European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 116, Issue 5, pp 969–974 | Cite as

Topical application of cream containing nonivamide and nicoboxil does not enhance the performance of experienced cyclists during a 4-km time-trial

  • Christoph ZinnerEmail author
  • Hans-Christer Holmberg
  • Billy Sperlich
Original Article



Topical application of nonivamide–nicoboxil cream to resting legs has been shown to enhance the level of oxygenated haemoglobin in leg muscles 15 min later. Here, we examined whether such application improves the performance of experienced cyclists in a subsequent 4-km time-trial.


Nine male cyclists [26 ± 8 years; 176 ± 9 cm; 73.5 ± 12.8 kg; peak oxygen uptake: 50.7 ± 4.0 mL min−1 kg−1 (mean ± SD)] performed three 4-km time-trials on an ergometer with either topical application of nonivamide–nicoboxil cream (CREAM) or cream without active components (SHAM) to both their thigh muscles or no application (CONTROL).


Only the skin temperature immediately before and after the time-trial was higher with cream than SHAM and CONTROL (best p < 0.001, best d = 1.16). All other parameters evaluated, i.e., the average power output during the time-trial (p > 0.05, best d = 0.08), the tissue saturation index of the m. vastus lateralis (p > 0.05, best d = 0.57), cardiac output, heart rate, oxygen uptake, blood lactate concentration, and perceived exertion (p > 0.05, best d = 1.1) were similar under all three conditions.


Our present findings reveal that topical application of cream containing nonivamide and nicoboxil to the thighs of cyclists prior to a 4-km time-trial does not improve their power output, saturation of the m. vastus lateralis with oxygen, oxygen uptake, heart rate, cardiac parameters, or perceived level of exertion.


Cycling Finalgon Near-infrared spectroscopy Warm-up 



Analysis of variance






Heart rate


Near-infrared spectroscopy


Rating of perceived exertion


Tissue saturation index


Time trial


Peak oxygen uptake





The authors wish to thank Korbinian Bimmerle for his help with collecting the data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None of the authors has any conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christoph Zinner
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hans-Christer Holmberg
    • 2
  • Billy Sperlich
    • 1
  1. 1.Integrative and Experimental Training Science, Department of Sport ScienceUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgGermany
  2. 2.Department of Health Sciences, Swedish Winter Sports Research CentreMid Sweden UniversityÖstersundSweden

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