Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Equine Veterinary Science


Animal & Equine Science


Hutson School of Agriculture


Exercising horses are commonly plagued by muscle fatigue and soreness, which can result in reduced performance ability. In the present study, ten unconditioned horses were fed 200g per day DigestaWell NRG, a commercial dietary supplement containing Yucca schidigera and Trigonella foenum-graecum, two herbs shown in other species to reduce post-exercise muscle pain and soreness. A control, unsupplemented group contained ten horses of similar age, breed, and gender. Horses completed a 50 minutes, ridden standardized exercise test of moderate intensity immediately prior to (Period1) and after 28 days of supplementation (Period2). Muscle soreness and tightness were evaluated 24 hours prior to and after each exercise test and used to determine the percent increase in post-exercise muscle soreness and tightness. Blood samples were collected before, and at 10 and 30 minutes, and 1, 4, and 24 hours post exercise. Plasma was analyzed for glucose, lactate, non-esterified fatty acid, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-1β concentrations. Data were analyzed by repeated measures ANOVA using SAS Enterprise Guide v. 7.1. No changes in plasma parameters were indicated between periods for unsupplemented horses (P > 0.1) during Period2, excepting glucose, which was greater during Period2 (P = 0.018). Supplemented horses had lesser concentrations of tumor necrosis factor-α (P = 0.016) and lactate (P = 0.058) during Period2 than during Period1. During Period2, supplemented horses experienced a smaller percent increase in post exercise muscle soreness (P = 0.031). DigestaWell NRG supplementation may benefit unconditioned horses undergoing moderate intensity exercise through reducing lactate production and inflammation.


This is an Accepted Manuscript of a peer-reviewed article published by Elsevier in Journal of Equine Veterinary Science available at



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