Rhodiola rosea has experienced a strong upsurge in popularity in recent years. There are many studies showing its benefits for active and athletic people.
Rhodiola is not a stimulant. Rather, it is classified as an adaptogen, or a substance that assists the body in adapting to stress. It does this by increasing energy in the body. This stress can be mental, physical or emotional.
Among it’s proven benefits:
- Athletes showed improved their muscle strength, speed, reaction times and maximal V02 – a measure of how efficient the body is at utilizing oxygen. That’s a big deal!
Cardiovascular (heart and brain) Health:
- Protects the heart muscle from stress-induced damage.
- Increases the blood supply to the brain, also protecting it in situations of low oxygen availability (mountaineering) and keeping the brain alert.
- Helps with weight loss beyond the effects of exercise alone by boosting the activity of an enzyme known as hormone-sensitive lipase; this enzyme helps break down and mobilize stored fat to be burned.
Mental Performance and Stress:
- Reduces general fatigue under high stress levels.
- Students taking tests (with the supplement) scored higher on exams, while physicians working the night shift reported less mental fatigue, better short term memory, calculation and concentration, among other benefits.
- After dozens of studies, the only side effects ever reported were vivid dreams!
Its best used for relatively short-term intervals, such as a few weeks prior to a stressful event, such as a race or even those stressful life events.
Here's more information about Rhodiola rosea.