Arginine helps increase carbohydrate stores after exercise

The effect of a carbohydrate-arginine supplement on postexercise muscle glycogen storage was investigated by a team of researchers from the University of Texas. Twelve well-trained cyclists rode for 2 hours on two separate occasions to deplete their muscle glycogen stores.

At 0, 1, 2, and 3 hours after each exercise bout, the subjects ingested either a carbohydrate supplement (1 gram carbohydrate/kg body weight) or a carbohydrate-arginine supplement (1 gram carbohydrate/kg body mass and 0.08 gram arginine hydrochloride/kg body weight). No difference in rate of glycogen storage was found between the either treatments, although significance was approached.

There were also no differences in plasma glucose, insulin, or blood lactate responses between treatments. Postexercise carbohydrate oxidation during the carbohydrate and arginine treatment was significantly reduced compared to the straight carbohydrate treatment. These results suggest that the addition of arginine to a carbohydrate supplement reduces the rate of carbohydrate used by the body postexercise and therefore may increase the availability of glucose for muscle glycogen storage during recovery. 

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