Citrulline Malate Fails to Improve Repeated 300 m Swimming Times in Highly Trained Swimmers

Josh W. Newbury, Matthew Cole, Stephen J. Bailey, Adam L. Kelly, Lewis A. Gough

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

Abstract

Citrulline malate (CM) has been touted as a nutritional ergogenic aid for sports performance, with purported mechanisms of increased muscle blood flow, ammonia clearance, and adenosine triphosphate resynthesis. Combined, these physiological benefits may be best applied to whole-body endurance exercises, such as swimming, though this postulate has not yet been explored. In a double-blind, randomised, and crossover design, 11 national-level swimmers (age: 17 ± 3 years, height: 1.71 ± 0.05 m, body mass: 60.6 ± 8.3 kg) from a high-performance swimming club ingested either 15 g CM or a placebo (PLA) 60 min before six × 300 m freestyle bouts (at 4.5 min intervals). Blood lactate, blood pressure, and ratings of perceived exertion were measured at baseline, 60 min post-ingestion, and immediately post-exercise. Neither mean 300 m swimming time (CM: 212.0 ± 9.6 vs. PLA: 212.8 ± 7.7 s, p = 0.683, g = 0.09) nor any individual swimming bouts (p = 0.679, Pŋ2 = 0.02) were improved with CM ingestion. Moreover, no differences in any physiological or subjective measures were identified between conditions (all p > 0.05). Whether the proposed CM mechanisms were active was unclear as more direct physiological measures (i.e., plasma NO, ammonia) may have been required. Resultantly, these observations do not support an ergogenic effect of acute CM ingestion in highly trained swimmers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-252
Number of pages10
JournalPhysiologia
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2024

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