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Background/Objectives:

To compare the effects of a 3-week supplementation between two different mixtures of antioxidants and placebo on aerobic exercise performance in acute normobaric hypoxia.

Subjects/Methods:

Seventeen subjects were randomly assigned in a double-blind fashion to receive a broad-based antioxidants supplement containing beta-carotene, ascorbic acid, d-alpha-tocopherol-succinate, N-acetylcysteine, riboflavin, zinc, and selenium (antioxidant capsule group [AO group]), or a combination of alpha-ketoglutaric acid (α-KG) and 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF; CYL concentrate supplementation group [CS group]), or placebo (PL group). Before and after supplementation, subjects performed two incremental cycle-exercise tests until exhaustion. The first test was conducted under normoxic conditions (LA, FiO2 of 20.9%, ~547 m) and the second after the 3-week supplementation period under normobaric hypoxic conditions (AHA, FiO2 of 12.9%, ~4300m).

Results:

In CS peak cycling performance (peak power) declined from LA to AHA 7.3% (90% CI: 2.2–12.4) less compared with PL (p = .04) and 6.7% (90%CI: 3.2–10.2) less compared with AO (p = .03). Better maintenance of aerobic exercise capacity in CS was associated with an attenuated reduction in maximal heart rate in hypoxia.

Conclusions:

Aerobic exercise performance was less impaired in acute normobaric hypoxia after 3 weeks with supplementation of α-KG and 5-HMF compared with a broad-based antioxidants supplement or PL.

Mariacher, Gatterer, Philippe, and Burtscher are with the Dept. of Sports Science, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, Austria. J. Greilberger is with the Dept. of Physiological Chemistry, Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria. Djukic and M. Greilberger are with the Schwarzl Medical Center, Institut für Labourwissenschaften Dr. Greilberger, Graz, Austria.

Address author correspondence to Martin Burtscher at martin.burtscher@uibk.ac.at.