Natural plant extract PLX offers athletes significant performance benefits by tackling both the mental and physical factors that prevent recovery after exercise, results from a new peer-reviewed and published clinical trial show.
Commissioned by Monteloeder and conducted by researchers at the University Miguel Hernandez of Elche in Spain, the double-blind study evaluated the ability of PLX to address sleep difficulties, muscle pain, anxiety and fatigue — all of which are symptoms commonly associated with poor recovery in sportsmen and women. A total of 26 volunteers took part in the 21-day trial, with 14 of them consuming 1.2 g per day of PLX and the remaining 12 given a placebo. All participants followed the same regular aerobic routine and diet.
Researchers based at the University’s Centre for Sports Research quizzed the volunteers daily about their feelings of recovery following a night of sleep, and asked them to take a ‘Profile of Mood States’ test weekly. The results demonstrated that, compared with the placebo group, the study participants using PLX experienced reduced levels of perceived fatigue and anxiety, slept for longer each night and reported less muscle pain. Overall, the PLX group reported a 44% improvement in quality of sleep during the course of the study.
Blood tests were also performed at the beginning and at the end of the study, to measure the presence of the key markers for oxidative stress (protein carbonyls and malondialdehyde) and inflammation (myeloperoxide) that can inhibit recovery. The results showed that the PLX group presented significantly reduced levels of these markers in their blood.
The full results have now been published in Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research, a peer-reviewed journal (E. Roche, et al., “Biochemical and Psychological Changes in University Students Performing Aerobic Exercise and Consuming Lemon Verbena Extracts,” Current Topics in Nutraceutical Research 13
Developed by Monteloeder, PLX is a proprietary extract from the leaves of the lemon verbena plant (Aloysia triphylla or Lippia citrodora). It contains a special combination of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory components that produce a powerful synergistic effect, including verbascocide, phenylpropanoids and flavonoids such as luteolin.
Fernando Cartagena, Global Head of Marketing at Monteloeder, said: “The results of this study show that our unique lemon verbena extract improves both the psychological and physiological symptoms that slow down recovery after exercise. This is a compelling proposition for any athlete. In general, most sports supplements offering recovery benefits focus only on physical factors. However, as any sports psychologist will tell you, there is more to it than just muscular pain. By improving sleep patterns and reducing anxiety and fatigue, PLX also enhances the mental recovery that is essential for sporting success.”
PLX is suitable for inclusion in dietary supplements and in convenient functional beverages and shots. It has already been incorporated successfully into products as far afield as Spain, Finland, Canada, Germany, Romania, the USA and Taiwan. In addition to the latest study, Monteloeder has subjected PLX to a rigorous 10-year programme of research and development.
Monteloeder’s expertise means it is the ideal partner for companies seeking to tap into demand for supplements and functional beverages that cater for the sports nutrition category. With sales of products targeting athletes growing fast, Monteloeder is keen to explore co-branding opportunities for PLX to create natural sports supplements that offer distinct benefits and a clear point of difference.