Effects of Concurrent Training and a Multi-Ingredient Performance Supplement Containing Rhodiola rosea and Cordyceps sinensis on Body Composition, Performance, and Health in Active Men

J Diet Suppl. 2021;18(6):597-613. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2020.1822486. Epub 2020 Oct 20.


Introduction: Supplementation with Rhodiola Rosea (RR) and Cordyceps Sinensis (CS) has been shown to improve aerobic performance, but their influence on concurrent training (resistance training plus high intensity interval training) outcomes has not been established. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of supplementation with a multi-ingredient performance supplement (MIPS) containing RR and CS during a 14-week training and testing program on body composition, weekly exercise training outcomes, overall training and performance outcomes, and hormone profiles.

Methods: Active college-aged men (N = 21) were stratified into either a MIPS or a placebo (PLA) group. Both groups completed 14 weeks of training and testing. Body composition, overall training outcomes, and blood sample collection occurred at weeks 0, 7, and 14, while training performance was evaluated weekly.

Results: Both groups improved (p < 0.05) percent body fat (-1.3%), bench press (+4%) and squat strength (+8%), with no difference between groups. Serum cortisol concentrations significantly decreased (-11%) but there were no differences between groups. No other changes in blood hormone profiles occurred. Weekly exercise performance data suggests that MIPS improved sprint performance, bench press lifting volume, and total workload, but this did not lead to improved overall training performance compared to PLA over the14-week study.

Conclusion: Despite MIPS improving certain aspects of weekly training performance, supplementation with MIPS for 14 weeks did not improve body composition, overall training and performance outcomes, or blood biomarkers of health in response to concurrent training in young men compared to PLA. This study was registered with clinicaltrials. gov (NCT02383017).

Keywords: Aerobic performance; Cordyceps sinensis; Rhodiola rosea; concurrent training; multi-ingredient performance supplement; strength performance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Body Composition
  • Cordyceps*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Resistance Training*
  • Rhodiola*
  • Young Adult

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02383017