Lauren N. Wethington, Jordan M. Glenn, Matthew S. Stone, Jarrion Lawson, Michelle Gray. University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Females represent 50.8% of the United States population and 65% of female athletes use nutritional supplements during their college careers. Although, there are morphological differences between genders, previous investigations evaluating citrulline-malate (CM) supplementation involved male subjects. PURPOSE: This investigation evaluated the ergogenic effects of CM supplementation on upper-body (UB) and lower-body (LB) submaximal resistance exercise performance in trained females. METHODS: This study used a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. Based on previous literature, an a priori sample of 14 subjects was required, as a result, this study included 15 female volunteers (age=23±3 years, height=162.64±19.17, weight=67.06±6.96, body fat=25.84%±5.49%, training history=5.1±3.94 years). Inclusion criteria included: 18-30 years of age, training at least twice a week over one year, and no CM supplementation within one year. Subjects reported to the Human Performance Laboratory for 3 visits. On visit one, demographic/body composition, and one-repetition maximum (1-RM) strength were measured. On subsequent visits, subjects consumed CM (8 g dextrose+8 g CM) or placebo (8 g dextrose) before undergoing the exercise protocol. Exercise protocol included six sets of upper-body exercise and six sets of lower-body exercise at 80% 1-RM. One-minute rest was allotted between each upper- and lower-body set. Two-minutes rest was allowed when transitioning from upper- to lower-body exercises. Outcome measures included: repetitions lifted during each set, total repetitions completed, repetitions completed during initial (sets 1-3) and final (sets 4-6) halves of each exercise, and repetitions completed during initial (sets 1-2), middle (sets 3-4), and final (sets 5-6) thirds of each exercise. RESULTS: During the final half of upper-body exercise, subjects completed significantly (P=.038) more repetitions when consuming CM (12.13±2.85) compared to placebo (11.13±2.75). Similar results were observed during lower-body exercise. Total repetitions (66.73±30.49 vs. 55.13±20.64, P=.027), repetitions completed during the middle third (18.36±6.71 vs. 15.29±5.78, P=.048), final third (17.57±7.19 vs. 14.21±7.15, P=.019), and final half (26.50±10.70 vs. 21.71±9.76, P=.035) of exercise were significantly greater for CM compared to placebo, respectively. CONCLUSION: In trained females, CM supplementation increased performance during submaximal resistance exercise. These data have attractive implications for female athletes competing in sports with strength-based requirements.

Funding provided by a Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship

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