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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995 May;27(5):668-73.

Effect of choline supplementation on fatigue in trained cyclists.

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Department of Neurology, St. Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ 85001, USA.


The availability of choline, the precurser of the neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in the diet is sufficient to provide the body's requirements under normal conditions. However, preliminary evidence indicates that depletion of choline may limit performance, while oral supplementation may delay fatigue during prolonged efforts. A double-blind cross-over design was used to determine the relationship between plasma choline and fatigue during supramaximal brief and submaximal prolonged activities. Twenty male cyclists (ages 23-29) with maximal aerobic power (VO2max) between 58 and 81 were randomly divided into BRIEF (N = 10) and PROLONGED (N = 10) groups. One hour after drinking a beverage with or without choline bitartrate (2.43 g), cyclists began riding at a power output equivalent to approximately 150% (BRIEF) and 70% (PROLONGED) of VO2max at a cadence of 80-90 rpm. Time to exhaustion, indirect calorimetry and serum choline, lactate, and glucose were measured. Increases in choline levels of 37 and 52% were seen within one hour of ingestion for BRIEF and PROLONGED groups, respectively. Neither group depleted choline during exercise under the choline or placebo conditions. Fatigue times and work performed under either test condition for the BRIEF or PROLONGED groups were similar. Consequently, trained cyclists do not deplete choline during supramaximal brief or prolonged submaximal exercise, nor do they benefit from choline supplementation to delay fatigue under these conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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