Capsaicin: A Spicy Supplement For Speed?

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses if the supplement capsaicin can improve your running performance and make hard exercise feel easier.

How to supplement capsaicin

For the longest time, the supplement capsaicin had been used by the gym crowd as a thermogenic fat burner but a new study suggests it may improve running performance.

  • A group of scientists led by De Freitas set out to test this hypothesis by examining the acute effects of capsaicin of performance, rating of perceived exertion, and blood lactate concentrations in a group of subjects who performed a 1500 meter time trial.
  • The researchers took 10 physically active men and performed 2 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trials.

How much capsaicin supplement should I take?

  • During the trials, one group received 12mg of capsaicin while the other group received a placebo.
  • 45 minutes after consumption the subjects did a 1500 meter time trial.
  • After all the data was collected and analyzed the researchers discovered that the subjects who received capsaicin ran 5 seconds faster than the placebo group AND their RPE (rating of perceived exertion) was lower (meaning the 1500 meter time trial felt easier to them compared to placebo).
  • Take-home point? It appears the supplement capsaicin may help you run faster, easier BUT the body of research is very small at this point to give it a double thumbs up


  • de Freitas, et al. "Acute Capsaicin Supplementation Improves 1500 M Running Time-Trial Performance And Rate Of Perceived Exertion In Physically Active Adults." Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: November 06, 2017. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002329

About The Author Matt Mosman - Spearfish, South Dakota

Matt Mosman South Dakota

Matt Mosman (MS, CISSN, CSCS) is a research scientist, endurance athlete, and the founder and Chief Endurance Officer at EndurElite. Matt holds his B.S. in Exercise Science from Creighton University and his M.S. in Exercise Physiology from the University of California. Matt and his family reside in Spearfish South Dakota where they enjoy running, mountain biking, camping, and all the outdoor adventures Spearfish has to offer.