Effects of acute supplementation of L-arginine and nitrate on endurance and sprint performance in elite athletes

Nitric Oxide. 2015 Aug 1;48:10-5. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2014.10.006. Epub 2014 Oct 24.

Abstract

This study examined the effects of acute supplementation with L-arginine and nitrate on running economy, endurance and sprint performance in endurance-trained athletes. In a randomised cross-over, double-blinded design we compared the effects of combined supplementation with 6 g L-arginine and 614 mg nitrate against 614 mg nitrate alone and placebo in nine male elite cross-country skiers (age 18 ± 0 years, VO2max 69.3 ± 5.8 ml ⋅ min(-1) ⋅ kg(-1)). After a 48-hour standardisation of nutrition and exercise the athletes were tested for plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations, blood pressure, submaximal running economy at 10 km ⋅ h(-1) and 14 km ⋅ h(-1) at 1% incline and 180 m as well as 5-km time-trial running performances. Plasma nitrite concentration following L-arginine + nitrate supplementation (319 ± 54 nmol ⋅ L(-1)) did not differ from nitrate alone (328 ± 107 nmol ⋅ L(-1)), and both were higher than placebo (149 ± 64 nmol ⋅ L(-1), p < 0.01). There were no differences in physiological responses during submaximal running or in 5-km performance between treatments. The plasma nitrite concentrations indicate greater nitric oxide availability both following acute supplementation of L-arginine + nitrate and with nitrate alone compared to placebo, but no additional effect was revealed when L-arginine was added to nitrate. Still, there were no effects of supplementation on exercise economy or endurance running performance in endurance-trained cross-country skiers.

Keywords: Endurance athletes; Exercise economy; Nitric oxide.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Arginine / administration & dosage
  • Arginine / pharmacology*
  • Athletes*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nitrates / administration & dosage
  • Nitrates / blood
  • Nitrates / pharmacology*
  • Nitric Oxide / blood
  • Nitric Oxide / metabolism
  • Nitrites / blood
  • Running

Substances

  • Nitrates
  • Nitrites
  • Nitric Oxide
  • Arginine