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

Conrad P Earnest, G M Morss, F Wyatt, A N Jordan, S Colson, T S Church, Y Fitzgerald, L Autrey, R Jurca, A Lucia

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42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION/PURPOSE: 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].

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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.

CONCLUSION: A 2-wk ingestion schema of a commercial herbal-based formula is insufficient to elicit positive changes in cycling performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)504-509
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Volume36
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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  • Cite this

    Earnest, C. P., Morss, G. M., Wyatt, F., Jordan, A. N., Colson, S., Church, T. S., Fitzgerald, Y., Autrey, L., Jurca, R., & Lucia, A. (2004). Effects of a commercial herbal-based formula on exercise performance in cyclists. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(3), 504-509.