Effect of capsaicin on endurance in rats
Several studies have been conducted on the effect of capsaicin and endurance. Where many studies failed to prove an improvement in endurance capacity by consuming a high diet in capsaicin or a capsaicin supplement, a study conducted by Tae- Woong Who and Fukio Ohta in Japan showed positive results. The researcher tested 49 male rates on endurance capacity. The rats where divided into 4 groups, a placebo group who didn’t receive a capsaicin treatment, and three groups where every group received either 6mg, 10mg or 15mg Capsaicin per kg body weight. The researchers tested half of the rats on their swimming endurance, where endurance was measured as time to exhaustion. The other half of the rats was just tested on blood values during a resting phase. The dose of 15mg/kg increased significantly endurance performance in rats. They also found out that Capsaicin intake had no influence on muscle glycogen in the resting rats but it influenced positively the glycogen content of the rats at exhaustion. The researchers concluded that the former tests which had failed to prove an improvement in endurance capacity with the supplementation of capsaicin wasn’t performed with a high enough dose.
I haven’t found a study on the effect of capsaicin and endurance performance on humans yet. But capsaicin has been proved to release pain and inflammation and has therefore become an increasing influence in treatment of several diseases like arthritis and is part of several ointments.
Wouldn’t it be great if capsaicin does not only relieve pain but through its antioxidant capacity improves endurance performance? I did the math of how much Capsaicin a human being would need to get the positive effect:
An average person of 80kg would need to take 1200mg (15mg*80)of Capsaicin daily in order to have a positive effect.
After doing a little research I found the content of Capsaicin in Chili which is about 2%. This would mean a human would need to take in 60g of Chili every day. This amount is not achievable. Supplementation would be needed. It would be interesting to see if Capsaicin really has the ability to improve endurance performance and in which dose a human would benefit of it. Further studies need to be conducted in order to reveal the truth about Capsaicin and the effect on endurance in humans. But next time, if a Mexican passes you in a 5k, you should think about the possible effect of Capsaicin.