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Acute Capsaicin Supplementation Improves Resistance Training Performance in Trained Men

Conrado de Freitas, Marcelo1; Cholewa, Jason M.2; Freire, Renan V.3; Carmo, Bruna A.3; Bottan, Jefferson3; Bratfich, Murilo3; Della Bandeira, Murilo P.3; Gonçalves, Daniela C.4; Caperuto, Erico C.5; Lira, Fabio S.6; Rossi, Fabrício E.7

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: August 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 8 - p 2227–2232
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002109
Original Research

Conrado de Freitas, M, Cholewa, JM, Freire, RV, Carmo, BA, Bottan, J, Bratfich, M, Della Bandeira, MP, Gonçalves, DC, Caperuto, EC, Lira, FS, and Rossi, FE. Acute capsaicin supplementation improves resistance training performance in trained men. J Strength Cond Res 32(8): 2227–2232, 2018—The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of capsaicin supplementation on performance, rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and blood lactate concentrations during resistance exercise in healthy trained young men. Ten resistance-trained men (age = 22.7 ± 4.0 years, mass = 82.3 ± 9.6 kg, and height = 175 ± 0.1 cm) completed 2 randomized, double-blind trials: capsaicin condition (12 mg) or a placebo condition. Forty-five minutes after supplement consumption, subjects performed 4 sets until movement failure in the squat exercise at 70% of 1 repetition maximum with 90 seconds of rest interval between sets. The total mass lifted (total repetitions × mass lifted) was calculated. The RPE was recorded after the last set. Blood lactate was analyzed after each set of exercise, immediately postexercise, and after 3, 5, and at 30 minutes during recovery. The number of repetitions in each set decreased significantly after all sets compared with set-1 and after set-3 and set-4 in relation to set-2 (p < 0.001); however, total mass lifted was higher in capsaicin compared with placebo (3,919.4 ± 1,227.4 kg vs. 3,179.6 ± 942.4 kg, p = 0.002). Blood lactate increased significantly after each set (p < 0.001); however, there were no differences between conditions. Rate of perceived exertion was significantly less for the capsaicin condition than placebo (17.2 ± 1.0 vs. 18.3 ± 1.7, p = 0.048). In summary, acute capsaicin supplementation improves lower-body resistance training performance in trained young men.

1Skeletal Muscle Assessment Laboratory, School of Technology and Sciences, Department of Physical Education, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Presidente Prudente, São Paulo, Brazil;

2Department of Kinesiology, Coastal Carolina University, Conway, South Carolina;

3Faculty of Dracena (UNIFADRA), São Paulo, Brazil;

4Biosciences Department, Federal University of São Paulo, UNIFESP, São Paul, Brazil;

5University São Judas Tadeu, São Paulo, Brazil;

6Exercise and Immunometabolism Research Group, Department of Physical Education, São Paulo State University (UNESP), Santos, Brazil; and

7Immunometabolism of Skeletal Muscle and Exercise Research Group, Department of Physical Education, Federal University of Piauí (UFPI), Teresina-PI, Brazil

Address correspondence to Fabrício E. Rossi,

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.