• The effects of acute arginine supplementation on 10 mile cycling time trial performance in young adult males

      Morris, Mike; Gill, Sam (University of Chester, 2012-09)
      L-arginine is one of the most metabolically versatile amino acids in the human body, most notably serving as the pre-cursor for the biosynthesis of nitric oxide (NO). The reported physiological effects of L-arginine have served as the rationale behind the development and marketing of a number of NO stimulating dietary supplements, which profess to augment NO production and improve blood flow to muscle during exercise. Supplementation with L-arginine and similar “NO boosters” has soared in popularity over the last decade, despite the fact that there is an overall lack of supportive data in healthy humans, as ergogenic potential remains inconclusive. The aim of this study was therefore to determine the effects of acute supplementation of commercially available L-arginine on exercise performance. Twelve recreationally trained, young adult males (22.3 ± 4.1 yr, 79.3 ± 7.9 kg, 180.9 ± 2.3 cm) consumed either: a placebo (PLA), an L-arginine beverage containing 8g L-arginine (ARG) or no beverage (CON) in a double-blind, repeated-measures design. 45 minutes following consumption, participants completed a 10 mile time trial on a cycle ergometer. There was no significant difference (p=0.643) in time-trial performance between the conditions (CON 29:49 ± 2:19 vs ARG 29:49 ± 3:18 vs PLA 29:30 ± 2:42 minutes). There was no significant difference (p=0.276) between conditions in volitional power output (W) (CON 119.3 ± 8.7 vs ARG 120.1 ± 7.7 vs PLA 121.2 ± 6.2 W), or in heart rate responses (p=0.129) (CON 169.2 ± 11.3 vs ARG 167.2 ± 10.8 vs PLA 166.3 ± 7.8 bpm). Significant differences (p=0.033) were observed between conditions (CON 15.6 ± 1.6 vs ARG 15.2 ± 2.0 vs PLA 15.0 ± 1.7) in RPE responses. With no ergogenic benefits observed in this study, the rationale for pre-exercise supplementation with arginine may be further brought into question.
    • Male-only preserves: Homosocial environments in the nineteenth century

      Edwards, Carol (University of Chester, 2013)
      This dissertation explores those areas of nineteenth-century life from which women were excluded. Links are made throughout to literary texts as illustrations of how male-only groups were depicted in literature and how homosociality was represented. As well as describing the national picture, examples of male-only environments in Cheshire, which are still in existence in the twenty-first century, are used. The Introduction describes the background to the project and considers the development of male-only environments in the light of nineteenth-century attitudes to the respective roles of men and women. It reviews expectations with regard to men’s behaviour that were current at the beginning of the nineteenth century, and considers the changes in those attitudes that took place during Queen Victoria’s reign. The first chapter deals with public schools and the consequences for young boys of growing up in a female-free environment, paying particular regard to the aspirations of their parents, the pupils’ everyday lives and their relationships. Chapter 2 deals with adult male associations and societies: gentlemen’s clubs, Freemasonry, and examples of other local groups that survive today. It looks at their rules and rituals, specifically with regard to their attitude to the presence of women. The final chapter is concerned with intense male relationships and nineteenth-century public opinion about them; particular attention is given in this section to literary examples of close friendships between men and to the role of bachelors. Finally, the Conclusion reflects on the complexity of the subject matter and highlights the different perceptions, historical and contemporary, of the changes that took place during the nineteenth century; and considers how much, or little, has changed since then.