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Spearmint Extract May Improve Reactive Agility

Reactive agility is the ability to rapidly change direction in response to a stimulus. Two new studies have found that supplementation with spearmint extract may help improve reactive agility, energy, and focus.


Participants in the first study included 10 military personnel who were members of an elite counterterrorism unit. Half of them took 900 mg of spearmint extract containing rosmarinic acid and half took a placebo for 17 days. Physical, cognitive, and executive functioning were tested at baseline and one hour after completing a military operation.


At the conclusion of the study, the supplementation group reported higher feelings of energy, focus, and alertness compared to the placebo group. In addition, all the participants in the supplementation group identified the correct target, compared to 60% in the placebo group.


For the second study, 142 young, healthy, recreationally active adults received 900 mg of spearmint extract with rosmarinic acid or a placebo for 90 days. Reactive agility was determined by measuring the number of hits and average reaction time on a Makoto Arena II, a 360° audio-visual device that measures stationary, lateral, and multi-directional active choice reaction performance. Measurements were taken at days 0, 7, 30, and 90.


The participants in the supplement group showed improvements in a stationary test of choice reaction by day 7. Improvements in hit rate in both stationary and multi-directional choice reaction were seen by day 30. The improvements were still present by day 90.


The first study was conducted by researchers from the Institute of Exercise Physiology and Wellness. It was published December, 2018 in The Journal of Special Operations Medicine.


The second study was conducted by researchers from the MusclePharm Sports Science Institute. It was published December 12, 2018 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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