Caffeine alternative: Alpinia galanga extract increases alertness, decreases fatigue

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Amawasri / Getty Images
© Amawasri / Getty Images

Related tags caffeine alternative Omniactive health technologies focus alertness fatigue

Natural ingredient supplier OmniActive has released the results of a new clinical trial that substantiates the effects of its enXtra ingredient as a caffeine-alternative in the growing energy supplement market.

"We are pleased that this study validates our previous clinical findings of enXtra,” said Deshanie Rai, PhD, FACN, vice president of global scientific and regulatory affairs at OmniActive. “The data supports its relevance as an effective and safe alternative to caffeine for companies looking to provide natural nootropics to support mental alertness, focus, and attention without impacting energy level." 

Published in Advances in Complementary & Alternative Medicine​, the OmniActive-funded study was led by the BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences in India and builds on previous efficacy and safety studies​. 

‘Game-changer’ for natural energy solutions

EnXtra is formulated with a proprietary extract of the Alpinia galanga ​rhyzome, also known as Thai ginger. Native to Southeast Asia, it has long been used in Ayuverdic medicine as a stimulant and to treat asthma, sore throat, dyspepsia, and inflammation, among other ailments.

The ingredient, developed by ENovate Biolife, is marketed in North America by OmniActive as a nootropic for energy drinks, shots, bars, gummies, and stick packs to boost mental energy and productivity without the crash or sleep disruptions associated with caffeine. 

"Health-conscious consumers are looking for ways to manage their mental energy for optimal performance through caffeine-free products with little to no side effects," said Adam Adelmann, CEO at OmniActive. “As the energy ingredients market grows, enXtra can be a game-changer for those looking to bring more natural energy solutions to market."  

Preliminary data indicate that Alpinia galanga​ acts to enhance neurotransmitter activity, e.g., dopamine levels in synaptic space and helps to improve visuospatial performance and mental alertness.  

Study details

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study involved 62 healthy adults (men and women between the ages of 18 and 55) who consumed either a 300 mg/d single serving of enXtra Alpinia galanga​ (AGE) after lunch for seven days or a microcrystalline cellulose placebo. 

The CNS Vital Signs battery of computerized tests were used to measure nootropic benefits at baseline, 0.5, 1-, 2- and 5 hours post-dose, and the Visual Analogue Scale and daytime sleepiness by Epworth Sleepiness Scales measured fatigue and energy levels.  

“Our results indicate that AGE supplementation significantly improved aspects of mental energy including mental alertness, reaction time, correct responses, reduction in errors and attention, as early as 0.5 hours and sustained until five hours post dose,” the researchers concluded. “Further, AGE demonstrated significant increase in subjective feelings of energy and decreased fatigue levels.” 

Some of the highlighted findings: the number of correct responses in the enXtra group at 30 minutes were approximately three times greater; fatigue scores, measured at 5 to 6 hours post-supplementation, were reduced versus baseline and placebo; alertness was close to four times greater at two hours versus placebo; and simple reaction time lasted up to 5 hours post-dosing.  

“We were compelled by the consistent findings of enXtra on mental alertness, which paralleled the earlier clinical data, even when enXtra was taken post-lunch to help mitigate the ‘post-lunch slump’ phenomenon,” Dr. Rai told NutraIngredients-USA. “As an extension to these data, what was also interesting but relevant about the study findings was that enXtra was able to reduce feelings of fatigue and increase energy and vigor.”

Source: Advances in Complementary & Alternative Medicine
Acute Effects of Alpinia galanga Extract on Mental Alertness, Accuracy and Fatigue in Human Subjects: A Randomized, Double- Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Study
doi: doi.org/10.31031/ACAM.2023.07.000669
Authors: Mohan Muttanahally Eraiah at al.

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