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Eight Days of L-Citrulline or L-Arginine Supplementation Did Not Improve 200-m and 100-m Swimming Time Trials

Esen, Ozcan, Eser, Mustafa Can, Abdioglu, Mekki, Benesova, Daniela, Gabrys, Tomasz and Karayigit, Raci (2022) Eight Days of L-Citrulline or L-Arginine Supplementation Did Not Improve 200-m and 100-m Swimming Time Trials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (8). p. 4462. ISSN 1660-4601

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Abstract

The effects of L-citrulline or L-arginine supplementation on exercise performance are equivocal, and the effects on swimming performance are unclear. We aimed to assess whether 8-day supplementation with L-arginine or L-citrulline supplementation would improve 200 m and 100 m freestyle swimming time-trial performances. After the baseline trial (first visit), in a double-blind, randomised design, 15 trained/developmental (5 females) swimmers and triathletes were assigned to three groups and underwent an 8-day supplementation period, with a daily dose of either 8 gr L-arginine (Arg, n = 5) or L-citrulline (Cit, n = 5) or placebo (Pla, n = 5). On day 9, participants completed experimental trial (second visit). In each trial, after blood sampling, participants performed both 200 m and 100 m freestyle swimming time-trials, with 30 min recovery between trials. Plasma nitric oxide (NOx) and blood lactate concentrations (BLa) were collected immediately before and after 200 m and 100 m TTs, respectively. No significant difference was observed in NOx between groups (p = 0.201). There was no significant difference in 200 m (p = 0.226) and 100 m swimming time-trials (p = 0.993) between groups. There was a main effect of time on BLa concentration (p < 0.001), but no trial × group (p = 0.243) and trial × lactate × group interaction effect (p = 0.276) was present. Furthermore, 8-day either L-citrulline or L-arginine supplementation did not enhance middle (200 m) and short-distance (100 m) swimming performance in trained/developmental swimmers and triathletes. These findings do not support the use of L-citrulline or L-arginine supplementation as ergogenic aids for swimming performance.

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