It is still unclear whether Chinese herbal supplements can help to prevent muscle micro-damage after exercise in humans. PURPOSE: To examine the effect of 14 days’ supplementation with an innovative Chinese herbal supplement on muscle micro-damage after an acute bout of eccentric exercise in healthy males. METHODS: Eight healthy and physically active males (age: 20.9 ± 1.0 y, BMI: 21.6 ± 2.4 kg•m-2) volunteered to participate in the study. All participants completed three main experimental trials in a double-blind randomized crossover design, and the duration between any two trials was at least one month. In each experimental trial, participants consumed one of three supplements for 14 days: “Herbal Energiser” (HE), collagen power (CP), or creatine monohydrate (CM). After 14 days of treatment, participants reported to the laboratory and completed 45 min downhill running (-16.5%) at 70% of their individual HRmax. The capillary blood samples and muscle soreness scores were collected before treatment (Day 1), before and after exercise on the 15th day (Day 15), every 30 minutes during the two hours recovery period (Day 15), as well as in the morning of the three days subsequent to exercise (Day 16, Day 17, & Day 18). Capillary blood samples were used to analyze creatine kinase (CK) concentrations. RESULTS: Both the CK concentrations and muscle soreness scores peaked in the morning of Day 16. No differences were found in CK concentration and muscle soreness scores at all time points among the three trials. However, compared with the CK concentration at Day 16, the recovery of CK at Day 18 seems to be quicker in HE trial than those in CM and CP trials (HE vs. CM vs. CP: 48.4% vs. 41.7% vs. 30.1%). CONCLUSIONS: It seems that, compared with CM and CP, 14 days of HE supplement has no significant beneficial effect in improving the recovery of muscle micro-damage after an eccentric exercise.
|Publication status||Published - May 2014|