L-Ornithine plays an important role in ammonia metabolism via the urea cycle. This study aimed to examine the effect of L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion on ammonia metabolism and performance after intermittent maximal anaerobic cycle ergometer exercise. Ten healthy young adults (age, 23.8 ± 3.9 year; height, 172.3 ± 5.5 cm; body mass, 67.7 ± 6.1 kg) with regular training experience ingested L-ornithine hydrochloride (0.1 g/kg, body mass) or placebo after 30 s of maximal cycling exercise. Five sets of the same maximal cycling exercise were conducted 60 min after ingestion, and maximal cycling exercise was conducted after a 15 min rest. The intensity of cycling exercise was based on each subject's body mass (0.74 N kg(-1)). Work volume (watt), peak rpm (rpm) before and after intermittent maximal ergometer exercise and the following serum parameters were measured before ingestion, immediately after exercise and 15 min after exercise: ornithine, ammonia, urea, lactic acid and glutamate. Peak rpm was significantly greater with L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion than with placebo ingestion. Serum ornithine level was significantly greater with L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion than with placebo ingestion immediately and 15 min after intermittent maximal cycle ergometer exercise. In conclusion, although maximal anaerobic performance may be improved by L-ornithine hydrochloride ingestion before intermittent maximal anaerobic cycle ergometer exercise, the above may not depend on increase of ammonia metabolism with L-ornithine hydrochloride.