If there’s one herbal supplement you’re familiar with, it’s probably ginseng, which has been used for centuries as a tonic, stimulant and aphrodisiac. Ginseng also boosts your cardiovascular, immune and nervous systems, and appears to build strength and endurance by enhancing the function of your adrenal glands during workouts. It helps the body adapt to stresses, both physical and emotional, and a plethora of research backs up its abilities. In fact, the World Health Organization states that clinical data support the use of ginseng for enhancing mental and physical capacities in cases of weakness, exhaustion, tiredness and loss of concentration.

In a study supporting the effectiveness of ginsenosides – the primary active ingredients found in ginseng – researchers from California State Polytechnic University (Pomona) suggest that ginseng can give you more energy, particularly during workouts. Researchers gave male and female subjects 675 mg of Chinese ginseng or a placebo before breakfast and dinner for 30 days. They then measured subjects’ time to exhaustion in a stationary cycle test in which the resistance was gradually increased until subjects couldn’t pedal anymore. After taking ginseng for 30 days, subjects could cycle for four minutes longer than those taking the placebo. This suggests that using ginseng can help you get more reps with a given weight before reaching failure. And that means more muscle growth over time.

Try taking 500-1,000 mg of Chinese ginseng before breakfast and dinner. Look for ginseng supplements that are standardized for at least 2% ginsenosides. There are about 10 different ginsenosides in ginseng, with each providing different benefits, such as preventing fatigue during workouts.