Br J Sports Med 45:A11 doi:10.1136/bjsports-2011-090606.35
  • ISSSMC abstracts

Effect of acute L-arginine supplementation on 20 km time trial performance in competitive male cyclists

  1. T Whitehead
  1. Department of Sport, Faculty of Health & Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK


Increasing literature has studied the effects of dietary nitrates and moreover, L-arginine supplementation on tolerance to exercise and O2 consumption during exercise. However, few studies have investigated the effects of L-arginine on performance measures such as a time trial. It was hypothesised that an acute 3-day L-arginine supplementation would elicit a significant improvement in performance and reduce oxygen consumption during a 20 km time trial. 6 healthy male competitive cyclists (23 ± 5 y) participated in a double-blind crossover study, and consumed either one 500 m placebo (PLA) or L-arginine (ARG) beverage, containing 6 g of L-arginine, over a 2 week testing period. Following a 3-day supplementation, participants completed a ramped incremental test to exhaustion, followed by an hours rest and subsequently a 20 km time trial. Time trial completion time was reduced by 34 s (PLA 32:38 ± 1:50 vs ARG 32:04 ± 1:38 min, P<0.05), O2 consumption during the time trial was also reduced (PLA 51.6 ± 8.2 vs ARG 47.5 ± 6.1, P<0.05). Furthermore, both systolic and diastolic blood pressure were greatly reduced (PLA 132 ± 7 vs ARG 127 ± 7 mm Hg P<0.05 and PLA 79 ± 5 vs ARG 74 ± 5 mm Hg respectively, P<0.05). However, no differences were seen in participants' VO2max during the ramped incremental test to exhaustion (58 ± 8 vs 58 ± 8, P>0.05) although Wpeak was higher during the same test (PLA 385 ± 38 vs ARG 395 ± 39 W). In conclusion, acute 3-day L-arginine supplementation at a dose of 6 increases 20 km time trial performance and reduces O2 consumption during time trial performance, in addition to reducing systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, L-arginine appears to have no effect upon VO2max

Free sample

This recent issue is free to all users to allow everyone the opportunity to see the full scope and typical content of BJSM.
View free sample issue >>

Email alerts

Don't forget to sign up for content alerts so you keep up to date with all the articles as they are published.

Navigate This Article