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Trying to pick between 2 supplements?
There’s a lot to consider, including benefits, side effects, cost, and more.
So I’ve gone and summarized all of that info so you don’t have to!
No need to thank me.
Our Supplement Comparison Series continues with Rhodiola vs Caffeine.
Let’s get started.
What is Rhodiola?
Rhodiola (Rhodiola Rosea) is a popular herb that’s been used for its health-promoting properties for many years.
In fact, it’s believed that the Vikings used Rhodiola to enhance mental and physical performance.
Rhodiola is grown in many countries, including France, Iceland, and Sweden, and is still consumed by many today for its health benefits.
What is Caffeine?
Caffeine (trimethylxanthine) is one of the most popular drugs in the world.
It’s a stimulant that’s naturally found in leaves, beans, and fruits of over 60 plants worldwide.
Coffee is the most common source of Caffeine, and interestingly, Caffeine’s name is derived from the word kaffee, meaning coffee in German.
Benefits of Rhodiola
Rhodiola may help improve exercise performance
Research suggests that Rhodiola may help boost exercise performance.
In one study, the subjects took either 200mg of Rhodiola or a placebo 2 hours before a cycle test.
On average, the Rhodiola takers could cycle for 24 seconds longer than the placebo takers.
In another study, the subjects took either Rhodiola or a placebo before a 6-mile time trial cycle race.
The results showed that the Rhodiola takers finished significantly faster than the placebo takers.
Rhodiola may help relieve stress
Thanks to its adaptogenic properties, Rhodiola helps your body cope with stress.
In one study, people with stress took 400mg of Rhodiola each day for 4 weeks.
After taking Rhodiola for just 3 days, they reported improved stress-related symptoms like anxiety, fatigue, and exhaustion.
Another study looked at the effects of Rhodiola on stress-related burnout.
Interestingly, those who took Rhodiola reported improved stress and depression.
Rhodiola may help improve cognitive function
Many people use Rhodiola as a nootropic.
In one study, 56 night-shift workers took either 170mg of Rhodiola or a placebo each day for 2 weeks.
The results showed that the Rhodiola takers had less mental fatigue and improved performance than the placebo takers.
Another study of students looked at Rhodiola’s effects on mental performance.
After taking Rhodiola for 20 days, the students reported better sleep, more motivation, and less mental fatigue.
Rhodiola may help reduce fatigue
As it works as an adaptogen, Rhodiola may be effective at combating fatigue.
In one study, 100 people with fatigue took either 400mg of Rhodiola or a placebo each day for 8 weeks.
The results showed that the Rhodiola takers experienced significant improvements in mood, fatigue, concentration, and quality of life.
In another study, 60 people with fatigue took either 576mg of Rhodiola or a placebo each day for 4 weeks.
By the end of the study, the Rhodiola takers had significant improvements in fatigue levels compared with the placebo takers.
Benefits of Caffeine
Caffeine may help improve exercise performance
Like Rhodiola, Caffeine may help improve exercise performance.
One study found that taking 5mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight an hour before exercise boosted endurance by 5%.
Another study found that Caffeine reduced perceived effort by 5.6%, which might make your workouts feel easier.
Caffeine may help your body burn more fat
Many cutting supplements and fat burners include Caffeine as a main ingredient.
And for a good reason too.
One study found that taking 300mg of Caffeine per day can boost energy expenditure by 79 calories each day.
Another study of 8 young men found that taking 10mg of Caffeine per kg of body weight increased fat burning by 13%.
Caffeine may boost mood and mental function
Like Rhodiola, Caffeine may help improve mental function.
A study found that Caffeine improved attention, awareness, and reaction time when compared to a placebo.
Also, a review of 12 studies found that Caffeine users have a 16% lower risk of depression.
Caffeine may help reduce the risk of Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes is a horrible disease that’s characterized by high-blood sugar levels.
It can cause some unwelcome symptoms, such as:
- Sight loss
- Excessive thirst
- Numb hands and feet
According to research, Caffeine may help protect against Type 2 Diabetes.
A review of 6 studies found that those who consume the most Caffeine have up to a 30% lower risk of developing Diabetes.
Rhodiola is normally sold in capsules.
For an average supplement, you can expect to pay around $18 for 60 capsules.
Caffeine is usually sold in capsules or tablets.
Typical prices for these are:
- Tablets: $7 for 100
- Capsules: $7 for 100
Rhodiola Side Effects
Rhodiola is generally safe to supplement with but some people may experience the following side effects:
The following people SHOULD NOT take Rhodiola:
- Nursing women
- Pregnant women
- People taking MAOIs
Caffeine Side Effects
Like Rhodiola, Caffeine is considered safe for most healthy adults.
But when taken in large amount, you may experience the following side effects:
- Rapid heartbeat
My Rhodiola Recommendation: Gaia Herbs Rhodiola
High quality? Check.
Highly rated? Check.
Highly absorbable? Check.
Gaia Herbs Rhodiola ticks all the boxes of a top class supplement.
What I like about it
What makes this supplement stand out is the fact Gaia Herbs use liquid phyto-caps.
This means they convert the Rhodiola into a liquid extract before putting it in capsules, making it more absorbable for the body.
Also, I’m a big supporter of Gaia Herbs as a supplement brand.
They’re one of the few supplement brands that provide full traceability of all their products.
So when you buy one of their supplements, you can find out exactly how it was grown, where it originated, and how pure it is.
Pretty cool, huh?
They also inspect each of their supplements for microbes, pesticides, and heavy metals which ensures that you get a clean supplement.
As you might expect, a supplement of this quality doesn’t come cheap.
So, if you’re on a super tight budget, then you may want to look elsewhere.
My Caffeine Recommendation: NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine
Pure, potent, and high-quality.
NutraBio 100% Pure Caffeine is the real deal.
What I like about it
It’s good to know that Caffeine used in these capsules has been HPLC lab tested by a 3rd party.
This just means it’s tested to the highest of industry standards, so you know you’re getting some of the best Caffeine on the market.
Also, I love that the Caffeine is pure even though it’s in capsules.
So you’re not wasting your valuable $$$ on binders, fillers, or any of that other garbage.
A few people have reported an upset stomach after taking this supplement.
Rhodiola vs Caffeine: The Verdict
I hope this Rhodiola vs Caffeine breakdown has been an enjoyable read, and that you’ve learned a ton.
My goal for this comparison guide was to help you choose which one suits you best.
So hopefully, you have a pretty good idea of which one you’re going to side with.
Then here’s a high-level summary to help you pick:
You might prefer Rhodiola if:
- You’re often stressed
- You suffer from fatigue
You might prefer Caffeine if:
- You want to burn more fat
- You want the cheaper option
- You want to lower your risk of Type 2 Diabetes
Hope this helped!