L-Arginine (Alpha-ketoglutarate)

Acute L-arginine supplementation reduces the O2 cost of moderate-intensity exercise and enhances high-intensity exercise tolerance.
Bailey SJWinyard PGVanhatalo ABlackwell JRDiMenna FJWilkerson DPJones AM.
J Appl Physiol. 2010 Nov;109(5):1394-403

 It has recently been reported that dietary nitrate (NO(3)(-)) supplementation, which increases plasma nitrite (NO(2)(-)) concentration, a biomarker of nitric oxide (NO) availability, improves exercise efficiency and exercise tolerance in healthy humans. We hypothesized that dietary supplementation with L-arginine, the substrate for NO synthase (NOS), would elicit similar responses. In a double-blind, crossover study, nine healthy men (aged 19-38 yr) consumed 500 ml of a beverage containing 6 g of l-arginine (Arg) or a placebo beverage (PL) and completed a series of “step” moderate- and severe-intensity exercise bouts 1 h after ingestion of the beverage. Plasma NO(2)(-) concentration was significantly greater in the Arg than the PL group (331 ± 198 vs. 159 ± 102 nM, P < 0.05) and systolic blood pressure was significantly reduced (123 ± 3 vs. 131 ± 5 mmHg, P < 0.01). The steady-state O(2) uptake (VO(2)) during moderate-intensity exercise was reduced by 7% in the Arg group (1.48 ± 0.12 vs. 1.59 ± 0.14 l/min, P < 0.05). During severe-intensity exercise, the Vo(2) slow component amplitude was reduced (0.58 ± 0.23 and 0.76 ± 0.29 l/min in Arg and PL, respectively, P < 0.05) and the time to exhaustion was extended (707 ± 232 and 562 ± 145 s in Arg and PL, respectively, P < 0.05) following consumption of Arg. In conclusion, similar to the effects of increased dietary NO(3)(-) intake, elevating NO bioavailability through dietary L-Arg supplementation reduced the O(2) cost of moderate-intensity exercise and blunted the VO(2) slow component and extended the time to exhaustion during severe-intensity exercise. PMID: 20724562

  Creatine, arginine alpha-ketoglutarate, amino acids, and medium-chain triglycerides and endurance and performance.
Little JPForbes SCCandow DGCornish SMChilibeck PD.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2008 Oct;18(5):493-508.

 Creatine (Cr) supplementation increases muscle mass, strength, and power. Arginine a-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) is a precursor for nitric oxide production and has the potential to improve blood flow and nutrient delivery (i.e., Cr) to muscles. This study compared a commercial dietary supplement of Cr, A-AKG, glutamine, taurine, branched-chain amino acids, and medium-chain triglycerides with Cr alone or placebo on exercise performance and body composition. Thirty-five men (approximately 23 yr) were randomized to Cr + A-AKG (0.1 g . kg(-1) . d(-1) Cr + 0.075 g . kg(-1) . d(-1)A-AKG, n = 12), Cr (0.1 g . kg(-1) . d(-1), n = 11), or placebo (1 g . kg(-1) . d(-1) sucrose, n = 12) for 10 d. Body composition, muscle endurance (bench press), and peak and average power (Wingate tests) were measured before and after supplementation. Bench-press repetitions over 3 sets increased with Cr + A-AKG (30.9 +/- 6.6 +/- 34.9 +/- 8.7 reps; p < .01) and Cr (27.6 +/- 5.9 +/- 31.0 +/- 7.6 reps; p < .01), with no change for placebo (26.8 +/- 5.0 +/- 27.1 +/- 6.3 reps). Peak power significantly increased in Cr + A-AKG (741 +/- 112 +/- 794 +/- 92 W; p < .01), with no changes in Cr (722 +/- 138 +/- 730 +/- 144 W) and placebo (696 +/- 63 +/- 705 +/- 77 W). There were no differences in average power between groups over time. Only the Cr-only group increased total body mass (79.9 +/- 13.0 +/- 81.1 +/- 13.8 kg; p < .01), with no significant changes in lean-tissue or fat mass. These results suggest that Cr alone and in combination with A-AKG improves upper body muscle endurance, and Cr + A-AKG supplementation improves peak power output on repeated Wingate tests. PMID: 19033611


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