Seth Ford, Cameron Vidal, Rebecca R. Rogers, Christopher G. Ballmann, FACSM, Tyler D. Williams. Samford University, Birmingham, AL.

BACKGROUND: Rauwolscine is a supplement that is a sympathetic nervous system stimulant and is claimed to enhance exercise performance. While it is currently being marketed as an effective pre-exercise supplement, there have been no scientific investigations on the efficacy of rauwolscine on exercise performance. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of acute rauwolscine supplementation on measures of strength, power, and agility. METHODS: Fourteen resistance-trained males were recruited to participate in this study. In a double-blinded, counterbalanced, crossover design, subjects supplemented with 2 mg of rauwolscine or a placebo 20 minutes prior to exercise testing. During each trial subjects performed 2 maximal effort countermovement vertical jumps on a force platform with 1 minute of rest between each jump. Next, subjects completed a reaction-based agility test using the FitLight timing system. Last, subjects completed an isometric mid-thigh pull assessment to measure peak force production. Subjects returned for the second visit following a minimum of 24 hours and completed the same testing battery under the opposite supplement condition. Vertical jump height, peak power, reaction time, and peak force production were recorded and analyzed using a paired samples t-test to determine differences between conditions. RESULTS: Gross reaction time was significantly faster in the rauwolscine trial (p = 0.015). There was no significant difference in vertical jump height, peak power, and peak force between conditions (p > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: While companies are promoting the use of rauwolscine to improve muscular performance, the results of our study suggest that rauwolscine has no effect on measures of strength and power. However, rauwolscine appears to have ergogenic effects on reaction time.

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