Panax (Korean ginseng) may help reduce exercise induced muscle damage (Jung et al 2011). Supplementing Korean ginseng helped to lower creatine kinase activity – a measure of muscle protein breakdown, and it also lowered levels of an inflammatory marker called interlukin-6. Interestingly it helped to improve insulin sensitivity as well, perhaps making it of some use for improving blood sugar control.
Research on American ginseng (Hsu et al 2005) suggests that it to may protect muscle tissue from exercise-induced damage. Supplementing with this resulted in lower creatine kinase levels.
Ginsengs of all kinds have long been used for endurance enhancement and stress protection, which may offer further benefit to those engaging in frequent sports or general exercise programs.
Hsu CC, Ho MC, Lin LC, Su B, Hsu MC (2005) American ginseng supplementation attenuates creatine kinase level induced by submaximal exercise in human beings. World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Sep 14;11(34):5327-31.
Jung HL, Kwak HE, Kim SS, Kim YC, Lee CD, Byurn HK, Kang HY (2011). Effects of Panax ginseng Supplementation on Muscle Damage and Inflammation after Uphill Treadmill Running in Humans. Am J Chin Med. 2011;39(3):441-50.