Various medicinal plants also have a direct impact on physical and mental performance, with roseroot (Rhodiola rosea) being attributed particularly positive effects. A new study seems to confirm this, but some uncertainties remain.
A Spanish-American research team has examined the influence of rhodiola on athletic performance in a recent review and published the results in the specialist journal “Phytotherapy Research”. Accordingly, roseroot could have various positive effects.
Medicinal plant with a special effect
For centuries, extracts and tea from Rhodiola rosea have been used to treat a wide variety of ailments. As a so-called adaptogenic medicinal plant, rhodiola should also increase physical and mental resilience. So far, however, the scientific evidence for the effect is insufficient.
In a systematic review, the research team therefore examined whether supplementation with Rhodiola rosea can have an effect on muscle damage and physical performance.
Effect on various physical factors
A total of 13 randomized controlled trials with 263 participants (198 men and 65 women) aged between 18 and 65 years were included. The studies determined the effect of rhodiola supplementation on factors such as perceived exertion, heart rate, antioxidant capacity, blood lactate, creatine kinase, or C-reactive protein.
While 11 studies showed some beneficial effects on these variables, two studies found no effects of rhodiola supplementation, the research team reports.
What effect did roseroot have?
While the evidence is not conclusive, short-term intake of rhodiola supplements could have a positive effect on endurance performance and perceived exertion ratings, according to the researchers.
Regular rhodiola supplementation has a positive effect on anaerobic performance, but not on endurance performance, the experts continue. In addition, regular intake can have a positive effect on muscle damage during training.
However, the researchers emphasize that further high-quality studies are needed to unequivocally determine the clinical effectiveness of rhodiola supplements. This applies in particular with regard to the required dosages. (fp)