Effects of a commercial herbal-based formula on exercise performance in cyclists

European University of Madrid, Madrid, Madrid, Spain
Medicine &amp Science in Sports &amp Exercise (Impact Factor: 4.46). 04/2004; 36(3):504-9. DOI: 10.1249/01.MSS.0000125157.49280.AF
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We examined the effects of a commercially marketed herbal-based formula purported to increase endurance on oxygen consumption (VO2) in 17 competitive category III/IV amateur cyclists [mean (SEM) age: 31.1 (1.8) yr; height: 178.5 (1.8) cm; weight: 77.1 (1.6) kg].
Each cyclist participated in two (pre/post) cycling tests progressing 25 W.4 min(-1) starting at 100 W administered in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind fashion. The second trial was performed 14 d after the ingestion of a manufacturer recommended loading phase (4 d x 6 caps.d(-1)) and a maintenance phase (11 d x 3 caps.d(-1)). Three treatment capsules contained 1000 mg of Cordyceps sinensis (CS-4) and 300 mg Rhodiola rosea root extract as the primary ingredients; 800 mg of other ingredients included calcium pyruvate, sodium phosphate, potassium phosphate, ribose, and adenosine and 200 mcg of chromium.
Using a 2 x 2 ANOVA, we observed no significant treatment effect for any between or within group variables including peak VO2 [treatment 4.14 (0.2) L.min(-1); placebo 4.10 (0.2) L.min(-1)], time to exhaustion [treatment 38.47 (1.7) min; placebo 36.95 (1.8) min], peak power output (PO) [treatment 300.00 (12.1) W; placebo 290.63 (12.9) W], or peak heart rate. We also observed no differences for any subpeak exercise variable including the PO eliciting 2 mmol.L(-1) blood lactate (BLa) [treatment 201.00 (18.1) W; placebo 167.50 (19.2) W] and 4 mmol.L(-1) BLa [treatment 235.88 (15.8) W; placebo 244.78 (14.9) W], ventilatory threshold, respiratory compensation point, or Vo2 L.min(-1) gross efficiency at each stage.
A 2-wk ingestion schema of a commercial herbal-based formula is insufficient to elicit positive changes in cycling performance.

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