Brand: Life Extension
Cost: £10.06 for sixty 250mg capsules, purchased from http://www.healthmonthly.co.uk
Rhodiola has received a lot of attention recently, as a published research paper found that giving this herb to a species of fly extended its lifespan by 24%. In regards to humans, Rhodiola has long been regarded by herbalists and sports nutritionists to have beneficial affects on stress management and sports performance, respectively. Rhodiola is an “adaptogen”, which means its effects are subjective to the person taking the herb. For a tired person, they may experience increased energy, where as for an overly stimulated person, they may experience feelings of relaxation.
I decided to give Rhodiola a try for a month, as work has been stressful and at times I did not feel I had recovered from workouts very well. I understood Rhodiola to have potential beneficial effects on balancing cortisol, the bodies stress hormone, and some studies have even suggested it may boost testosterone naturally. Additionally, I heard it may have beneficial effects on the neurotransmitter dopamine, which drives levels of motivation, something I could use at work currently!
I opted for the Life Extension brand, as its a well known quality company, and the extract has a 3% standardised level of rosavins, which is a good measure of the potency of the extract. I took 2 capsules every morning with food, as suggested by the label.
Overall, I cannot pinpoint any direct effects I felt from the product. I heard it can take a few weeks to kick in and then tolerance can build and you need to take a break, but I do not feel that over the course of the month any changes in fatigue or motivation that took place correlated with the use of Rhodiola. This is in contrast to another herb, Ashwagandha, which I have used on and off and felt positive effects from.
There is research pointing to the sports performance enhancing effects of Rhodiola, but unless you workout in a lab every time for a month it can be hard to assess if any benefits actually took place in this regard.
I feel this type of herb is very subjective to an individuals status, so while it didn’t bring me any obvious benefits, i’m not saying it would not do so for other people’s situations. Overall, I would not part cash to try this herb again at the present time. It does feature in many herbal blend formulas, and that may be where it works best, in a synergistic manner. I do find herbs and their purported effects fascinating, it is unfortunate the research isn’t always there, but it is worth experimenting on yourself sometimes and parting with £10 isn’t the end of the world.