Potential ergogenic effects of arginine and creatine supplementation

Douglas Paddon-Jones, Elisabet Børsheim, Robert R. Wolfe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The rationale for the use of nutritional supplements to enhance exercise capacity is based on the assumption that they will confer an ergogenic effect above and beyond that afforded by regular food ingestion alone. The proposed or advertised ergogenic effect of many supplements is based on a presumptive metabolic pathway and may not necessarily translate to quantifiable changes in a variable as broadly defined as exercise performance. L-arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid that has received considerable attention due to potential effects on growth hormone secretion and nitric oxide production. In some clinical circumstances (e.g., burn injury, sepsis) in which the demand for arginine cannot be fully met by de novo synthesis and normal dietary intake, exogenous arginine has been shown to facilitate the maintenance of lean body mass and functional capacity. However, the evidence that supplemental arginine may also confer an ergogenic effect in normal healthy individuals is less compelling. In contrast to arginine, numerous studies have reported that supplementation with the arginine metabolite creatine facilitates an increase in anaerobic work capacity and muscle mass when accompanied by resistance training programs in both normal and patient populations. Whereas improvement in the rate of phosphocreatine resynthesis is largely responsible for improvements in acute work capacity, the direct effect of creatine supplementation on skeletal muscle protein synthesis is less clear. The purpose of this review is to summarize the role of arginine and its metabolite creatine in the context of a nutrition supplement for use in conjunction with an exercise stimulus in both healthy and patient populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Volume134
Issue number10 SUPPL.
StatePublished - Oct 2004

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Performance-Enhancing Substances
creatine
Creatine
arginine
Arginine
exercise
Exercise
dietary supplements
burns (injuries)
phosphocreatine
metabolites
strength training
Essential Amino Acids
lean body mass
Phosphocreatine
Resistance Training
Muscle Proteins
hormone secretion
muscle protein
Metabolic Networks and Pathways

Keywords

  • Anabolism
  • Diet
  • Muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science

Cite this

Potential ergogenic effects of arginine and creatine supplementation. / Paddon-Jones, Douglas; Børsheim, Elisabet; Wolfe, Robert R.

In: Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 134, No. 10 SUPPL., 10.2004.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Paddon-Jones, Douglas ; Børsheim, Elisabet ; Wolfe, Robert R. / Potential ergogenic effects of arginine and creatine supplementation. In: Journal of Nutrition. 2004 ; Vol. 134, No. 10 SUPPL.
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