage), and ameliorates fatty acid consumption. What is needed is a clear demonstration that those factors translate into performance improvements.

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