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The Promising Strength Supplement: Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a component that can be found in chill peppers and it is responsible for the sensation of burning when we consume peppers. Recently there was a study examining the effects it has on strength and endurance in athletes and results look promising.

Study design

The study was completed by 11 males that were actively training for at least 1 year 3-5 times per week. They were all between 20 and 30 years old. It was a cross-over design, meaning each participant was tested with the supplement and 7 days later with a placebo.

Participants took 12 mg of capsiate or placebo, and the testing protocol consisted of 5 km running test followed by 4 sets of squats to failure at 70% 1RM (12-15 repetitions per set). The rest time between squat sets was 2 minutes.

The 5 km run was a HIIT test designed as a series of one minute run at a 100% of maximal aerobic power, followed by 1 minute rest.


The capsaicin group had a significantly lower rate of perceived exertion (RPE) 6.1 (out of 10), compared to the placebo group which had 8.1. Mean heart rate was also significantly lower in capsaicin group (151) compared to the placebo group which had 158. When it comes to the total number of repetitions for squats, the capsaicin group had a higher number of total repetitions of 35 compared to the placebo group which had 30 repetitions.

While these results are quite clear in favour of capsaicin supplementation, it is important to mention that there were some other studies from before that failed to find any be