Definition: "An ergogenic aid is any substance or phenomenon that enhances performance "

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Impressive improvement in endurance capacity with thyme

Impressive improvement in endurance capacity with thyme
An extract of thyme - yep, the same stuff you've got in your kitchen cupboard - can give a spectacular boost to your endurance capacity. In the rats that researchers at Tabriz University in Iran used for their experiments, thyme resulted in a five-fold increase in their endurance capacity.

The researchers got rats to run for an hour on a treadmill, five days a week for a period of eight weeks. The speed of the treadmill was 27 metres per minute, and the gradient was 10 percent. Half of the rats were given a thyme extract orally every day. The researchers made the thyme extract themselves.

Impressive improvement in endurance capacity with thyme

The human equivalent of the dose given, based for the sake of argument on a Homo sapiens weighing 80 kg, was 4.6 grams. Ugh.

4.6 g is not only a high dose for a herb extract based on methanol, it may also be toxic. If you want to experiment with these extracts, start with a tenth of this dose.

The thyme extract resulted in a dramatic extension of the time that the lab animals were able to keep running on a treadmill turning at a speed of 36 metres per minute and a gradient of 8 percent.

Impressive improvement in endurance capacity with thyme

The supplement had a negligible effect on the synthesis of antioxidant enzymes in the muscle cells.

Impressive improvement in endurance capacity with thyme

Impressive improvement in endurance capacity with thyme

Extracts that stimulate the activity of PGC-1-alpha, and thus increase the number of mitochondria in cells, are the hype of the moment in the strange world of endurance sports supplements. But the thyme extract did not result in an increased concentration of PGC-1-alpha, as the figure above shows.

Carnosic acid
"Thyme extract supplementation increased endurance exercise tolerance in intact animals," concluded the researchers. But how thyme manages to do this is not clear. "Decreased oxidative stress and regulation of the PGC-1-alpha protein expression are not considered as underlying molecular mechanisms," they wrote.

We, the ignorant compilers of this free webzine, have an idea, however. If you take a look at the links below, you'll get an idea of the direction we're thinking of.

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Apr 21;14:11.

Slimming aid carnosic acid - a bioactive thyme compound - has anabolic effect 12.05.2016
Carnosic acid: potential slimming aid from rosemary & thyme 08.05.2016
Ursolic acid: apple & thyme anabolic 05.08.2011

Endurance Supplements

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Angelica sinensis - aka Dong Quai - might be an interesting supplement for both endurance and strength athletes.