Library Dissertation Showcase

Combined branch chain amino acids, citrulline and arginine supplementation improves skill maintenance in university level squash players

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2020

Combining branch chained amino acids (BCAA) with citrulline and arginine has been proposed as an effective way to reduce central fatigue and enhance endurance performance. Central fatigue may influence cognitive function and skill maintenance in squash. This study examined the effect of combined BCAA, citrulline and arginine supplementation on skill maintenance and agility following squash-specific endurance exercise. Following ethical approval, 11 university-level squash players were recruited, a randomised single-blind crossover design was used. Following a familiarisation session, participants completed one placebo trial (PLA) (3000mg maltodextrin and xylitol pilules) and one experimental trial (AA) (3000mg BCAA’s, 1000mg arginine and 500mg citrulline). The ingestion of the supplements or placebo occurred after the participants underwent a skill test assessing the accuracy of the forehand and backhand drives, and a squash-specific agility test. This was followed by a squash match simulation designed to replicate three high-intensity games. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA’s examined skill and agility performance, with Bonferroni corrected post hoc tests. For skill, there was a significant interaction effect, F(1, 10) = 6.01, P = 0.03. Post hoc tests showed no differences between conditions at baseline (P > 0.05). The scores recorded in the AA trial (M = 49.36, SD = 20.43) were significantly higher than the PLA trial (M = 40.55, SD = 14.80), post-match simulation (P = 0.02, d = 0.49). For agility, there was no significant interaction effect. The combined supplementation significantly improved skill maintenance post-match simulation, this form of supplementation may alleviate some of the effects of central fatigue in squash.

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