According to recent news, three evidence-based herbs, namely ashwagandha, citrus bergamot, and shilajit are taking sports nutrition products to the next level. This news was published in the multimedia publishing brand, Nutritional Outlook.
Ashwagandha or Withania somnifera is an adaptogenic herb, used in the dietary supplement industry. Its extract finds use in the sports industry as it is known to increase testosterone levels in men by 15-17% which helps to build and maintain muscle. Also, it aids in increasing muscle size and strength, while reducing double the body fat percentage more effectively than exercise alone. Additionally, the extract has been tested to intensify cardiorespiratory endurance (known as VO2 max or maximum oxygen uptake).
The second popular ingredient in the sports industry is citrus bergamot. Bergamot polyphenolic fractions (BPF) extracted from citrus fruit are responsible for pharmacological effects such as increasing nitric oxide (NO) levels. NO can influence “muscular pump” during weight-training. A randomized, placebo-controlled study to show the effects of BPF supplementation on serum NO showed an increase in baseline NO levels and VO2 max.
Finally, shilajit is an exudate derived from Himalayan rocks and composed of rock humus and organic substances, mixed with marine organisms and microbial metabolites. It is also known to increase testosterone levels by 20.45% and ATP (adenosine triphosphate, energy currency) by 14% in healthy, active volunteers. These three excellent herbs can be used in sports nutrition with solid scientific evidence to support their benefits for promoting fitness.
Source: Gene Bruno. Top herbs in sports nutrition. Nutritional Outlook. 14 March, 2023.