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Ginseng. Not all supplements work for bodybuilding. But that does not stop bodybuilders. Ginseng, an herb, has often been used in hopes of improving athletic performance. But evidence in its favor is lacking.
Muscle. Does ginseng improve muscle recovery from exercise (lifting weights)? One study indicates it does not. It showed no benefits in a group of well-trained (athletic) men. In simple terms, it was a waste of money.

Considering all data from this study, P notoginseng did not convincingly have an effect on performance, muscular pain or assessed blood markers in well-trained males after an intense bout of eccentric exercise that induced DOMS.

Effects of Panax notoginseng on muscles
Also, the study found no benefits for athletic performance, pain, or exercise-related blood tests. This study, done at the University of Canbarra in Australia, indicates that ginseng is not helpful for athletes like bodybuilders.
Rats. What about rats? Does ginseng help improve the athletic performance of rats? This is helpful if you are breeding athletic rats for a competition. Also, rats sometimes help us learn about humans.

Note: This study found some benefit in using ginseng on old rats. The rats ran for 35 minutes two days a week.

However: The rats cannot tell us whether the ginseng improved how they felt. We assume they felt better.

In conclusion, IH901 consumption in aging rats after eccentric exercise has beneficial effects on potent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities....

Administration of IH901, a ginsenoside intestinal metabolite
Fads. Ginseng is sometimes cited as a fad supplement: one based on little evidence, but that becomes popular. As the author writes, this "defies rational explanation." Athletes are not taking ginseng because it is proven.

Instead: Athletes use ginseng because they hope it might help. They don't know that it does not help.

How different fads get started in different parts of the country defies rational explanation. This holds true in the world of athletic competition. In one locale athletes may be taking ginseng to promote strength, while in another they may be taking antioxidants to recover quickly after exertion.

The latest fads to increase muscle mass and energy
Story. Over the years I have tried many supplements. I used to drink ginseng tea. I did not use it to improve my athletic performance, but thought it might be useful for my mental health and depression.

However: I disliked the taste of the ginseng tea. And it seemed to have no measurable effect on me.


I stopped drinking the ginseng tea. My lifts did not increase. My muscles became no bigger. And the box of ginseng tea remained in the back corner of the kitchen cabinet for years.

So: I do not recommend ginseng tea for athletic or mood purposes. And I also do not think it tastes good.

Tea, Bodybuilding
Coffee. Ginseng coffee is also available. This is regular coffee (made with coffee beans) that has ginseng added to it. I don't dislike this coffee. But I could not detect any utility as a supplement in it.

However: As with tea, coffee has many health benefits for bodybuilders and weight lifters.

Coffee, Testosterone
Summary. Ginseng has health benefits. But for bodybuilding and athletics in general, it has few proven ones. For other purposes, such as the prevention of diabetes, it may be useful. For muscle building, I would avoid it.