Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

about us





So thatís how Rhodiola rosea works

If you want to make sure you function well during a period of extreme stress, or if you are an endurance athlete looking for tighter times, you may well benefit from Rhodiola rosea. Researchers at Zhejiang University have discovered how Rhodiola rosea works. If you read their article youíll find the stuff twice as interesting too.


Scientists who study diabetes are fond of playing around with advanced substances that stimulate the enzyme AMPK. More AMPK means more mitochondria, more fat burning and an increased uptake of glucose by the muscles. You can prevent diabetes-2 by getting more physical exercise, and physical exercise also stimulates that same AMPK. Because some people canít be bothered with exercise, some are now pinning their hopes on the scientific search for an effective AMPK booster.

Traditional healers have used Rhodiola rosea for centuries to treat diabetes-2, high blood pressure, fatigue and lack of oxygen.

Wouldnít it be so handy if good old Rhodiola also contains a compound that stimulates AMPK, the Chinese thought? So they exposed ratsí muscle cells in test tubes for 90 minutes to salidroside [structural formula shown above], an active substance in Rhodiola rosea.

The figure below shows that salidroside induces muscle cells to absorb more glucose. Salidroside imitates the effect of insulin in this way Ė and boosts it too. When the researchers added the AMPK blocker Compound C [ComC] to the insulin and salidroside mix, the synergetic effect disappeared. Ergo, salidroside works through AMPK.

In the muscle cells the researchers observed no effect of salidroside on the amount of AMPK, but there was an effect on the amount of phosphorylated AMPK. Phosphorylated AMPK is active AMPK. So salidroside doesnít boost the synthesis of AMPK, but gives the molecules that are already present a wake-up call.

"These results support potential clinical application of salidroside in diabetes and its complications", the researchers conclude. We thought of a more pedestrian use: why not add salidroside to high-carb energy drinks?

Eur J Pharmacol. 2008 Jul 7; 588(2-3): 165-9.

Turmeric boosts glucose uptake in muscle cells 13.01.2011
L-Malate boosts endurance capacity 10.01.2011
Fenugreek enhances endurance 27.12.2010
Cobalt chloride boosts stamina in animal study 10.12.2010
Cocktail of BCAAs, glutamine and arginine boosts oxygen transport 08.12.2010
NAC helps some athletes to speed up 09.11.2010
Low-carb sports drink with a little protein better for endurance athletes 07.11.2010
Alpha-Lipoic acid has positive and negative effects on body composition 03.11.2010
Elderly are fitter with Cordyceps sinensis 08.10.2010
Cyclists on L-citrulline use more amino acids 06.10.2010
Chinese herbal preparation Danggui Buxue Tang boosts EPO 30.09.2010
Wasp juice supplement enhances aerobic capacity 22.09.2010
Q10 raises endurance (a little) in human study 16.09.2010
Q10 boosts endurance by 40 percent in animal study 31.08.2010
Less sleep, less oxygen 25.08.2010
Vitamin C negates effects of endurance training 23.08.2010
L-Alanyl-L-Glutamine helps dehydrated athletes to better times 14.08.2010
Amino Impact boosts stamina by 12 percent 07.08.2010
Just one capsule of Rhodiola is enough to improve your stamina 05.08.2010
Animal study: quercetin enhances stamina 17.07.2010