a1 Department of Sports Sciences, School of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Japan
The present study was designed to determine the effects of various levels of capsaicin (CAP) on endurance capacity in forty-nine male Sprague–Dawley rats, aged 4 weeks, which were assigned to four groups. Rats were given orally either control (0) or 6, 10 or 15 mg CAP/kg body weight 2 h before exercise by stomach intubations using a round-ended needle. The rats in each group were divided into two subgroups for resting or swimming exercise. Swimming exercise was performed with a weight corresponding to 3 % body weight attached to the tail, and endurance capacity was evaluated by swimming time to exhaustion. The highest dose (15 mg/kg) of CAP significantly (P < 0·05) increased endurance performance time and caused plasma non-esterified fatty acid to rise significantly by about 1·4-fold compared with that of non-CAP treated rats at exhaustion (P < 0·05). The highest dose of CAP had no effect on liver and gastrocnemius muscle glycogen (white and red) in resting rats, but significantly increased glycogen contents of both muscles at exhaustion (P < 0·05). At rest, plasma noradrenalin levels of the rats receiving the highest dose were greater than that of non-CAP-treated rats and remained greater until exhaustion. The effects of CAP on endurance capacity have received little attention and have conveyed conflicting impressions. Kim et al. (1997) failed to show the maximal effect of 10 mg/kg doses of CAP on swimming endurance time in mice. The influences of various doses of CAP on endurance capacity were still unclear. Matsuo et al. (1996) reported that the intake of CAP have little sparing effect on glycogen in the liver and soleus muscles at rest and during exercise in rats previously fed a CAP-containing diet ad libitum for 1 week. Our present results suggest more than the highest dose of CAP (15 mg/kg) can cause the increase of endurance capacity, which might be induced through the sparing of muscle glycogen and the rise of non-esterfied fatty acids following the increase of circulating catecholamine.
(Received August 06 2002)
(Revised March 28 2003)
(Accepted April 17 2003)