As a prelude to the findings of a nationwide test, we take a look at ES, a potential remedy to overtraining and fatigue.

By Dr Julian Jenkinson
(Health Matters Nov 1996)

What have I and the champion race horse Rough Quest, winner of this year’s Grand National, in Common?... Well, there is that, but I was thinking more on the lines of athletic prowess. The answer: he certainly knows a few things about running (galloping actually - Ed) though he’s none too clever on a bike.

What is his secret? ...Oats, grass, sleeping in a stable? I’ve tried them all...Eating gallons of porridge for breakfast, smoking funny weed, sleeping in the garden and even several attempts to master the art of galloping. But all to no avail. Maybe I should have done all my training with a small man wearing gaily coloured clothes perched on my shoulders...

The point is, Rough Quest has consumed Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES) by the bucket. ES also happens to be the latest ergogenic aid to have an impact on the triathlon world. Is Rough Quest given a fat cheque or extra oats to pout his illustrious name behind the product? Does he realise what he is eating? Did he expect any changes when he began eating it? No is the answer in all cases. There are no placebo effects when you are as smart as a horse and your brain is the size of an acorn. There is also no reason for his trainer to use this product, but for the fact it works.

Of course, we are not horses and most of us have brains rather larger than your average acorn. But I think that this evidence is far more impressive than some swanky athlete saying he is using a product for a fat cheque. Secondly, unlike sleeping in a stable and eating out of a bucket, ES has been extensively tested on humans. If it’s good enough for Rough Quest , then it’s good enough for me. Interesting indeed.

What is ES?

It is the extract of the widely known prickly Siberian Shrub Eleutherococcus Senticosus. It is available in pill form and is not on the IOC banned list of substances.

What Does It Do?

It doesn’t make you go faster, but it does allow you to make yourself faster. It has two important effects.

  • A more powerful immune system

  • ES stimulates the body to increase the number of various types of white blood cells. These cells are responsible for fighting off infection. The more of these cells you have, the less the chance of picking up colds, flu and viruses.

Aside from time, recovery from your last session is the major factor in the quality of your training. ES has been shown to improve the rate of recovery in athletes allowing them to train at a higher level and more often. It not only aids physical recovery, but it can also help one recover from mental activity, such as work, travel or lack of sleep.

Who Uses It? (apart from athletes)

Russian cosmonauts, ME sufferers, cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment to boost their immune system, and 12,000 workers from the Russian Volga car factory (provided by the management to reduce the number of working days lost through illness.

This article appeared in Triathlete Magazine’s Health Matters in November 1996.




The above should not be considered as medical advice or claims.


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