Int J Sports Med 2005; 26(5): 344-349
DOI: 10.1055/s-2004-821111
Physiology & Biochemistry

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Influence of Chronic Supplementation of Arginine Aspartate in Endurance Athletes on Performance and Substrate Metabolism

A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled StudyT. Abel1 , B. Knechtle1 , C. Perret2 , P. Eser2 , P. von Arx2 , H. Knecht2
  • 1Institute of Sports Medicine, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil, Switzerland
  • 2Institute for Clinical Research, Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Nottwil, Switzerland
Further Information

Publication History

Accepted after revision: April 25, 2004

Publication Date:
10 September 2004 (online)


The intake of arginine aspartate has been shown to increase anabolic hormones like human growth hormone (hGH) and glucagon. The aim of our study was to investigate whether daily intake of two different dosages of arginine asparate during four weeks affects selected parameters of overtraining syndrome like performance, metabolic and endocrine parameters. Thirty male endurance-trained athletes were included in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study and divided into three groups. During four weeks, they ingested either arginine aspartate with a high concentration (H) of 5.7 g arginine and 8.7 g aspartate, with a low concentration (L) of 2.8 g arginine and 2.2 g aspartate or placebo (P). VO2peak and time to exhaustion were determined on a cycling ergometer in an incremental exercise test before and after supplementation. Before and after each incremental exercise test, concentrations of hGH, glucagon, testosterone, cortisol, ferritine, lactate, and urea were measured. Compared to placebo, no significant differences on endurance performance (VO2peak, time to exhaustion), endocrine (concentration of hGH, glucagon, cortisol, and testosterone) and metabolic parameters (concentration of lactate, ferritine, and urea) were found after chronic arginine aspartate supplementation. The chronic intake of arginine asparate during four weeks by male endurance athletes showed independent of dosage no influence on performance, selected metabolic or endocrine parameters. Consequently, there seems to be no apparent reason why the supplementation of arginine aspartate should be an effective ergogenic aid. The practice of using arginine aspartate as potential ergogenics should be critically reevaluated. Further investigations with higher dosage and extended supplementation periods should be performed.


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