Upcoming Issue Highlights
Home Subscribe Advertise Sourcebook Free Product Info Home

Inositol-enhanced Arginine Silicate for Cognitive Performance and Energy in eSports Athletes

Arginine Silicate Arginine Silicate
Kaneka
 
EuroMedica

Just in case you’re thinking that supplements for eSports (i.e., electronic sports; aka gamers) is a niche market, consider that approximately 74 percent of households in the U.S. have at least one family member who plays video games and about 3 billion people worldwide are gamers.1 Not only that, but eSports has now developed into a form of competition using video games,2 complete with spectatorship of professional gamers.3,4 Even the International Olympic Committee helped legitimize gaming when they indicated that eSports could be considered as a sporting activity.5

Dietary Supplements for Gamers

Consistent with other sports, eSport gamers also want to achieve their personal best and—also consistent with other sports—dietary supplements may be able to help gamers improve their concentration, endurance, accuracy, decision making and reaction time. One particular nutraceutical that is a prime candidate for inclusion in a dietary supplement for gamers is inositol-enhanced arginine silicate oral supplement.

What Is Inositol-enhanced Arginine Silicate?

Let’s begin by explaining what inositol-enhanced arginine silicate (IEAS) actually is. Inositol-stabilized arginine silicate (aka, inositol-enhanced arginine silicate) is a novel bioavailable source of arginine, silicon and inositol providing multiple health benefits. It comprises a bonded arginine-silicate complex, stabilized by inositol. It has been affirmed as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) and is marketed in the United States after Food and Drug Administration (FDA) New Dietary Ingredient Notification (NDIN). It starts to work within 15 minutes of ingesting and significantly increases arginine levels for up to six hours. Inositol-stabilized arginine silicate has been shown to provide benefits in several populations (e.g., significantly enhance blood levels of arginine up to six hours post-dose, increase nitric oxide levels, enhance energy, increase muscle pump and stamina during workouts, and faster muscle recovery post-workout), including those involved in athletic fitness.6

Now that we know what it is, let’s first take a look at other human research on this nutraceutical compound before jumping into the research on the use of IEAS for gamers.

IEAS and Athletic Enhancement

A double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study7 was conducted to examine the benefits of IEAS as a workout ingredient in healthy adults. IEAS (1,500 mg/day) was tested using the POMS vigor-activity and fatigue-inertia sub-scores, blood flow measurements, leg circumference measurements, and biomarkers of muscle recovery (creatine kinase [CK]) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) as outcome measures. Subjects took IEAS daily for four days and completed an intense leg extension exercise protocol to induce muscle soreness. Results were that perceived energy, measured using the POMS vigor-activity sub-scores, significantly increased after 72 hours compared to placebo (p = 0.039). At 72 hours, perceived fatigue, measured using the POMS fatigue-inertia sub-scores, significantly decreased in the IEAS group (p = 0.041) from pre-dose, compared to a non-significant change in the placebo group (p = 0.580); p = 0.055 between groups. Hyperemia (i.e., muscle pump), measured using leg circumference, increased significantly in the IEAS group by 1.8 cm (p = 0.001) at 72 hours from pre-dose, compared to a non-significant increase in the placebo group by 0.8 cm (p = 0.091); p = 0.070 between groups. CK levels significantly decreased in the IEAS group at 24 (p = 0.040), 48 (p = 0.017) and 72 (p = 0.034) hours post-exercise compared to the placebo group. Immediately post-exercise at the hour 0 visit, ASI supplementation led to 44 percent less muscle damage, measured by CK levels, than placebo (p = 0.057). LDH levels significantly increased from baseline immediately after exercise in the placebo group (p = 0.015), but not in the ASI group (p = 0.366); p = 0.133 between groups. No safety concerns were raised by this study. In conclusion, IEAS prior to workout significantly increased pre-workout energy levels, increased muscle pump immediately following a workout, and decreased biomarkers of muscle damage immediately after a workout and during recovery.

IEAS and Cognitive Enhancement

A randomized, double-blind, crossover study8 was conducted to examine acute IEAS effects on young healthy adults by assessing multiple cognitive domains. Nineteen young adults (20.9 ± 3.2 years) consuming IEAS (1.5 g IEAS + 12 g dextrose) and placebo (12 g dextrose). The participants completed the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) and two digital cognitive assessments before consuming the supplement and then completed the same battery of tests 60 min post-supplementation. Repeated measures demonstrated that IEAS consumption significantly improved total RBANS and immediate memory scores compared to the placebo (p < 0.05).

Another randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study9 was conducted to determine the efficacy of IEAS in improving cognitive performance following intense exercise. A single oral dose of 1,500 mg IEAS or placebo was administered to subjects 30 minutes before a maximally graded exercise test. Prior to and following exercise, cognitive function was assessed via the Trail Making Test (TMT). Safety was evaluated at end of study. Results were that, following intense exercise, IEAS reduced the time to complete TMT Part A and B compared to increased time with placebo. Differences between IEAS and placebo were statistically significant (p = 0.01). IEAS was found to be safe and well-tolerated with no related adverse events. In conclusion, intense exercise resulted in impaired cognitive function, which was prevented by pre-exercise IEAS consumption.

