BRAIN HEMOGLOBIN IS REDUCED BY ALTITUDE TRAINING AND ADAPTATION
Ho, C-T., Lin, C-H., Su, C-L., Chen, C-C., Cheng, L-L., Chen, C-Y. (2013). Effects of Rhodiola crenulata plus Crodyceps sinensis supplementation on muscle and brain oxygenation levels following short-term altitude training. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 2403.
This study determined the effects of Rhodiola crenulata plus Crodyceps sinensis supplementation and altitude training on muscle and brain oxygenations. Healthy young males (N = 14, aged 18-22 years) participated in a two-week altitude (2,200 m) acclimatization study. Ss were divided into two matched (maximal oxygen consumption) groups: placebo and supplemented. The 2,000 mg supplement consisted of 1,400 mg of Rhodiola rosea plus 600 mg of Cordyceps sinensis while the placebo was starch. Oral administrations were given each day for two weeks before the commencement of altitude training and then until the end of the study. At baseline (two weeks before altitude training) and on day 1 after altitude training, brain and muscle oxygenations were measured by near infrared spectroscopy in a resting state.
Baseline total hemoglobin levels were increased in muscle and decreased in the brain after two weeks of altitude training. Rhodiola crenulata plus Crodyceps sinensis supplementation significantly attenuated the drop in total hemoglobin and oxyhemoglobin contents in the brain. The percentage of muscle oxygen saturation was significantly elevated after altitude training in both groups.
Implication. Two weeks of altitude training increases muscle hemoglobin but decreases brain hemoglobin. Rhodiola crenulata plus Crodyceps sinensis supplementation lessens the decrease in brain hemoglobin after two weeks of altitude training. Decreases in brain oxygenation may affect mental performance during exercise at altitude.
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