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

Silvana Bucher Sandbakk, Øyvind Sandbakk, Oliver Peacock, Philip James, Boye Welde, Keith Stokes, Nikolai Bohlke, Arnt Erik Tjonna

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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, doubleblinded 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 180m 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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-15
JournalNitric Oxide: Biology and Chemistry
Early online date24 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


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