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Rhodiola Can Enhance Your Performance

by Dr. Jason Barker January 26, 2011

rhodiola for athletes

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:

Sports Performance:

  • 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.

Weight loss:

  • 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.

Side Effects:

  • 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.

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

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