l-Arginine supplementation improves rats' antioxidant system and exercise performance.

Abstract

Reactive species have great importance in sports performance, once they can directly regulate energy production, muscular contraction, inflammation, and fatigue. Therefore, the redox control is essential for athletes' performance. Studies demonstrated that l-arginine has an important role in the synthesis of urea, cell growth and production of nitric oxide, moreover, there are indications that it is also able to induce benefits to muscle antioxidant system through the upregulation of some antioxidant enzymes, and by inhibiting some pathways of reactive species production. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of l-arginine supplementation on performance and oxidative stress of male rats (trained or not), submitted to a single session of high intensity exercise. Forty male Wistar rats were divided into four groups, control (C), control+l-arginine (C + A), trained (T), and trained+l-arginine (T + A). The aerobic training was conducted for 8 weeks. Data of maximum speed and time from tests were used as indicators of performance. Variables related to oxidative stress and antioxidant system were also evaluated. Aerobic training was capable to induce enhancements on animals' exercise performance and on their redox state. Additionally, supplementation improved rats' physical performance on both groups, control and trained. Different improvements between groups on the antioxidant capacity were observed. Nevertheless, considering the ergogenic effect of l-arginine and the lack of all positive adaptations promoted by the exercise training, untrained animals may be more exposed to oxidative damages after the practice of intense exercises.

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