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Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise refers to cardiovascular exercise that does not fall under the anaerobic exercise category, and can be conducted for a prolonged period of time. Supplements that improve endurance significantly can benefit aerobic performance.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect aerobic exercise
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Branched Chain Amino Acids Minor Moderate See all 4 studies
An increase in time to exhaustion appears to exist in prolonged endurance exercise, but this benefit may only exist in untrained or lightly trained individuals. Several studies have noted that the anti-fatigue effects and increased time to exhaustion do not really occur in advanced athletes
grade-b Caffeine Minor Very High See all 3 studies
An increase in aerobic exercise capacity is noted with caffeine, possibly secondary to increased free fatty acids and adrenaline
grade-b Sodium Bicarbonate Minor High See all 3 studies
For cardiovascular exercise that is prolonged in nature (45m or greater) and not exceeding the lactate threshold, there appears to be a small beneficial effect of sodium bicarbonate supplementation on improving time to fatigue or time to complete a test
grade-b Colostrum  
grade-b Creatine  
grade-b L-Carnitine  
grade-c Magnesium  
grade-c Marijuana  
grade-c Nitrate  
grade-c Astaxanthin  
grade-c Citrulline  
grade-c Cocoa Extract  
grade-c Cordyceps  
grade-c Kaempferia parviflora  
grade-c Pelargonium sidoides  
grade-c Pyruvate  
grade-c Velvet Antler  
grade-c Vitamin C  
grade-c Vitamin E  
grade-d Ashwagandha  
grade-d Blueberry  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.