You may have heard the quote “Getting fit is all about mind over matter.” But when you reach your limit during a workout, this can be hard to believe. So what can we do to improve our mental attitude so that we can push past our perceived limitations? More and more athletes are starting to swear by Rhodiola extract, an herbal remedy that could help with this exact problem.
What is Rhodiola?
Rhodiola Rosea, more commonly known simply as rhodiola, is a perennial flowering plant that is native to cold, northern regions of Europe, North America, and Asia. It is part of the Crassulaceae family.
From Scandinavia to Russia and China, rhodiola has been used in herbal medicine for centuries, especially as a way to cope with cold climates and harsh conditions by increasing physical endurance and resistance to altitude sickness. It has also been used as a natural remedy for anxiety and depression.
As is often the case with medicinal plants, rhodiola goes by many names, among them roseroot, golden root, king’s crown, Arctic root, and Aaron’s rod.
How is Rhodiola Used?
Although rhodiola shoots and leaves can be cooked or eaten raw in salads (they have a slightly bitter flavor), it is the roots that are important for medicinal purposes. In fact, rhodiola roots contain almost 140 active compounds, including flavonoids, rosavin, and salidroside.
Improving Physical Endurance
Disclaimer: rhodiola will not actually make you fitter or stronger; only a dedicated workout routine can help you do that. However, studies indicate that it could help people to overcome feelings of tiredness, helping them to push on when they “hit the wall”. In essence, participants in these trials perceived that they were exerting themselves less, allowing them to exercise for longer.
While sometimes fatigue can be an important way for our bodies to tell us to rest, it can also be a debilitating side effect of conditions like anxiety, depression, burnout, and insomnia. Whether it’s mental or physical fatigue, studies suggest that rhodiola root could help, possibly thanks to the antioxidant properties of the flavonoids it contains and its natural stimulant effect.
Participants in these studies reported that when taking rhodiola that they felt less tired and better able to concentrate. Even participants with chronic fatigue said they had more energy and a better mood.
Boosts Brain Function
Anyone who needs to perform under pressure knows how important a good mental state is for peak performance. Studies on both professionals and students found that the groups taking rhodiola not only reported feeling more focused, but they also performed higher in work-related tasks and exams than the control groups.
Managing Depression and Anxiety
Many people believe that rhodiola is an adaptogen, meaning that it can help your body cope with stress. In particular, it is thought that the rosavin and salidroside found in rhodiola root help to combat anxiety. From chronic stress and burnout to moments of acute stress like pre-race jitters, participants in numerous studies reported that they felt more able to deal with stress after taking rhodiola extract daily.
While there have been fewer studies on rhodiola for depression, initial findings indicate that it could have a mild effect on reducing symptoms of depression, and with fewer side-effects than prescription antidepressants.
How to Take Rhodiola for Peak Performance
Rhodiola root extract comes in different strengths and can be taken as tablets, capsules, a liquid extract or a dried powder. The recommended dosage varies depending on your weight, lifestyle, and what you’re taking it for, but it is typically 200 to 600mg daily.
Most people recommend taking rhodiola extract on an empty stomach, as this improves absorption. If you’re taking rhodiola for fatigue, take it first thing in the morning; if you’re taking it for increased performance, take it a couple of hours before you work out. Do bear in mind that rhodiola is a mild stimulant so it’s best not to take it before bed.
If you’re looking for a reliable source of rhodiola that is simple to take and to dose, look no further than Power Up by PurePower. These daily capsules contain rhodiola root extract, in addition to lion’s mane, green tea extract, and full-spectrum, vapor extracted hemp oil with 10mg of Performance CBD™ per serving, all of which help to support the body’s ability to create energy and endurance.