Effects of a herbal ergogenic drink on cycling performance in young cyclists

Malays J Nutr. 2001 Mar;7(1):33-40.


It is essential to replace fluids lost so as to remain well hydrated during exercise. The intake of fluids is considered a physiological ergogenic aid to enhance exercise performance. There are currently several products in the market that are believed to have ergogenic properties which act as fluid replacement drinks during exercise. One such drink available in the Malaysian market is 'AgroMas®' herbal drink whose efficacy is yet to be proven. The purpose of this study was, therefore, to evaluate the effects of acute ingestion of this herbal drink (H) or a coloured water placebo (P) on cycling performance. Nine healthy and trained young male cyclists (age: 16.2 ± 0.5 years) exercised on a cycle ergometer at 71.9 ± 0.7% of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) until exhaustion on two occasions at 1-week intervals. During each exercise bout, subjects received 3ml kg-1 body weight of H or P every 20 min in a double-blind randomised study design. There was no significant difference between H and P trials in the total work time to exhaustion (83.7 ± 4.6 and 81.5 ± 5.0 min respectively). Changes in oxygen consumption, heart rate and perceived rate of exertion were similar for both types of drinks. These results demonstrate that the herbal drink and the placebo elicited similar physiological responses and exercise performance during endurance cycling. It is therefore concluded that AgroMas? herbal drink and water ingestion resulted in a similar ergogenic response on cycling performance in young cyclists.