Effect of arginine supplementation on footballers’ anaerobic performance and recovery

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Ahmet Mor
Tulin Atan
Seydi Ahmet Agaoglu
Mustafa Ayyildiz


Footballer, L-Arginine, anaerobic performance, lactic acid, recovery


Background: The use of supplements has increased in recent years. L-arginine is popular supplement in athletes and this supplement stimulates nitric oxide which purpose to increase sports performance. Aims: This study aims to determine the effects of L-arginine supplement on anaerobic performance and recovery. Materials and Methods: 28 male active football players who play in amateur leagues, get training regularly, between the ages of 18 and 30 participated the study. The subjects were randomly assigned to experimental and placebo group. During 14 days, experimental group consumed 6 grams of arginine and the placebo group consumed 6 grams of wheat bran. Both before and after the supplementation anthropometric, biochemical and anaerobic capacity levels were measured. In order to search recovery after the anaerobic test, the level of Lactic Acid (LA) and Heart Rate (HR) were observed up until the 10th minute of recovery. Results: The research results suggest that after supplementation, the experimental group’s body mass index (BMI) decreased compared to pre-supplementation (Pre= 23,60±2,28kg/m2 vs. Post= 23,39±2,12kg/m2)(p<0.05).  On the other hand, the anaerobic performance measurements of both groups do not demonstrate any statistically significant difference before and after supplementation. The post supplementation recovery LA levels showed more rapid reduction from 5th min up to 10th min in experimental group. After the supplementation, 1st minute recovery HR levels were lower than pre in both groups but the experimental group experienced a higher decrease than placebo group. This suggests that suplementation of arginine helps to excrete LA from the body. The comparison of the HR values measured before and after the 14 day long supplementation period shows that both the experimental and the placebo groups experienced a decrease in the resting HR values as well as the HR values during the 1st minute of recovery. The experimental group experienced a higher decrease. After 14 day supplementation Aspartat Aminotransferaz (AST), Alanin Aminotransferaz ALT and Laktat Dehidrogenaz (LDH) (LDH; Pre= 229,41±47,23 vs. Post= 176.08±45.62) levels significantly decreased compared to the pre-supplementation in arginine group (p<0.05). Conclusion: Consequently, the findings suggest that supplementation of L-Arginine accelerates the excretion of lactic acid from the body and decreases the amount of fat in the body. It also rapidly recovers the muscle injuries caused by the decrease in LDH enzyme levels after training and has a positive impact on anaerobic performance. Finally, it accelerates recovery.

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