Rhodiola Rosea is a potent herbal adaptogen— which simply means it increases the body’s ability to handle stress and fatigue by maintaining hormonal homeostasis. Adaptogens have been noted to increase energy and focus as a result of their effects on neurotransmitter levels in the brain.
Normally, compounds called monoamine oxidases (MAOs) in the brain breakdown and deactivate many of the neurotransmitters that make us feel good, enhance focus, and give us energy— examples of such neurotransmitters include dopamine, serotoin, adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine.
Rhodiola Rosea works by blocking MAOs, which lets neurotransmitter levels rise . Studies show that Rhodiola supplementation before exercise decreases fatigue by increasing time to exhaustion during intense training. Subjects who supplemented with Rhodiola one hour prior to exercise had slower heart rates and greater training endurance, due to decreased perception of effort . Additional studies have shown rhodiola can increase workplace performance and decrease the effects that sleep deprivation can have on your energy levels .
In a randomized double-blind and placebo-study, participants with chronic fatigue syndrome received either Rhodiola rosea or placebo for four weeks. Those who received Rhodiola rosea had significant improvements in symptoms of fatigue and in tests of attention. As well, waking cortisol responses were significantly blunted in those who received Rhodiola rosea extract versus placebo. It was concluded that anti-fatigue effect of Rhodiola rosea extract increases mental performance (particularly the ability to concentrate) and decreases cortisol response to awakening stress in “burnout” patients with fatigue syndrome .
How to use Rhodiola Rosea to fight fatigue: The average dose should be between 150 mg and 500 mg per day of a product that is standardized to contain active rosavins and salidrosides in at least a 2:1 ratio.
- A, Bravo J, Reist M, Carrupt PA, Hostettmann K. Monoamine oxidase inhibition by Rhodiola rosea L. roots. J Ethnopharmacol. 2009 Mar 18;122(2):397-401.
- Noreen EE, Buckley JG, Lewis SL, Brandauer J, Stuempfle KJ. The effects of an acute dose of Rhodiola rosea on endurance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Mar;27(3):839-47.
- Anghelescu IG, Edwards D, Seifritz E, Kasper S. Stress management and the role of Rhodiola rosea: a review Int J Psychiatry Clin Pract. 2018 Jan 11:1-11. [Epub ahead of print].
- Olsson EM, von Schéele B, Panossian AG. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study of the standardised extract shr-5 of the roots of Rhodiola rosea in the treatment of subjects with stress-related fatigue. Planta Med. 2009 Feb;75(2):105-12.