Can licorice inhibit fatigue?
The compound glabridin is found in Licorice and its effects on fatigue were investigated in an animal model (Shang et al). Treatment groups were given various doses of glabridin (5, 10, 20 mg/kg) for 28 consecutive days. Body mass, blood lactic acid (BLA), serum blood urea nitrogen (BUN), liver glycogen and muscle glycogen concentrations were determined and compared with control experiments.
Results showed that glabridin reduces time to fatigue, which was displayed as an increase in the time to exhaustion. Licorice also seemed to be delaying the elevation of blood lactic acid and increase in the storage of liver and muscle glycogen.
In endurance athletes (cyclists and long distance runners) this type of functional effect could be useful in enabling them to train better and possibly to recover better for events etc.