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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 119, Issue 11–12, pp 2567–2578 | Cite as

Acute glutamine supplementation does not improve 20-km self-paced cycling performance in the heat

  • John O. OsborneEmail author
  • Ian B. Stewart
  • Kenneth W. Beagley
  • David N. Borg
  • Geoffrey M. Minett
Original Article

Abstract

Introduction

The premise of this study was to investigate the effect of acute glutamine supplementation on 20 km time trial cycling performance in the heat, neuromuscular function, inflammation and endotoxemia.

Methods

Twelve cyclists completed two, 20-km time trials (20TT) in 35 °C (50% relative humidity). Participants ingested either glutamine (GLUT; 0.9 g kg−1 fat-free mass) or a placebo (CON) 60 min before each 20TT. Physiological and perceptual measures were recorded during each 20TT, and neuromuscular function assessed pre- and post-exercise. Venous blood was analysed for endotoxins, markers of gut damage (inflammatory fatty acid binding protein; I-FABP) and inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-6, IL-6; tumour necrosis factor-alpha, TNF-α). Data were analysed using linear mixed models in a Bayesian framework.

Results

20TT in the heat increased I-FABP and elevated inflammatory cytokines (IL-6 and TNF-α) compared to pre-exercise values but did not result in endotoxemia. Completion time was not statistically different between conditions (mean difference [95% credible interval] = 11 s [− 23, 44]). Relative to CON, GLUT did not alter any physiological or perceptual measures during the 20TT.

Conclusion

Glutamine supplementation does not improve 20TT performance in the heat or preserve neuromuscular function when compared to a placebo. These findings suggest that glutamine is not an ergogenic aid or prophylactic intervention for heat-induced gut damage during short-duration self-paced exercise in hot environments.

Keywords

Glutamine Exercise Endotoxemia Hyperthermia Inflammation 

Abbreviations

½ RT

Half relaxation time

20TT

20 km time trial

CD

Contraction duration

CI

Credible interval

CON

Control

CNS

Central nervous system

CV

Coefficient of variation

ELISA

Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

EMG

Electromyography

GI

Gastrointestinal

GLUT

Glutamine

HR

Heart rate

ICC

Intraclass correlation

I-FABP

Intestinal fatty acid binding protein

IL-6

Interleukin 6

MCMC

Markov chain Monte Carlo

MD

Mean difference

MVC

Maximum voluntary contraction

POMS

Profile of mood states

Pt

Peak torque

Pr

Probabilty

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

RR

Rate of relaxation

RTD

Rate of torque development

SESOI

Smallest effect size of interest

Tre

Core (rectal) temperature

TNF-α

Tumour necrosis factor alpha

TPt

Time to peak torque

Tsk

Mean skin temperature

USG

Urine specific gravity

VA

Voluntary activation

VL

vastus lateralis

VM

Vastus medialis

VO2 max

maximal aerobic capacity

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors sincerely thank Mr Logan Trim (Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia) for his technical assistance with the immunoassay analysis.

Author contributions

Study conception and design: JOO, IBS, GMM. Data collection: JOO. Data analysis: JOO, IBS, DNB, GMM. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: IBS, KWB, GMM. Manuscript development: JOO, IBS, KWB, DNB, GMM.

Funding

None declared.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesQueensland University of Technology (QUT), Kelvin GroveBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.Institute of Health and Biomedical InnovationQueensland University of Technology (QUT)BrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Biomedical SciencesQueensland University of Technology (QUT)BrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.The Hopkins Centre, Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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