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Arginine Supplements Help Older Cyclists

Researchers at the University of California Los Angeles have published a new study showing that the amino acid plus an antioxidant enhanced the anaerobic threshold of cyclists over 50. The study was published in BioMed Central's Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and was led by Zhaoping Li.

The randomised, controlled trial provided evidence that dietary supplementation may help preserve physical fitness as we age. Li said, "The loss of exercise capacity with age often results in a reduction in physical fitness and more rapid senescence. A dietary supplement that increases exercise capacity might help to preserve physical fitness by optimising performance and improving general health and well being in older people."

Many older exercisers may begin to lose exercise capacity due to diminished production of Nitric Oxide (NO) in the body with aging. NO is involved in many physiological processes including those related to exercise, and its reduction is associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk factors. Nitric Oxide is created from arginine and oxygen free radicals are known to deactivate it. Dietary supplementation with arginine as the precursor and anti-oxidants to neutralise the free radicals may support the NO system and enhance exercise performance.

In the trial, cyclists aged 50-73 were randomly assigned to one of two groups: one group received the supplement and antioxidant and the other received a placebo. After just 7 days, the anaerobic threshold of the supplementation group increased, while the placebo group showed no difference. The increased anaerobic threshold was maintained three weeks later. "We've demonstrated a 16.7% increase in anaerobic threshold. This indicates a potential role of arginine and antioxidant supplementation in improving exercise performance in elderly," noted Li.

We have arginine available within our supplement store for purchase.

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