Effects of high-dose large neutral amino acid supplementation on exercise, motor skill, and mental performance in Australian Rules Football players

Nigel K. Stepto, Benjamin B. Shipperd, Graeme Hyman, Bernie McInerney, David B. Pyne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of high-dose large neutral amino acid (LNAA) supplementation on attenuating fatigue-induced decrements in exercise and motor skill performance in Australian Rules Football (ARF) players. Fifteen subelite ARF players participated in 3 testing sessions separated by 7 days. Players completed an initial control trial involving a reactive motor skills test (RMST) and a reactive agility test (RAT) carried out before and after fatiguing exercise. In the subsequent experimental trials, players ingested a serotonin-depleting or protein control (PC) LNAA mixture 3 h before testing, allocated in a double-blind randomized cross-over design. Blood samples were taken at presupplementation and pre- and postexercise for analysis of plasma amino acid, insulin, and metabolite concentrations. The effect of the LNAA was established as the difference in the change in the mean RMST and RAT test scores among the depleting, PC, and baseline (BL) trials. Mean overall repetition time of the RAT was moderately improved by -5.2% ± 3.4% (mean ± 90% confidence limits; effect size -0.45 ± 0.28) after ingestion of t he serotonin-depleting mixture compared with the BL trial. Serotonin-depleting and PC supplements had a divergent effect on mean repetition time after fatiguing exercise in RMST: depleting serotonin elicited a small improvement (-3.0% ± 2.7%) in motor skill performance in contrast to a small decrement (2.4% ± 2.7%) after ingestion of the PC mixture, when compared to the BL. High-dose serotonin-"depleting" LNAA supplementation given 3 h prior to intermittent high-intensity exercise improved reactive motor skill and agility performance in ARF players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-681
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Volume36
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011

Keywords

  • Cognitive function
  • Fatigue
  • Mood states
  • Serotonin
  • Team sport
  • Tryptophan

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