Greer, B. K., & Jones, B. T. (2008). Effects of Arginine supplementation on muscle endurance and blood pressure responses to resistance training. ACSM 55th Annual Meeting Indianapolis. Presentation number 2200.

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"Dietary supplement companies have claimed that “nitric oxide stimulating” Arginine supplements enhance skeletal muscular endurance." This study determined whether an Arginine supplement affected muscular endurance of the arm and shoulder girdle and the blood pressure response to anaerobic exercise. Trained college-aged males (N = 8) performed two trials of exercise separated by at least one week. Ss were requested not to perform upper body resistance training within 72 hours of each trial, and lower body training within 48 hours. At four hours and 30 minutes before exercise, a serving of an Arginine supplement (3700 mg Arginine alpha-ketoglutarate) or placebo was administered. Resting blood pressure was assessed pre-exercise after 15 minutes of seated rest, and 5 and 10 minutes post-exercise. Ss did not consume food or caloric drinks for four hours prior to testing to control for postprandial effects on blood pressure. Resistance exercise consisted of three sets each of chin-ups, reverse chin-ups, and push-ups performed to exhaustion with three minutes of rest between each exercise set.

Ss executed fewer reverse chin-ups during Set 2 after receiving the supplement compared to the placebo condition. There were no other significant within-subjects effects.

Implication. Arginine supplementation does not improve muscular endurance or significantly affect the blood pressure response to anaerobic work. Arginine supplementation may decrease the repetitions performed in a given set of resistance training.

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