Just one capsaicin capsule improves 1500 meter times
Three quarters of an hour after taking 12 milligrams of supplemental capsaicin, athletes perform better. The red pepper compound enables them to run the 1.5K 5 precious seconds faster, write Brazilian sports scientists in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The same researchers reported earlier that a comparable dose of capsaicin helps strength athletes to make more reps.
The researchers, who are affiliated with the Sao Paulo State University, let 10 physical active male students run a distance of 1500 meters in as short a time as possible on two different occasions. On one occasion, the men took a placebo 45 minutes before that session. On the other occasion, they took a supplement with 12 milligrams of capsaicin.
After taking a supplement with capsaicin, the concentration of capsaicin in the blood stream peaks after 45 minutes. Approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes after intake, virtually all capsaicin molecules have disappeared from the bloodstream.
After taking the placebo, the men covered the 1500 meters in 376.7 seconds. After ingesting capsaicin they ran the 1.5K in 371.6 seconds. This difference of 5.1 seconds [1.4 percent] was statistically significant.
After running the 1500 meters, the men were a little less tired if they had used capsaicin.
"We found a lower rate of perceived exertion for the capsaicin condition in this study", the Brazilians wrote. "It is possible that capsaicin supplementation may have increased the pain threshold and reduced discomfort induced by fatiguing exercise, thereby resulting in improved running times; however, more research is needed to substantiate this hypothesis."
"The improvement in endurance performance in rodents [that had been given capsaicin] is partially attributed to a muscle glycogen sparing effect, as a result of higher lipolysis by greater release of epinephrine, norepinephrine, and free fatty acids during exercise. Because there were no differences between conditions in lactate concentrations and the short duration of the exercise, a sparing of muscle glycogen was likely not a factor that contributed to enhanced performance in this study."
"However, we were unable to measure free fatty acids or muscle glycogen, and therefore, more research is necessary to investigate the metabolic effects of capsaicin supplementation during exercise."
"This study suggests that acute capsaicin supplementation can be used as a nutritional strategy to improve performance during 1,500-m running by lowering the rate of perceived exertion", the researchers concluded. "The dose and form of capsaicin used was well tolerated and the results of this study may be applied by coaches and trainers looking to improve performance in amateur runners."
J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Feb;32(2):572-7.
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