L-Arginine Improves Endurance to High-Intensity Interval Exercises in Overweight Men

in International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
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  • 1 Shahid Beheshti University
  • 2 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 3 Coastal Carolina University
  • 4 University of British Columbia
  • 5 Islamic Azad University
  • 6 Université Rennes 2
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The effects of acute consumption of L-Arginine (L-Arg) in healthy young individuals are not clearly defined, and no studies on the effects of L-Arg in individuals with abnormal body mass index undertaking strenuous exercise exist. Thus, we examined whether supplementation with L-Arg diminishes cardiopulmonary exercise testing responses, such as ventilation (VE), VE/VCO2, oxygen uptake (VO2), and heart rate, in response to an acute session of high-intensity interval exercise (HIIE) in overweight men. A double-blind, randomized crossover design was used to study 30 overweight men (age, 26.5 ± 2.2 years; body weight, 88.2 ± 5.3 kilogram; body mass index, 28.0 ± 1.4 kg/m2). Participants first completed a ramped-treadmill exercise protocol to determine VO2max velocity (vVO2max), after which they participated in two sessions of HIIE. Participants were randomly assigned to receive either 6 g of L-Arg or placebo supplements. The HIIE treadmill running protocol consisted of 12 trials, including exercise at 100% of vVO2max for 1 min interspersed with recovery intervals of 40% of vVO2max for 2 min. Measurements of VO2 (ml·kg−1·min−1), VE (L/min), heart rate (beat per min), and VE/VCO2 were obtained. Supplementation with L-Arg significantly decreased all cardiorespiratory responses during HIIE (placebo+HIIE vs. L-Arg+HIIE for each measurement: VE [80.9 ± 4.3 L/min vs. 74.6 ± 3.5 L/min, p < .05, ES = 1.61], VE/VCO2 [26.4 ± 1.3 vs. 24.4 ± 1.0, p < .05, ES = 1.8], VO2 [26.4 ± 0.8 ml·kg−1·min−1 vs. 24.4 ± 0.9 ml·kg−1·min−1, p < .05, ES = 2.2], and heart rate [159.7 ± 6.3 beats/min vs. 155.0 ± 3.7 beats/min, p < .05, d = 0.89]). The authors conclude consuming L-Arg before HIIE can alleviate the excessive physiological strain resulting from HIIE and help to increase exercise tolerance in participants with a higher body mass index who may need to exercise on a regular basis for extended periods to improve their health.

Daraei, Ahmadizad, and Rahmani are with the Department of Biological Sciences in Sport and Health, Faculty of Sport Sciences and Health, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. Hackney is with the Department of Exercise & Sport Science; Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA. Johnson is with the Department of Kinesiology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, SC, USA. Laher is with the Department of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Saeidi is with the Department of Physical Education, Damghan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Damghan, Iran. Zouhal is with the Movement Sport Science Laboratory (M2S), Université Rennes 2, Rennes, France.

Zouhal (hassane.zouhal@univ-rennes2.fr) and Saeidi (saeidi_as68@yahoo.com) are corresponding authors.
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