Objectives This study aimed to investigate whether supplementation with 12 mg⋅day−1 astaxanthin for 7 days can improve exercise performance and metabolism during a 40 km cycling time trial. Design A randomised, double-blind, crossover design was employed. Methods Twelve recreationally trained male cyclists (VO2peak: 56.5 ± 5.5 mL⋅kg−1⋅min−1, Wmax: 346.8 ± 38.4 W) were recruited. Prior to each experimental trial, participants were supplemented with either 12 mg⋅day−1 astaxanthin or an appearance-matched placebo for 7 days (separated by 14 days of washout). On day 7 of supplementation, participants completed a 40 km cycling time trial on a cycle ergometer, with indices of exercise metabolism measured throughout. Results Time to complete the 40 km cycling time trial was improved by 1.2 ± 1.7% following astaxanthin supplementation, from 70.76 ± 3.93 min in the placebo condition to 69.90 ± 3.78 min in the astaxanthin condition (mean improvement = 51 ± 71 s, p = 0.029, g = 0.21). Whole-body fat oxidation rates were also greater (+0.09 ± 0.13 g⋅min−1, p = 0.044, g = 0.52), and the respiratory exchange ratio lower (−0.03 ± 0.04, p = 0.024, g = 0.60) between 39–40 km in the astaxanthin condition. Conclusions Supplementation with 12 mg⋅day−1 astaxanthin for 7 days provided an ergogenic benefit to 40 km cycling time trial performance in recreationally trained male cyclists and enhanced whole-body fat oxidation rates in the final stages of this endurance-type performance event.
- Dietary Supplements
- Substrate Utilisation
- Sports Performance
- Sports Nutrition
- Sports Performance, Exercise and Nutrition Research Group