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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ginseng extract ingestion on physiological responses to intense exercise. Subjects performed a control ride (CN) on a cycle ergometer, followed by placebo (PL) and ginseng (GS) treatments. Ginseng was ingested as 8 or 16 mg/kg body weight daily for 7 days prior to trial GS. Venous blood was sampled for FFA, lactate, and glucose analyses. Due to similar findings for both dose groups, the subjects were considered as one group. Lactate, FFA, VO2, VE, and RPE increased significantly from 10 through 40 min. RER increased during the first 10 min of exercise and then remained stable, with no intertrial differences. Glucose did not vary significantly from 0 to 40 min or among treatments. RPE was significantly greater and time to exhaustion was significantly less during trial CN than PL or GS, while PL and GS trials were similar. The data indicated that with 1 week of pretreatment there is no ergogenic effect of ingesting the ginseng saponin extract.

A.C. Monis, I. Jacobs, T.M. McLellan, A. Klugerman, and J. Zamecnik are with the Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine, North York, ON, CanadaM3M 3B9. L.C.H. Wang is with the Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, CanadaT6G 2E9. Direct correspondence to I. Jacobs, Human Protection and Performance Sector, DCIEM, P.O. Box 2000, North York, ON, Canada M3M 3B9.