Quick Navigation

Rate of Perceived Exertion

The rate of percieved exertion (RPE) is a subjective measurement of how difficult it is to conduct an exercise, usually used during cardiovascular exercise. Reducing the RPE may help with performance by allowing one to push harder (due to less difficulty and pain).

Research analysis lead by Kamal Patel
All content reviewed by Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Things To Know & Note

Also Known As


Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect rate of perceived exertion
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The mo re evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-b Caffeine Minor High See all 5 studies
Although the effects are somewhat unreliable, there appears to be a reduction in the rate of perceived exertion associated with caffeine ingestion
grade-b Sodium Bicarbonate - Very High See all 10 studies
Although there is some limited evidence that sodium bicarbonate can increase 'percieved readiness' for a task and ample evidence that it can reduce the rate of neuromuscular decline (seen with fatigue), the actual rate of percieved exertion (how hard an exercise feels) is wholly unaffected.
grade-b Trimethylglycine - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant influence of betaine (acute or two weeks of supplementation) on the rate of perceived exertion.
grade-c Branched Chain Amino Acids Minor - See study
There is some evidence to support a reduction in the rate of perceived exertion during exercise under the influence of BCAA supplementation, but this appears to unreliably improve performance and is of low magnitude
grade-c Coenzyme Q10  
grade-c L-Carnitine  
grade-c Nitrate  
grade-c Rhodiola Rosea  
grade-c Vitamin C  
grade-c Choline  
grade-c Colostrum  
grade-c Eleutherococcus senticosus  
grade-c Ginger  
grade-c Kaempferia parviflora  
grade-c Leucine  
grade-c Maca  
grade-c Panax ginseng  
grade-c Quercetin  
grade-c Taurine  
grade-d Ashwagandha  
grade-d Cocoa Extract  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.