Experience from - Jay Hodde, Hollis, Karl King#1, Bob Givens, Karl King#2, George Beinhorn, Karl King#3, Robert Thomas, Unknown

Jay Hodde

Once again, I'll buck the common flow:

Has anyone tried Endurox? It's a supplement that is supposed to increase your body's ability to use fat for energy. My girlfriend bought some today and it, of course, boasts all sorts of reasons to take it but I thought I'd see if any ACTUAL PEOPLE out there have tried it. It also claims to reduce lactic acid build-up during exercise.

No, I haven't tried it. But the claim of "reducing lactic acid build-up during exercise" is likely overrated. For it to be useful in ultra distance events, you'd need to be running a 5-hour 50 miler or a 12 hour 100 miler. Not many people do that.

Why so fast? For blood lactate to buildup in the muscles during exercise, you must work at high levels of your VO2 max -- most books will put this value somewhere between 75-80% VO2. There are very few ultrarunners out there that run the distance this fast.

In our sport, even if you do surpass lactate threshold, it is OK to walk and recover. Numerous studies (sorry, I don't have them in front of me) have shown that lactate in the muscles is back to normal levels within 15 minutes of relative rest. So, the issue is mute.


Responding to Jay's post...

Sure ultrarunners don't have much need for the lactic acid part but shorter distance people do. However, what about the fat burning properties? I'm not so much interested in losing body fat as I am using fat more efficiently during long runs. the main ingredient is an herb called 'ciwijia.' anyone heard of it?

Karl King #1

Jay's comments on the body's ability to quickly process lactic acid fits with the materials I've read on that subject.

What is disturbing to me is that those who advertise Endurox apparently do not understand the relationship between fat burning and production of lactic acid. It is a thing of beauty how the human body both self regulates and cross regulates the burning of fat and carbohydrate. I'll skip the details, which can be found in good biochemistry texts, and get to the point: you cannot burn a lot of fat while producing lactic acid from carbohydrate metabolism at a high rate, nor can you produce large quantities of lactic acid in your leg muscles when you are running at a slow, aerobic pace.

The advertisers apparently have some idea that if you can burn more fat, you will not produce so much lactic acid. If they do not understand the basics of the biochemistry, perhaps all the rest of their advertising claims are suspect.

Now, the herbal product MAY be effective at enhancing fat burning, and just happens to be sold by people who do not understand the biochemistry or mis-represent its properties. It seems that at this time there are no competent studies on the product, so we will have to wait, or try it on faith.

Without more information, I appears to me that the product is a drug, and I choose not to use it even if it is effective. Does anybody have any data on the safety of the product? What if it enhances fat burning but results in impotence, memory loss, etc, etc?

If you want to enhance your fat burning ability, you can always do longer long runs.

At some point, one has to do the training to earn a satisfactory result. The logical extension of using drugs to enhance running is to grab a drunk from a bar stool, have him pop a bunch of drugs and then finish Leadville sub 30 hours. Not a very elegant picture for our sport.

Bob Givens

It's been a few days since this subject was on, but for what it's worth, I can add a pretty cheap 2 cents worth. I was using Endurox a year ago, and used it right up until Western States. I swore by it. I know I lost body fat. (but then, one can argue that I had plenty to lose, anyway) As far as the lactic acid issue, I would agree, it did not make any difference, but I think Endurox did boost my energy level. I quit using it at end of June, but started again, right after Christmas, and again, I can feel a higher energy level. I, again, am losing some body fat. So, I give it 2 thumbs up! And, another thing, Karl King, I know absolutely for sure, this is one (drug) that does NOT make you impotent. But then, on memory loss, well, I can't remember if it has an affect or not.

Karl King #2

A few weeks ago, Tam Thompson posted that she was told that Endurox is Siberian Ginseng. The label cites ciwujia as the Chinese herb.

Colgan, in his bood Optimum Sports Nutrition, page 306, mentions wujia as Siberian ginseng. Hauling out my Mandarin/Eng. Eng./Mandarin dictionary ( from when I studied the language ), I found that the ci prefix refers to "thorn". The Siberian ginseng plant ( Araliaceae family ) is a thorny plant, so "ciwujia" fits the description for Siberian ginseng.

Has anyone read the references on Endurox studies to see if the plant is given any identification beyond "ciwujia"?

George Beinhorn

Karl wrote:

"A few weeks ago, Tam Thompson posted that she was told that Endurox is Siberian Ginseng. The label cites ciwujia as the Chinese herb."
The ads for Endurox say that ciwuja is an Indian herb. No indication that it's the same as or related to any kind of ginseng.

Karl King #3

The website for Endurox states that ciwujia is an herb grown in the northeast of China.

The associated patent ( 5,585,101 ) identifies ciwujia as " acanthopanax senticosus", or " eleuthrococcus senticosus " which are both the botanical names for Siberian Ginseng.

So, the report that Endurox is Siberian Ginseng appears to be correct.

Robert Thomas

Anytime you want to get a general idea about the effects of a mono ingredient one good and easy way is to run a Public Medline check on it through the Internet. Go to PubMed Advanced MEDLINE Search When you get there just type in the name of the substance.

In Endurox's case it is an extract of the herb Ciwujia, used in traditional Chinese Medicine. There are of course many other references you can look at other than Pub Medline, but you will get a good idea of the scope and scale of real research and a feeling about the importance of the substance. You need to take into consideration how new something is in the market and what the effects are that are being looked for. Some good things can be overlooked by researchers and new things have not had time to be researched fully. This does not make something bad only harder to know the full effects.

Endurox has a web page located at Endurox On their web page they have a lot of information about the good of Endurox and give some charts and conclusions of some research done on Endurox. This is all well and good, but you need to read the full research paper to be able to really know what was done and if the conclusions are accurate. The main research that is referred to in the Endurox web page, is research that the makers of Endurox paid for. This does not make the research bad but I think necessitates a closer look at the research and especially the body of research that has been done. You need also I think to look at the full body of research work to find that any given paper is not an aberration and what the general trend of the research work shows.

To see the difference between Ciwujia (2 papers) and a herb substance that has a large body of compelling research as to the good of using it, I suggest you run a Pub Medline check on Curcumin (290 papers).

When deciding on purchasing sports food, looking at what the good of that sports food is and comparing it to something else is the only way to get the maximum value for the money we spend.

I personally have not used Endurox and have no real opinion about it, other than to say there is not a lot of research about Ciwujia that is easily found.


Ian Stevens wrote:

"Does anyone on the list use Endurox and if so what are your results, side effects (affects?) and comments ?"
Per Karl King's sleuthing (and my own verification via patent search), Endurox is simply ginseng. Heavily advertised, fairly expensive ginseng, but ginseng nonetheless.

There are oodles of data available on the pros and cons of ginseng. My own (subjective) distillation of the research I've seen is that it works as an ergogenic aid for some, and doesn't for others. While it is a mild stimulant, most folks don't seem to have sleeping problems or other typical stimulant side effects. Finally, most folks find that it takes a few weeks of supplementation with ginseng before they "feel" any effects. It is an ingredient is such popular sports goodies as Gu and Metabol Endurance.

Some recent research (heavily advertised by Endurox) has shown increased fat utilization in endurance athletes who supplement with ginseng under certain conditions. I've not reviewed those data firsthand, so I can't comment on the quality of the study.

Ginseng has been used in the far east for many thousands of years as an overall health and vitality booster, and is not (so far as I know) on any banned substances lists in any sports. There are many, many different types and concentrations of standardized ginseng extract available on the market. A quick trip to the health food store will yeild a myriad of choices, all priced more reasonably than Endurox.