Original Article

European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2017) 71, 544–548; doi:10.1038/ejcn.2016.266; published online 25 January 2017

There is a Corrigendum associated with this article.

Body composition, energy expenditure and physical activity

The effect of l-arginine supplementation on body composition and performance in male athletes: a double-blinded randomized clinical trial

N Pahlavani1,2, M H Entezari1, M Nasiri3, A Miri4, M Rezaie5, M Bagheri-Bidakhavidi6 and O Sadeghi7

  1. 1Food Security Research Center and Department of Clinical Nutrition, School of Nutrition and Food Science, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  2. 2Department of Nutrition, Faculty of Medicine, Mashad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
  3. 3Department of Operating Room Technology, School of Paramedicine, Qom University of Medical Sciences, Qom, Iran
  4. 4Department of Nutrition, School of Health, Zabol University of Medical Sciences, Zabol, Iran
  5. 5Department of Nursing, School of Nursing and Midwifery, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
  6. 6Department of Nutrition, School of Health, Kerman University of Medical Sciences, Kerman, Iran
  7. 7Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Correspondence: Dr O Sadeghi, Department of Community Nutrition, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Keshavarz Street, School of Nutritional Sciences and Dietetics, Tehran, 1417933331, Iran. E-mail: omidsadeghi69@yahoo.com

Received 24 April 2016; Revised 20 November 2016; Accepted 1 December 2016
Advance online publication 25 January 2017

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Abstract

Background/Objective:

 

Athletes used a lot of dietary supplements to achieve the more muscle mass and improve their athletic performance. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of l-arginine supplementation on sport performance and body composition in male soccer players.

Subjects/Methods:

 

This double-blinded, randomized and placebo-controlled trial was conducted on 56 male soccer players, with age range of 16–35, who referred to sport clubs in Isfahan, Iran. Subjects were randomly assigned to either l-arginine or placebo groups. Athletes received daily either 2g per day l-arginine supplement or the same amount of placebo (maltodextrin) for 45 days. Sport performance and also body mass index (BMI), body fat mass (BFM) and lean body mass (LBM) were measured at the beginning and end of the study. Also, 3-day dietary records were collected at three different time points (before, in the middle of, and at the end of the study).

Results:

 

The mean age of subjects was 20.85±4.29 years. Sport performance (VO2 max) significantly increased in l-arginine supplementation group (4.12±6.07) compared with placebo group (1.23±3.36) (P=0.03). This increase remained significant even after adjustment of baseline values, physical activity and usual dietary intake of subjects throughout the study. No significant effect of l-arginine supplementation was found on weight, BMI, BFM and LBM.

Conclusions:

 

l-arginine supplementation (2g per day) could increase the sport performance in male athletes, but had no effect on anthropometric measurements, including BMI, BFM and LBM. So, further studies are needed to shed light our findings.

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