Long-term glycine propionyl-l-carnitine supplemention and paradoxical effects on repeated anaerobic sprint performance

J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2010 Oct 28;7:35. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-7-35.


Background: It has been demonstrated that acute GPLC supplementation produces enhanced anaerobic work capacity with reduced lactate production in resistance trained males. However, it is not known what effects chronic GPLC supplementation has on anaerobic performances or lactate clearance.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the long-term effects of different dosages of GPLC supplementation on repeated high intensity stationary cycle sprint performance.

Methods: Forty-five resistance trained men participated in a double-blind, controlled research study. All subjects completed two testing sessions, seven days apart, 90 minutes following oral ingestion of either 4.5 grams GPLC or 4.5 grams cellulose (PL), in randomized order. The exercise testing protocol consisted of five 10-second Wingate cycle sprints separated by 1-minute active recovery periods. Following completion of the second test session, the 45 subjects were randomly assigned to receive 1.5 g, 3.0 g, or 4.5 g GPLC per day for a 28 day period. Subjects completed a third test session following the four weeks of GPLC supplementation using the same testing protocol. Values of peak power (PP), mean power (MP) and percent decrement of power (DEC) were determined per bout and standardized relative to body mass. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (LAC) were measured prior to, during and following the five sprint bouts.

Results: There were no significant effects of condition or significant interaction effects detected for PP and MP. However, results indicated that sprint bouts three, four and five produced 2 - 5% lower values of PP and 3 - 7% lower values of MP with GPLC at 3.0 or 4.5 g per day as compared to baseline values. Conversely, 1.5 g GPLC produced 3 - 6% higher values of PP and 2 -5% higher values of MP compared with PL baseline values. Values of DEC were significantly greater (15-20%) greater across the five sprint bouts with 3.0 g or 4.5 g GPLC, but the 1.5 g GPLC supplementation produced DEC values -5%, -3%, +4%, +5%, and +2% different from the baseline PL values. The 1.5 g group displayed a statistically significant 24% reduction in net lactate accumulation per unit power output (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: The effects of GPLC supplementation on anaerobic work capacity and lactate accumulation appear to be dosage dependent. Four weeks of GPLC supplementation at 3.0 and 4.5 g/day resulted in reduced mean values of power output with greater rates of DEC compared with baseline while 1.5 g/day produced higher mean values of MP and PP with modest increases of DEC. Supplementation of 1.5 g/day also produced a significantly lower rate of lactate accumulation per unit power output compared with 3.0 and 4.5 g/day. In conclusion, GPLC appears to be a useful dietary supplement to enhance anaerobic work capacity and potentially sport performance, but apparently the dosage must be determined specific to the intensity and duration of exercise.