The effect of supplementation with L-arginine and L-citrulline on physical performance: a systematic review
Dominguez de Hanna, Andreina [Univ Mayor, Fac Ciencias Escuela Nutr & Dietet, Santiago, Chile]
Huerta Ojeda, Alvaro
Introduction: the amino acids L-arginine (L-arg) and L-citrulline (L-citr) have been used in sports nutrition, and it is believed that they have an effect on physical performance. However, current information is varied and inconclusive. Objective: to review and analyze the scientific evidence in the last ten years, which reflects a connection between the effect of L-arg and L-citr supplementation and physical performance. Material and method: this study is a systematic review of articles previously published, following the PRISMA model. Those articles published between 2008 and 2018 that connected the effect of L-arg and L-citr supplementation with physical performance were analyzed. The electronic search was performed on Web of Science, Scopus, Sport Discus, PubMed, and Medline. All articles using a supplementation protocol with these amino acids, separately or in groups, were selected. Results: a total of 38 articles were found, which were stratified according to the established protocol: a) supplementation with L-arg (n = 19); b) supplementation with L-arg and L-citr (n = 1); and c) supplementation with L-citr (n = 18), whether of short or prolonged duration. Conclusion: there is evidence that L-citr works better as ergogenic than L-arg does on physical performance, since L-citr showed a positive effect on the rate of perceived exertion and muscular pain, in addition to a decrease in lactate concentrations and time in maximum tests. However, there is not enough evidence to establish a beneficial L-citr dosage for physical performance.
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