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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Sep 13
Acute supplementation of L-arginine neither affects strength performance nor nitric oxide production
Claudia M. MEIRELLES 1, Cristiane MATSUURA 2 ✉
1 Section of Graduate Programs, School of Physical Education of Army, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; 2 Department of Pharmacology and Psychobiology, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
BACKGROUND: L-arginine is a semi-essential amino acid involved in nitric oxide production. As nitric oxide is an important vasodilator, L-arginine supplementation would increase blood perfusion and, subsequently, muscle performance during exercises. The aim of this study was to determine the acute effect of L-arginine supplementation on strength performance and nitric oxide levels in healthy trained individuals.
METHODS: In a doubleblind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, 12 men were randomly assigned to L-arginine or placebo supplementation. Subjects received 6 g of L-arginine or placebo 60 min before strength test (maximum number of repetitions, 3 sets at 70% of one repetition maximum on bench press and at 80% of one repetition maximum on knee extensions, 2 min of rest between sets and exercises). Blood samples were collected before supplementation and 6 min after exercise.
RESULTS: Plasma nitrite levels did not significantly change after Larginine or placebo supplementation and strength-training exercise (placebo, from 13.01 ± 1.18 to 11.83 ± 2.81 mM; L-arginine, from 10.95 ± 4.09 to 11.99 ± 2.5 mM). There was a significant reduction in the number of repetitions performed from set 1 to set 3 in each set of both bench press and knee extension, but no significant interactions were observed between placebo and L-arginine.
CONCLUSIONS: These results do not support the use of L-arginine as an ergogenic aid for strength performance, at least in context of acute use immediately before resistance exercise performance.