Human Trial Shows NMN Enhances Exercise Endurance in Runners
From supplements to anabolic steroids, athletes across the globe are constantly seeking ways to improve their endurance and athletic performance. In recent years, we’ve accrued substantial research showing that supplementing with nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) increases exercise endurance, at least in rodents. So, do these NMN-related athletic endurance benefits apply to humans?
In a human trial, Hu and colleagues from Guangzhou Sport University published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition showing that NMN powder taken orally can increase the aerobic capacity — the consumption of oxygen by our muscles — of adult runners. What’s more, this NMN treatment also improves the ability of our skeletal muscles to utilize oxygen for more efficient energy production during endurance exercise. Hu and colleagues’ results support that NMN may increase athletic endurance by enhancing this skeletal muscle oxygen utilization capacity.
Combining NMN with Training Improves Endurance Exercise
To determine whether healthy, middle-aged people can reap similar benefits from NMN, Hu and colleagues supplemented runners with 300, 600, or 1200 mg/day of orally administered NMN powder for six weeks. During this time, these three dosage groups trained five to six times per week for 40-60 minutes and then underwent heart and lung (cardiopulmonary) exercise testing.
The endurance exercise testing revealed that the body’s ability to absorb oxygen and deliver it to tissues significantly improved with the 600 and 1200 mg/day dosages. Hu and colleagues also examined the effect of NMN on aerobic power, the muscles’ ability to use oxygen from the heart and lungs for energy production, which they found improved at these doses compared to runners who didn’t take NMN. What’s more, the ventilatory threshold — the point where the breathing rate increases faster than oxygen absorption — significantly improved at 600 and 1200 mg/day doses with training. These findings show that taking NMN in addition to exercising can improve the body’s oxygen utilization capabilities, especially at higher doses.