Nutrition21's Nitrosigine may boost cognitive performance post-exercise: Study

By Stephen Daniells contact

- Last updated on GMT

© metamorworks / Getty Images
© metamorworks / Getty Images

Related tags: Cognitive function, pre-workout

Acute supplementation with Nutrition 21’s inositol-stabilized arginine silicate ingredient may enhance cognitive function following intense exercise, says a new study.

Data published in the Journal of Exercise and Nutrition​indicated that a single dose of the Nitrosigine -branded ingredient led to significantly better performance in tests of visuo-perceptual abilities, cognitive flexibility, and executive function compared to placebo.

Intense exercise was found to worsen cognitive performance, but such decreases were not seen in the Nitrosigine group. The study was conducted by KGK Science and Nutrition21 sponsored this research.

“In the current study population, acute [inositol-stabilized arginine silicate] supplementation was shown to improve cognitive function following exercise, which may also enhance sport performance in this population,”​ wrote the researchers, led by KGK’s Malkanthi Evans, PhD.

The ingredient

Nitrosigine has been available in the market for several years, starting off as a pre-workout ingredient due to its ability to increase in levels of the potent vasodilator nitric oxide (NO), a compound which primarily dilates blood vessels and improves blood flow.

The new study adds to earlier data on the potential cognitive health benefits of the ingredient. Kalman et al. published data from two double-blind placebo-controlled crossover studies​ in 2016 which opened the door beyond the pre-workout category (Nutrients​, 8​(11), 736)..

Those studies used Nitrosigine doses of 1500 mg per day for three or fourteen days, with cognitive performance measured using the Trail Making Test (TMT).

The new study also used the TMT Parts A and B to study the potential impacts on cognitive performance of a single 1500 mg dose of the ingredient.

“Part A is a measure for visuo-perceptual abilities while Part B assesses cognitive flexibility and executive function,” ​explained Dr Evans and her co-workers.

Key results

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study included 24 healthy, recreationally active men. The men were given a single Nitrosigine dose 30 minutes before intensive exercise. TMT Parts A and B were administered before the supplement was consumed, and again after exercise.

The study revealed that acute supplementation led to a 5% quicker completion time for TMT Part A, while completion time in the placebo group was slow (it increased) by 51% in the placebo group.

Completion times for TMT B also decreased by 7% in the Nitrosigine group, but they increased by an average of 11% in the placebo group.

“While long-term exercise can benefit cognitive performance, individuals also report that strenuous exercise can cause acute mental fatigue and cognitive impairments,”​ wrote the researchers. “This study highlights a role for [inositol-stabilized arginine silicate] as a pre-workout supplement to enhance cognitive performance associated with physical activities. via augmentation of cognitive function is an emerging area of research.”

Source: Journal of Exercise and Nutrition
2020, Volume 3 (Issue 3): 9
“Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate Improves PostExercise Cognitive Function in Recreationally Active, Healthy Males: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study”
Authors: M. Evans et al.

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