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By October 1, 2022No Comments

Betaine and rhodiola boost performance

Betaine reduced cortisol, increased strength

Cortisol, the stress hormone, dampens testosterone. In this study, 10 male competitive handball players, average age 16, took a placebo or 2,500 mg of betaine per day for two weeks. Before and after, participants performed a high-intensity leg- and bench-press resistance exercise none had ever done before, resting for 48 hours before each test.

After the treatment, the betaine group performed 35.8 leg presses vs. 24.8 for placebo, and 36.3 bench presses vs. 26.1 for placebo. Compared to the start of the study, resting testosterone levels increased, as did the ratio of testosterone to cortisol in the betaine group compared to placebo.

Discussing the findings, doctors said the testosterone-cortisol ratio is a good gauge of recovery from high-intensity exercise training, with these results indicating betaine reduced post-exercise stress on the body.


  • Rhodiola reduced muscle pain and damage

Many cultures have traditionally used rhodiola rosea for reducing stress, mental and physical fatigue, and to boost energy. Athletes typically use rhodiola rosea to enhance performance. This review of 10 intensive-exercise trials covered 318 participants, mostly in their 20s, who took a placebo or anywhere from 100 mg to 1,500 mg of rhodiola per day, in studies lasting one hour to 37 days.

Doctors found consistent rhodiola benefits vs. placebo, including lower levels of the inflammatory factor, creatine kinase; lower levels of the tissue damage marker, lactate dehydrogenase; reduced skeletal muscle injury; greater resting antioxidant capacity; increased explosive muscle power; and lower perceived exertion levels after extended exercise.

“This review demonstrates that rhodiola rosea has the potential to improve sport and exercise performance by reducing oxidative stress, muscle pain and injury, improving skeletal muscle damage and muscle recovery during training, as well as improving athletic explosive power,” doctors concluded.

Reference: Frontiers in Nutrition; 2022, Vol. 9, 856287

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