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Effect of almond supplementation on non-esterified fatty acid values and exercise performance.

Esquius, L., R. Segura, G.R. Oviedo, M. Massip-Salcedo, C. Javierre, 2020. Effect of almond supplementation on non-esterified fatty acid values and exercise performance. Nutrients. 12, 635; doi:10.3390/nu12030635

Several studies have investigated the effects of fat intake before exercise on subsequent substrate oxidation and exercise performance. While some studies have reported that unsaturated fatty acid supplementation slightly increases fat oxidation, the changes have not been reflected in the maximum oxygen uptake or in other performance and physiological parameters. We selected almonds as a fatty acid (FA) source for acute supplementation and investigated their effect on non-esterified fatty acid (NEFA) values and exercise performance. Five physically active male subjects (age 32.9 ± 12.7 years, height 178.5 ± 3.3 cm, and weight 81.3 ± 9.7 kg) were randomly assigned to take an almond or placebo supplement 2 h before participating in two cycling resistance training sessions separated by an interval of 7–10 days. Their performance was evaluated with a maximal incremental test until exhaustion. Blood samples collected before, during, and after testing were biochemically analysed. The results indicated a NEFA value average increase of 0.09 mg·dL−1 (95% CI: 0.05–0.14; p < 0.001) after active supplement intake and enhanced performance (5389 ± 1795 W vs. placebo 4470 ± 2053 W, p = 0.043) after almond supplementation compared to the placebo. The almond supplementation did not cause gastrointestinal disturbances. Our study suggests that acute almond supplementation 2 h before exercise can improve performance in endurance exercise in trained subjects.