Honors Theses

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name


Faculty Mentor

Neil Schwarz


Geoffrey Hudson, Ryan Colquhoun


The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of salidroside ingestion on mood state, oxygen uptake, time-to-exhaustion, local muscular endurance, erythropoietin, and markers of inflammation and muscle damage in healthy, young adults. Fifty subjects (30M, 20F; Age: 21 ± 4 y) completed this double-blind, placebo-controlled study. Subjects were randomized to a Salidroside (SAL; 30 mg/2x/day of SAL) or Placebo (PLA; 30 mg/2x/day of rice flour) group. Subjects completed an entry session followed by pre- (PRE) and post-testing (POST), which were 14 days apart and consisted of 3 visits at each timepoint. During the entry session, demographic information was collected and informed consent was obtained. Testing session 1 consisted of a mood state assessment (POMS assessment), venous blood sampling, a treadmill test to determine peak oxygen consumption (VO2 peak), and a one-repetition maximum test of the elbow flexors. Subjects began ingesting their supplement the following day (Day 2). During testing session 2 (Day 3), subjects returned to perform a time-to-exhaustion (TTE) test on a treadmill having consumed their supplement 30 min prior. During the TTE test, subjects had their oxygen consumption measured during a protocol that consisted of 1.5-min work bouts at the speed associated with their VO2 peak at 10% grade followed by active recovery for 1.5 min at 2 mph at 8% grade. Intervals were completed until volitional exhaustion, and lactate was measured immediately following, 3, 7, and 10 minutes following the conclusion of the TTE test. After the conclusion of testing session 2 of pre-testing subjects continued supplementation throughout the remainder of the study. Subjects returned to the lab for post-testing 14 days after their first testing session of PRE. All procedures were repeated at POST, however, subjects consumed their supplement 30 min prior to each of their testing sessions and instead of a one-repetition maximum test of the elbow flexors performed on the first visit, a local muscular endurance test of the elbow flexors was performed instead. During the TTE tests, the percentage of predicted VO2 peak that was achieved during the trial was recorded. Every subject was able to complete at least three intervals, thus the first three intervals were compared individually between groups. Beyond that, subjects completing 5 or more intervals had their remaining intervals split in half and averaged as middle intervals and final intervals for analyses. The main finding of the study was that SAL was able to reach a significantly higher percentage of VO2 peak during all work intervals (SAL vs. PLA; Interval 1: 74.7 ± 5.5% vs. 71.0 ± 5.4%, p < 0.001; Interval 2: 82.3 ± 5.5% vs. 79.4 ± 5.0%, p < 0.001; Interval 3: 84.9 ± 5.6% vs. 81.9 ± 5.4%, p = 0.001; Middle Intervals: 86.4 ± 5.2% vs. 82.9 ± 5.4%, p < 0.001; Final Intervals: 85.6 ± 5.0% vs. 83.4 ± 5.6%, p = 0.016). Salidroside supplementation may beneficially alter oxygen uptake in healthy, young adults performing high-intensity interval training.


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