Acute Effects of L-Arginine Supplementation on Oxygen Consumption Kinetics and Muscle Oxyhemoglobin and Deoxyhemoglobin during Treadmill Running in Male Adults.


L-arginine is used as a nitric oxide related supplement intended to improve sports performance, and to enhance muscular recovery during exercise. However, the literature is inconclusive. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of acute oral L-arginine supplementation on O2 consumption kinetics and local muscle blood volume and oxygenation during treadmill running at two different intensities. Using a double-blind, crossover and placebo-controlled design, 11 young healthy male adults were randomly assigned to 6 g of L-arginine (ARG) or placebo (PLA) supplementation that was ingested 60 min before the exercise test. Tests consisted of treadmill run at two different intensities (5 min each; moderate, 90% of ventilatory threshold, VT; and heavy, 50% of the difference between VT and VO2peak) interspersed by 1-min walking. Respiratory gas exchange variables were measured continuously with an automated metabolic cart. Near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to continuously monitor muscle oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin and total hemoglobin. Blood samples were collected before supplementation and 6 min after exercise. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA did not show differences in plasma nitrite concentrations between ARG or PLA conditions during the running tests. No significant differences were observed between ARG and PLA conditions for O2 kinetics as well as for NIRS variables. ARG supplementation does not improve physiological responses associated with oxygen cost and NIRS variables during running treadmill tests. Hence, our results do not support the use of L-arginine as an ergogenic aid for running performance in young healthy males.

International journal of exercise science