Effects of choline ingestion on endurance performance

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Burns, Jennifer M.
Costill, David L.
Issue Date
Thesis (M.S.)
School of Physical Education
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Plasma choline levels have been reported to be significantly reduced in athletes at the endof prolonged, exhaustive exercise (marathon running), and this may affect the release of acetylcholine at the neuromuscular junction (16). The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the influence of two levels of choline (from soy lecithin) ingestion on plasma choline levels and exercise performance. Ten endurance-trained male cyclists exercised on an electrically resisted ergometer for 105 minutes at a load equal to 70% V02 max, followed by an all-out, self-paced 15 minute performance ride on an isokinetic cycle. Three randomly ordered trials were performed four hours after the feedings of (A) 0.0 g, (B) 1.1 g, or (C) 1.8 g choline. Dietary intake of choline was controlled. Before and after the trials, blood samples were drawn and analyzed for serum choline (umol/liter) using an HPLC method. Feedings of 1.1 g and 1.8 g of choline significantly (p < 0.05) elevated serum choline values compared to control (A = 34.16 [± 0.63], B 38.17 [+ 0.96], and C = 42.32 [+ 0.59]).Post-exercise serum choline values, however, were not significantly different (p > 0.05) from pre-exercise levels. In addition, there were no significant differences (p > 0.05) in performance between placebo, 1.1 g, and 1.8 choline trials (2.11 x 105, 2.07 x 105, 2.07 x 105 Newton-meters, respectively). This study indicates a dose response to choline ingestion, with no effect on performance.