A fast-paced lifestyle, pressure from the environment and a heavy work load often cause extreme tiredness in modern life. Different kinds of nutritional supplements in the form of functional foods or traditional Chinese medicine, such as ‘essence of chicken’ and Ganoderma lucidum have been claimed to benefit physical performance and promote health. Previous studies have revealed that ‘essence of chicken’ or G. lucidum have a wide spectrum of biological activities. In this study, we combined these two ingredients together (designated as CEG) to evaluate their synergistic effects on physiological adaption on exercise fatigue and physical activities. The ICR strain mice were allocated as 0, 833, 1666, and 4165 mg/kg dose groups and administrated by oral gavage consecutively for 4 weeks. Physical activities including grip strength and aerobic endurance were evaluated. Various fatigue-associated biochemical variables such as lactate, BUN or CK were also evaluated. The levels of liver and muscle glycogen were measured as an indicator of energy storage at the end of the experiment. Safety assessments for supplementation were also evaluated. CEG supplementation significantly increased the endurance and grip strength and demonstrated beneficial effects on lactate production and clearance rate after an acute exercise challenge. The CEG supplementation significantly mitigated the BUN and CK indexes after extended exercise and elevated the glycogen content in the liver and muscle tissues. According to body composition, biochemical and histopathological data, daily administration of CEG for over 28 days (subacute toxicity) also demonstrated reasonable safety results for supplementation. Combined G. lucidum and ‘essence of chicken’ can significantly increase the exercise performance and improve fatigue recovery. It may also provide a viable alternative nutritional supplement for health promotion.
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