IEAS and Cardiovascular Health

Some energy-stimulating ingredients, such as caffeine, bitter orange and guarana, have been shown to increase heart rate, blood pressure, insomnia, nervousness and restlessness. Caffeine intake can increase systolic blood pressure by 10 percent and increase heart rate by 6 percent after only 60 minutes. Consequently, a double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study10 was undertaken to evaluate if IEAS can be used as a non-stimulant energy source without any negative cardiovascular side effects. Subjects 18 to 35 years old received both test products (IEAS 1,500 mg and placebo) in a randomly assigned sequence, daily for four days. Changes in heart rate and blood pressure were measured from pre-dose to approximately 25 minutes post dose on Day 1 and from pre-dose Day 1 to pre-dose Day 4. Results showed that while perceived energy levels increased in the IEAS group compared to placebo after 72 hours (p<0.05), there were no significant changes in heart rate or systolic and diastolic blood pressure versus placebo at any measured time point. In another double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical study, subjects (18 to 35 years old) with previously limited exercise routines received both test products (IEAS 1,500 mg and placebo) in a randomly assigned sequence, daily for 14 days. Results showed that there were no significant changes in heart rate or systolic and diastolic blood pressure within the ASI group or between groups at any measured time point. In conclusion, IEAS intake at daily doses of 1,500 mg does not induce elevations in heart rate or blood pressure.

IEAS and eSport Gamers

Given IEAS’s beneficial effects on athletic and cognitive performance, as well as its cardiovascular safety profile, it was not surprising that this material was used in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study11 (1,500 mg IEAS + 100 mg of additional inositol) to examine its effect on cognitive performance and energy in eSport gamers. Sixty healthy men and women who spent five or more hours a week playing video games were randomly assigned to take the supplement or placebo for seven days. On day 1 and 7, before and 15 minutes after dosing, subjects completed the following cognitive tests:

• Trail Making Test (TMT) – Measures visual attention and task switching.

• Stroop Test – Measures selective attention capacity and skills, and processing speed.

• Profile of Mood States (POMS) Questionnaire – Measures mood by focusing on tension-anxiety, depression-dejection, anger-hostility, vigor-activity, fatigue-inertia and confusion-bewilderment.

Subjects then played a video game for 60 minutes. Immediately after, cognitive tests were repeated. Self-reported energy levels increased, anger decreased and TMT test errors decreased in the supplement group compared to placebo (p < 0.05). Fatigue, TMT score improved in the supplement group compared to baseline (p < 0.05). After 60 minutes of gaming, supplementation decreased Stroop Test errors and TMT time (p < 0.05). These data appear to support the use of inositol-enhanced arginine silicate in eSport gamers looking to improve their accuracy, decision making, and reaction time during gaming.

Conclusion

eSports is growing in popularity, with 74 percent of households in the U.S. having at least one family member who plays video games. As with other sports, eSport gamers also want to achieve their personal best, and IEAS may be help them do that. IEAS has demonstrated beneficial effects on athletic and cognitive performance, as well as its cardiovascular safety profile, and when used it helped eSport gamers improve their accuracy, decision making and reaction time during gaming.

References:

1 Gaming Statistics. TrueList. 5/24/22. Retrieved June 22, 2022 from https://truelist.co/blog/gaming-statistics/.

2 Hamari J, Sjöblom M. What is eSports and why do people watch it? Internet Research.2016; 27 (2): 211–232.

3 Tassi, Paul (20 December 2012). “2012: The Year of eSports.” Forbes. Retrieved 15 August 2013.

4 Ben Popper (30 September 2013). “Field of Streams: How Twitch Made Video Games a Spectator Sport.” The Verge. Retrieved 9 October 2013.

5 Grohmann, Karolos (28 October 2017). “E-sports just got closer to being part of the Olympics.” Reuters. Retrieved 5 November 2017.

6 Komorowski JR, Hewling S. Chapter 59 – Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate: A Novel Nitric Oxide-Boosting Ingredient for Sports Nutrition and Improved Cognition. In Bagchi D, Nair S, Sen CK (eds.) Nutrition and Enhanced Sports Performance: Muscle Building, Endurance, and Strength (2nd Ed.). Academic Press; 2019: 683-689.

7 Rood-Ojalvo S, Sandler D, Veledar E, Komorowski J. The benefits of inositol-stabilized arginine silicate as a workout ingredient. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015; 12(Suppl 1): P14.

8 Gills JL, Campitelli A, Jones M, et al. Acute Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate Improves Cognitive Outcomes in Healthy Adults. Nutrients. 2021 Dec; 13(12): 4272.

9 Evans M, McDonald A, Crowley D, et al. Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate Improves Post-Exercise Cognitive Function in Recreationally Active, Healthy Males: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Crossover Study. Journal of Exercise and Nutrition. 2020; 3(3):9.

10 Sylla S, Ojalvo SP, Komorowski J. An Evaluation of the Effect of Inositol-Stabilized Arginine Silicate on Heart Rate and Blood Pressure. FASEB J. 2018; 32(S1): 724.12-724.12.

11 Tartar JL, Kalman D, Hewlings S. A Prospective Study Evaluating the Effects of a Nutritional Supplement Intervention on Cognition, Mood States, and Mental Performance in Video Gamers. Nutrients. 2019 Oct; 11(10): 2326.

Gene Bruno, MS, MHS, the provost for Huntington University of Health Sciences, is a nutritionist, herbalist, writer and educator. For more than 40 years he has educated and trained natural product retailers and health care professionals, has researched and formulated natural products for dozens of dietary supplement companies, and has written articles on nutrition, herbal medicine, nutraceuticals and integrative health issues for trade, consumer magazines and peer-reviewed publications. He can be reached at gene.bruno@hchs.edu.