The endurance amino
With the Commonwealth Games almost upon us (probably) there will be no shortage of toned individuals seeking to run, swim, jump, and waddle over absurdly long distances. If only these earnest folk had known it, there is an amino acid that could significantly boost their endurance and take vital seconds from their times.
The amino acid in question is arginine and it has shown impressive endurance boosting effects.
In the study participants took either a placebo cordial drink or a drink containing the amino acid L-arginine. The subjects then were put through a series of physical challenges on a stationary bicycle. Each of the challenges was designed to measure their performance at different levels of intensity.
The results showed that arginine improved high-intensity exercise endurance by an average of twenty per cent which in turn could produce a one to two per cent improvement in race times. Arginine also reduced systolic blood pressure (the higher number in a blood pressure reading) and caused less oxygen to be used.
It is thought that arginine probably has this endurance boosting effect because it increases levels of nitric oxide which in turn causes blood vessels to dilate (open up). The one to two per cent reduction in times that this could achieve could make a real difference at the elite level such as at the Commonwealth Games.
One thing to remember is that if you are a cold sore sufferer, or are afflicted with any virus of the Herpes family, arginine actually acts as a food for those viruses. In those cases it will be a personal decision: the clear lip or the gold medal.