The Hard Way w/ Joe De Sena

We’ve talked about a class of herb called adaptogens in an earlier episode of Spartan Health. Rhodiola is an adaptogen that can provide many health benefits and provide energy, endurance, and recovery support during your next Spartan Race. Rhodiola is a well-researched herb used for centuries in Asia, Russia and arctic regions of Europe.


a. First if all, what is it? In a nutshell, it’s a wonderful herb that can help your body recover from stress and fight fatigue. Further, it can support the body as you condition to different environmental stressors like high altitude.
b. But, let me give you a bit of its history ‘cause it really is fascinating: Rhodiola is an herb native to China, Russia (and a particular region in Russia, Siberia) and Mongolia. It has been used in Russian folklore medicine for centuries and caught the interest of Russian scientists in roughly the 1950’s. They heard of its health and vitality promoting properties and began conducting research to get a better understanding of its clinical properties and application. They were so impressed with what they found they started giving it to Russian cosmonauts (in their space program) and their Olympic athletes. They felt the cosmonauts recovered more quickly from space induced ill-effects and that it supported their Olympic athletes in terms of endurance.
c. Rhodiola is one of the most well-researched Adaptogens (they’ll be more on adaptogens in another podcast so stay tuned); it’s generally regarded as a safe, non-toxic, herb. But, before taking any herbal supplements of any kind check with your health provider in case you have specific medical needs that might affect your use of this herb or any others for that matter.
d. To recap, Rhodiola can help enhance stamina, exercise recovery and help the body adjust to stress-related conditions (such as high altitude or even jet lag when changing time zones).
e. Several ways it can be used - In Siberia, it’s often taken as shot of rhodiola infused vodka! I am NOT suggesting that and I want to be quite clear but I am highlighting the importance and health application of this wonderful, time-honored herb. It can be consumed as an herbal tea / aka tisane, in capsule form, or as a powder in a healthy smoothie or beverage.
f. So the next time you’re looking for something to provide natural and healthy support as you push your body and mind to prep for the next race. Check out Rhodiola!


Rhodiola: native to arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and Russia
Supports a healthy stress response, endurance, and recovery from environmental extremes - jet lag and high altitude
Historical use by Russian cosmonauts and olympic athletes
A well-researched herb with a fascinating history

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“Adaptogens exert a stress-protective effect by modulation of expression of molecular chaperones” Phytomedicine. 2009 Jun;16(6-7):617-22.
“The effects of an acute dose of Rhodiola rosea on endurance exercise performance”J Strength Cond Res 2013 Mar;27(3):839-47.
“Acute Rhodiola rosea intake can improve endurance exercise performance” Int J Sport Nutr Exer Metab 2004 Jun;14(3):298-307.

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Producer: Marion Abrams, Madmotion, llc.
Writer and Host: Nada Milosavljevic MD, JD

© 2018 Spartan

Direct download: 012_HEALTH_RHODIOLA_EDIT_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 4:30am EDT