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Phys Act Nutr > Volume 25(2); 2021 > Article
Physical Activity and Nutrition 2021;25(2):15-19.
DOI:    Published online June 30, 2021.
Effect of ginger extract ingestion on skeletal muscle glycogen contents and endurance exercise in male rats
Satoshi Hattori1, Naomi Omi1, Zhou Yang2, Moeka Nakamura2, Masahiro Ikemoto3
1Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
2Comprehensive Human Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, Japan
3Ikeda Food Research Co., Ltd, Fukuyama, Hiroshima, Japan
Correspondence:  Naomi Omi, Tel: +81-29-853-6319, Fax: +81-29-853-6507, 
Received: 12 June 2021   • Revised: 25 June 2021   • Accepted: 28 June 2021
*Satoshi Hattori and Naomi Omi contributed equally to this study as co-first authors.
Skeletal muscle glycogen is a determinant of endurance capacity for some athletes. Ginger is well known to possess nutritional effects, such as anti-diabetic effects. We hypothesized that ginger extract (GE) ingestion increases skeletal muscle glycogen by enhancing fat oxidation. Thus, we investigated the effect of GE ingestion on exercise capacity, skeletal muscle glycogen, and certain blood metabolites in exercised rats.
First, we evaluated the influence of GE ingestion on body weight and elevation of exercise performance in rats fed with different volumes of GE. Next, we measured the skeletal muscle glycogen content and free fatty acid (FFA) levels in GE-fed rats. Finally, we demonstrated that GE ingestion contributes to endurance capacity during intermittent exercise to exhaustion.
We confirmed that GE ingestion increased exercise performance (p<0.05) and elevated the skeletal muscle glycogen content compared to the non- GE-fed (CE, control exercise) group before exercise (Soleus: p<0.01, Plantaris: p<0.01, Gastrocnemius: p<0.05). Blood FFA levels in the GE group were significantly higher than those in the CE group after exercise (p<0.05). Moreover, we demonstrated that exercise capacity was maintained in the CE group during intermittent exercise (p<0.05).
These findings indicate that GE ingestion increases skeletal muscle glycogen content and exercise performance through the upregulation of fat oxidation.
Key Words: ginger extract, glycogen, exercise, FFA, blood glucose, blood lactate


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