EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses the latest research on spearmint supplementation and if it can benefit runner, cyclists, OCR, and other endurance athletes.
Spearmint Supplement Fast Facts
- It appears spearmint extract may be able to improve reaction time in young, healthy adults.
- This may have some practical implications for sports that require quick thinking. I.E mountain biking and OCR.
- Here are the deets. Researchers took 142 subjects and split them into two groups.
- One group received 900mg of spearmint extract daily for 90 days with other group received placebo.
- On day 7, 30, and 90 reaction time was tested using a Makota device.
- After crunching all the numbers researchers found the spearmint group was able to improve average reaction time relative to the placebo group.
- Take home point? Spearmint will not only give you minty fresh breath but might also give you king fu master like reaction time
Full Video Transcription:
Good morning, Family of FAST. Matt Mosman, the Chief Endurance Officer over at EndurElite. Do you remember this song back in the day? Double your pleasure, double your fun, with Wrigley spearmint gum. You're welcome for that earworm, it's gonna be stuck in your noggin all day long. So, what does Wrigley spearmint gum or more specifically spearmint have to do with today's video? Well, I'm glad you asked. Besides giving you minty fresh breath, spearmint may actually be able to improve reaction time as well.
Reactive Agility May Be Improved With Spearmint Extract
So, a study came across my desk the other day by a close colleague of mine, Paul Falcone, you dirty, a dirty dog, that examined the effects of spearmint extract on reaction time in young healthy adults. So, here's what happened during the study. Mr. Falcone took 142 subjects and split them up into two groups.
900mg Of Spearmint Seems To Be The Efficacious Dose
One group received 900 milligrams of spearmint extract for 90 days, took it daily, while the other group took placebo. Now, on day 7, day 30, and day 90, Mr. Falcone tested the reaction time of all subjects in something called a Makoto device. Now, a Makoto device is a big triangle that the subject will stand in the middle of. There's a tower in front of them, and then two towers on the sides to them or in the back a little bit. Each tower has a little disc that lights up and also provides an audio queue. And the whole purpose depends on the test you're running with a Makoto device is to test reaction time by how fast you could hit this littles disc that lights up and make a sound with either your hands or your feet.
What Were The Results Of The Spearmint Study
So, again on day 7, day 30, and day 90, Mr. Falcone ran various reaction time tests, anywhere from 10 to 60 seconds with all the subjects. So, when they got all done, and they crunched all the numbers, what they found is the spearmint group was actually able to improve their reaction time or how fast they hit these little discs that lit up and made sounds compared to the placebo group. And also, they got more average hits in the allotted time period than the placebo group.
Spearmint Is Thought To Reduce C Reative Protein In The Brain (C-RP)
So, from this information, we can kinda assume that the spearmint actually was able to improve reaction time. Now, why did the researchers think was the case? Well, here's what it is. They thought or hypothesized, there's a big word for you, that the spearmint extract was able to reduce the levels of CRP in the brain, or C-reactive protein. Now, this is a bio-marker that indicates inflammation in the brain. And an inflamed brain doesn't work that good. So, they thought the spearmint extract reduced levels of the CRP and that's why they were able to react quicker and get a total number of hits or higher hits than the placebo group.
How Does Taking Spearmint Translate To Endurance Sports
So, this is all pretty interesting, right? But what is having reaction time tested in the Makoto device have anything to do with improving, you know, endurance performance? Well, the way I think about it is this, spearmint if it improves reaction time, can be extremely beneficial for athletes like mountain bikers, who need to react quickly to dodge rocks and other obstacles or going down technical sections without eating shit. Also, for an OCR racer, reaction time getting to that next ring or climbing or being able to hustle through those obstacles while remaining focused and being able to act quickly and make decisions quickly. So, those are two areas where I could see where the spearmint extract could improve endurance performance.
So, that is all I have for today, my endurance friends. If you have a buddy that wants minty fresh breath and wants to move quicker, please share this video with them. If you want other videos like this on endurance training, nutrition, supplementation, other random musings, busting the bullshit, subscribe to the EndurElite YouTube channel, or head on over to the EndurElite blog at www.endurelite.com. Get social with us on Instagram and the Family of FAST Facebook group, and until next time my endurance friends, stay fueled, stay focused, stay fast and stay informed.