Ten minutes after taking Nitrosigine, multitasking is much easier
Nitrosigine is an L-arginine analogue you can find in many pre-workout formulas and other sports supplements. In 2016 American researchers reported that Nitrosigine significantly improves the ability of people to switch quickly from one mental task to another. This is not only interesting for people with a job that is sometimes too versatile, but also for athletes who need to be able to make quick decisions.
Nitrostigine is a combination of L-arginine, silicate and inositol. According to research funded by the manufacturer of this combination, Nitrosigine is a more effective form of L-arginine than regular arginine.
That producer, the American Nutrition 21, also paid for the study we're talking about now.
The researchers gave young men 1500 mg of nitrosigine every day for 3 days. On another occasion, the researchers repeated the procedure - and gave the subjects a placebo.
Before the supplementation started, 10 minutes after the first intake and after 3 days of supplementation, the researchers tested the ability of the men to switch from one mental task to another.
The researchers tested the mental abilities of their subjects with the Trail Making Test A and the Trail Making Test B. In both tests, subjects must connect beads on a piece of paper in as short a time as possible. Trail Making Test A is the easiest: connect 1 with 2, 2 with 3, 3 with 4 - and so on.
Trail Making Test B is a bit more difficult. The subjects must connect 1 with A, A with 2, 2 with B, B with 3, 3 with C - and so on. The faster you connect the beads correctly, the more flexible your brain can switch from one thought process to another. That cognitive flexibility is crucial in sports in which athletes have to make quick decisions, the researchers write.
"Enhanced mental flexibility has been shown to benefit athletes when faced with quick decisions and associated adaptations often required during competition, especially in field sports such as football. In addition, the ability to efficiently allocate attention is an important factor for success in all sports."
"The ability to multitask may help an athlete save energy through more efficient processing, thus also allowing them to perform better than before. Skilled athletes who adapt to rapid changes in visual information are able to allocate their attention more effectively than physical and cognitive skills and that perhaps even a small improvement can make an impact on performance."
Already 10 minutes after taking Nitrosigine, the subjects performed better on the more difficult B part of the test. After a few days of supplementation, the effect was still present.
The researchers also conducted a trial in which they gave their test subjects 14 days of 1500 milligrams of Nitrosigine per day. In that trial too, Nitroginine did not lose any of its effectiveness as time went on.
"Daily doses of Nitrosigine significantly improved Trail Making Test B times, with effects seen in as little as 10 min after dosing and continued improvement with ongoing use", write the researchers.
"Improvement in Trail Making Test B test times suggests improved complex processing speed in subjects treated with Nitrosigine. Improved mental ﬂexibility is an area of potential athletic enhancement which is deserving of further research."
Nutrients. 2016 Nov 18;8(11). pii: E736.
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