Effects of beetroot powder and Rhodiola Rosea on exercise performance and cognitive function

Raised of $4,850 Goal
Ended on 8/01/19
Campaign Ended
  • $39
  • 1%
  • Finished
    on 8/01/19

About This Project

We hypothesize that the ingestion of beetroot powder and Rhodiola Rosea supplement will improve intermittent exercise performance, mental focus, cardiovascular hemodynamics, blood metabolites, and time-to-exhaustion.

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What is the context of this research?

Several nutritional strategies have been developed to optimize nutrient delivery prior to exercise. As a result, a number of pre-workout supplements have been developed to increase energy availability, promote vasodilation, and positively affect exercise capacity. The purpose of this study is to investigate the potential ergogenic value of short-term ingestion of Beetroot powder, Rhodiola Rosea, and the blend of Beetroot Powder and Rhodiola Rosea on intense intermittent exercise performance, mental focus, cardiovascular hemodynamics, and blood metabolites in recreationally active males.

What is the significance of this project?

This project (n = 15) is a randomized, double-blind, cross-over, placebo-controlled 7-day supplement study investigating the ability of beetroot powder and Rhodiola Rosea to affect exercise performance, mental focus, cardiovascular hemodynamics, and blood metabolism.In trained athletes, short-term beetroot juice (BRJ) supplementation for five days has shown to decrease VO2 as much as 3% at an intensity of 70% VO2max. Another study in trained cyclists confirmed that BRJ supplementation for a period of six days attenuates VO2 in a 60-min test. We hypothesize that the combination of the two will synergistically increase time to exhaustion.

What are the goals of the project?

This study will examine the short-term effects of ingesting beetroot powder and Rhodiola Rosea supplement on intense intermittent exercise performance, mental focus, cardiovascular hemodynamics, and blood metabolites.

Participants (n = 15) will report following 8-10-hour fast to donate blood samples and complete heart rate, blood pressure, ECG, measurements; and will then ingest their assigned supplement and wait for two hour. Then, participants will perform cognitive function test, resting lactate measurement, warm-up, and an exercise test.


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Participant compensation is a small gift card to express gratitude for their time. All other supplies are vital necessities to complete the project. Leftover blood draw supplies, as well as equipment used for the storage of blood samples can be used in future performance nutrition projects.

Endorsed by

Majid and I have collaborated in multiple projects and published several research articles and conference papers. He is an excellent and knowledgeable researcher. His research topics are focused on the effects of both anaerobic and aerobic exercise on body composition, coupled with quality nutritional intake, including supplementation. Since funding resources for exercise science research are limited, Majid is exploring this creative and compelling use of crowdsourcing to raising much-needed research funds. I encourage you to support his work!

Flag iconProject Timeline

Data collection and all subject participation will be completed in December, 2019. Statistical analysis will be completed in January, 2020. The project will then be prepared for publication and submitted in March, 2020.

Jul 02, 2019

Project Launched

Aug 22, 2019

Begin data collection

Dec 23, 2019

Begin statistical analysis 

Feb 03, 2020

Statistical results will be shared with backers via lab note 

Mar 16, 2020

Submit for publication 

Meet the Team

Andrew Newton
Andrew Newton
Assistant Professor


Jacksonville State University
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Majid Koozehchian
Majid Koozehchian
Assistant Professor


Jacksonville State University
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Andrew Newton

My areas of interest are exercise as treatment for chronic disease, nutrition and its effects on the exercise response, and behavioral considerations related to participation in physical activity. My previous work has been on fitness device performance, and resistance training and its effects on energy expenditure.

Majid Koozehchian

My research addresses the nutritional intake, supplements, healthy body weight and composition. More specifically, my research topics are focused on the effects of both anaerobic and aerobic exercise on body composition, coupled with quality nutritional intake including supplementation. My research questions are aimed at determining the beneficial impact of supplementation and exercise and the cumulative effects on body composition.

Additional Information

Additional Rationale:

Beetroot juice (BRJ) is considered as a dietary supplement due to its high NO3− content; therefore, it may improve mitochondrial respiration and oxidative phosphorylation. In trained athletes, short-term BRJ supplementation for five days has shown to decrease VO2 as much as 3% at an intensity of 70% VO2max.

Some studies have indicated that RR supplementation can diminish mental fatigue as shown by the improvement in the results of tests involving complex perceptive and cognitive cerebral functions, as well as neuromotoric function. One study indicated that chronic RR supplementation can improve the results of some psychomotor tests (simple and choice reaction time) in young, healthy, and physically active men.

In addition, Rhodiola Rosea (RR), appears to influence various physiological mechanisms by stimulating the metabolism, improving fatty acid oxidation, having an ergogenic function, increasing the body resistance to intense exercise and having a cardio-protective effect too [Kucinskaite, 2004; Maslov, 2007; Panossian, 2005].

Dependent Variables:

  1. Cognitive Function Test (e.g., Stroop Word-Color test)

  2. Readiness to perform using Visual Analogue Scale (VAS)

  3. Standard clinical chemistry panel

  4. Heart rate and blood pressure

  5. Electrical activity of the heart

  6. Lactate

  7. Clinical blood profiles including oxidative stress markers (i. e. malondialdehyde, superoxide dismutase, and catalase) and immunity markers (i. e. interleukin-6, interleukin-9, and tumor necrosis-alpha)

  8. Performance and recovery performance evaluations at days 1 (baseline)&, 2, 7 (follow-up), and 2 & 8, respectively.


Bailey, S.J., et al., Dietary nitrate supplementation enhances muscle contractile efficiency during knee-extensor exercise in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985), 2010. 109(1): p. 135-48.

Cermak, N.M., M.J. Gibala, and L.J. van Loon, Nitrate supplementation's improvement of 10-km time-trial performance in trained cyclists. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab, 2012. 22(1): p. 64-71.

Clerc, P., et al., Nitric oxide increases oxidative phosphorylation efficiency. J Bioenerg Biomembr, 2007. 39(2): p. 158-66.

Darbinyan, V., et al., Rhodiola rosea in stress induced fatigue — A double blind cross-over study of a standardized extract SHR-5 with a repeated low-dose regimen on the mental performance of healthy physicians during night duty. Phytomedicine, 2000. 7(5): p. 365-371

Jówko, E., et al., Effects of Rhodiola rosea supplementation on mental performance, physical capacity, and oxidative stress biomarkers in healthy men. Journal of Sport and Health Science, 2016.

Kucinskaite, A., V. Briedis, and A. Savickas, [Experimental analysis of therapeutic properties of Rhodiola rosea L. and its possible application in medicine]. Medicina (Kaunas), 2004. 40(7): p. 614-9.

Maslov, L.N. and B. Lishmanov Iu, [Cardioprotective and antiarrhythmic properties of Rhodiolae roseae preparations]. Eksp Klin Farmakol, 2007. 70(5): p. 59-67.

Panossian, A. and H. Wagner, Stimulating effect of adaptogens: an overview with particular reference to their efficacy following single dose administration. Phytother Res, 2005. 19(10): p. 819-38

Spasov, A.A., et al., A double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of the stimulating and adaptogenic effect of Rhodiola rosea SHR-5 extract on the fatigue of students caused by stress during an examination period with a repeated low-dose regimen. Phytomedicine, 2000. 7(2): p. 85-89.

Whitfield, J., et al., Beetroot juice supplementation reduces whole body oxygen consumption but does not improve indices of mitochondrial efficiency in human skeletal muscle. J Physiol, 2016. 594(2): p. 421-35.

Project Backers

  • 3Backers
  • 1%Funded
  • $39Total Donations
  • $13.00Average Donation
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