One of the fastest growing categories in sports nutrition these days is that of nootropics, or brain enhancing supplements. One of the most proven dietary ingredients residing in this category is rhodiola rosea, which also happens to be an extremely proven performance enhancer and muscle builder. If you’re looking for a time-tested (20+ years in the supplement industry) and proven ingredient which can help you in just about every aspect of your training, rhodiola is one of your strongest possible choices.
Among its many benefits found in humans, the most proven is rhodiola’s ability to reduce perceived levels of both physical and mental fatigue. This herb has also been shown to increase levels of cognition as well as be effective at increasing levels of subjective well being, while also decreasing symptoms of depression.
When looking at rhodiola from a performance and muscle building standpoint, it has proven to be effective at decreasing lactate/lactic acid production in muscle cells, while also lowering muscle damage (shown through reduced levels of creatine kinase).
Rhodiola is classified as an adaptogen, which means it helps the body adapt to both physical and mental stress more effectively. Unfortunately, despite its many proven benefits, the exact mechanisms of action producing the beneficial aspects of this herb have yet to be identified. A theorized mechanism currently resides within rhodiola’s ability to modulate the monoamine oxidase enzyme, which has interactions in metabolizing compounds like serotonin within our body. When serotonin levels increase, people generally note a more relaxed and less stressed emotional state.
For best results, look for a rhodiola extract which contains 3% rosavins and 1% salidroside. Studies indicate doses of 250mg-680mg per day yield best results, and it is not suggested to exceed this dosage. Look to intake 2-3 servings per day as opposed to a single bolus dose.