Herb may help athletes improve performance
OPINION: For centuries, particular herbs have been used to lower stress and boost energy.
These herbs are commonly referred to as the adaptogens.
The adaptogen herbs support the adrenal system, and help our body adapt to a variety of physically and emotionally stressful situations.
Adaptogens also have the added benefit of boosting energy levels, unlike a caffeine or sugar hit that drops you 20 minutes later, adaptogens offer a healthier, slower, more consistent release of energy which is more sustainable.
One of the most well researched and impressive adaptogenic herbs is the Rhodiola rosea.
And busy Sydney-based Naturopath Lisa Costa Bir is a big fan.
"It's definitely the one to take if your body and mind need a little lift since it has been shown to greatly reduce cortisol levels (our stress hormone)" she said.
Rhodiola can assist people who are exhausted, fatigued, depressed and anxious, and can benefit athletes too.
In a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial, a single dose of rhodiola was given before exercise, starting with a warm up, and the results were recorded.
Rhodiola ingestion significantly decreased heart rate during the warm-up and the participants completed the time trial notably faster.
These results suggest that single dose Rhodiola decreases heart rate response to submaximal (moderate) exercise and appears to improve endurance exercise performance by decreasing the body's own perception of effort.
Meaning the body is adapting and coping to this physical stress in a more sophisticated manner.
Could rhodiola be the next big edge for marathon or long distance runners?
Please consult your doctor, naturopath or nutritionist before adding or changing any of your supplements or medications.