Effects of short-term Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root Extract) supplementation on anaerobic exercise performance

J Sports Sci. 2019 May;37(9):998-1003. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2018.1538028. Epub 2018 Oct 29.


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of short-term Rhodiola Rosea (Golden Root Extract (GRE)) supplementation on repeated Wingate performance. Eleven physically active college aged females were recruited for this study. In a within groups counterbalanced study design, participants were supplemented with either 1,500 mg/day of GRE or placebo (gluten-free cornstarch) for 3 days. Participants also took an additional 500 mg dose of corresponding treatment 30 minutes prior to testing of each trial. During each exercise trial, participants completed 3 × 15-second Wingate Anaerobic Tests (WAnTs) separated by 2-minute active recovery periods. Each exercise trial was separated by a 7 day washout period. Over the 3 × 15-second WAnTs, mean watts (p = 0.017, ES = 0.55), mean anaerobic capacity (p = 0.025, ES = 0.96), mean anaerobic power (p = 0.03, ES = 1.07), mean peak watts (p = 0.029,ES = 0.46), and mean total work (p = 0.017, ES = 0.49) were higher in the GRE treatment trial versus placebo. However, mean fatigue index (p = 0.094, ES = 0.39) was unaffected regardless of treatment. Our results show that GRE supplementation enhanced anaerobic exercise performance as measured through repeated WAnTs. GRE may possess ergogenic benefits and findings hold important implications for boosting anaerobic performance in repeated anaerobic bouts of exercise.

Keywords: Wingate; anaerobic capacity; anaerobic power; ergogenic aid.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Performance*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / pharmacology
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Rhodiola / chemistry*
  • Young Adult


  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Plant Extracts