Oral tyrosine supplementation improves exercise capacity in the heat

Les Tumilty, Glen Davison, Manfred Beckmann, Rhys Thatcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Increased brain dopamine availability improves prolonged exercise tolerance in the heat. It is unclear whether supplementing the amino-acid precursor of dopamine increases exercise capacity in the heat. Eight healthy male volunteers [mean age 32 ± 11 (SD) years; body mass 75.3 ± 8.1 kg; peak oxygen uptake ( V˙O2peak ) 3.5 ± 0.3 L min−1] performed two exercise trials separated by at least 7 days in a randomised, crossover design. Subjects consumed 500 mL of a flavoured sugar-free drink (PLA), or the same drink with 150 mg kg body mass−1 tyrosine (TYR) in a double-blind manner 1 h before cycling to exhaustion at a constant exercise intensity equivalent to 68 ± 5% V˙O2peak in 30°C and 60% relative humidity. Pre-exercise plasma tyrosine:large neutral amino acids increased 2.9-fold in TYR (P < 0.01), while there was no change in PLA (P > 0.05). Subjects cycled longer in TYR compared to PLA (80.3 ± 19.7 min vs. 69.2 ± 14.0 min; P < 0.01). Core temperature, mean weighted skin temperature, heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion and thermal sensation were similar in TYR and PLA during exercise and at exhaustion (P > 0.05) despite longer exercise time in TYR. The results show that acute tyrosine supplementation is associated with increased endurance capacity in the heat in moderately trained subjects. The results also suggest for the first time that the availability of tyrosine, a nutritional dopamine precursor, can influence the ability to subjectively tolerate prolonged submaximal constant-load exercise in the heat.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2941-2950
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume111
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011

Keywords

  • Central fatigue
  • Amino acid
  • Mild hyperthermia

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