Increasing blood flow is key to increasing endurance. Nitric oxide (NO) helps relax and dilate blood vessels, and arginine can produce NO, but only 1 percent of ingested arginine is available for absorption. Citrulline can increase arginine levels.
In this study, 10 healthy men completed a moderate to severe cycling exercise on days six and seven of a 7-day supplementation period with placebo, 6 grams of arginine, or 6 grams of citrulline per day, in three alternating phases.
L-arginine increased during the citrulline phases, as did signs of increased NO production. The men taking citrulline performed better during the exercise, had greater muscle oxygenation and faster oxygen uptake. Blood pressure was lower during the citrulline phases compared to arginine or placebo.
Seal-oil omega-3 and muscle function
In this study, 30 male athletes, average age 25 and typically training for 17 hours per week, took 375 mg of EPA, 230 mg of DPA, and 510 mg of DHAfrom seal oil per day, or a placebo.
After three weeks, while there was no change for placebo, thigh muscle function increased by 20 percent for those taking seal oil. Also, 50 percent of the omega-3 men had improved time trials compared to 33 percent for placebo.
Commenting on the findings, doctors said this is the first study to measure the effects of omega-3 supplements on neuromuscular function and performance, and that omega-3s may have a positive effect in athletes.
Reference: Journal of Applied Physiology; 2015, Vol. 119, No. 4, 385-95
Natural Insights for WellBeing January 2016
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