Does viagra increase the synthesis of muscle proteins?

I know this topic sounds a bit like poor quality marketing, if the famous PDE5 inhibitor (PDE = phosphodiesterase) affects the synthesis of muscle proteins. Viagra is a type 5 phosphodiesterase inhibitor and has an effect after approximately 27 minutes and lasts for 4 hours. 1 Phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors increase the NO (nitric oxide) response by inhibiting cyclic GMP degradation. 2 

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Nitric oxide increases the anabolic response to insulin and amino acids in older people, it also seems to be indispensable for hypertrophy in mice, it has an effect on muscle regeneration. The decrease in the activity of signal pathways mediated by nitric oxide is associated with a decrease in muscle performance. Most likely, it is one of the processes associated with aging and debilitation and occurring at Becker or Duchenne muscular dystrophy. It is easy to get tired in mice with impaired NO production. 

Men received 25 mg of sildenafil or placebo for 8 days. Body composition was determined using the DEXA method. Blood and muscle samples were collected. 

Results 

Does it mean that viagra builds muscles? No, because they were physically inactive, fat men! In the viagra group they had an average of 35 ± 2% body fat, a trained man should have less than 15%, elite athletes have 6-8% body fat (boxers of the Olympic class). Elite marathon runners have an average of 6.4 ± 1.3% body fat. Marathon runners here even beat boxers at the Olympic level (similar athletes wore an average of 6.9 ± 1.6% body fat) and free style wrestlers (7.9 ± 2.7% body fat). Even the sprinters given as pattern … they had almost as much body fat as the marathon runners! (6.5 ± 1.2%)

Secondly – the study was too short. Thirdly, no specific training was conducted. Fourthly – the group was too small. In the end, it is not known how the short-term increase in the synthesis has to real muscle growth. In numerous scientific studies, the rapid increase in protein synthesis did not have a significant impact on the effects. Such observations should be carried out for 10-12 weeks. In addition, many substances work great, but only until the saturation of the signaling pathway, receptors, body habits to ergogenics (ephedrine, anabolic androgenic steroids, beta mimetics, etc.). This is described as tachyphylaxis (quenching the effect of the drug). Finally, I would add that the determination of muscle fatigue in the synthetic test of a medium-sized muscle group (extensor knee joint) has nothing to do with the burden of sports activity. 

At the moment, there are no indications to suggest the use of Viagra as an ergogenic agent. In addition, side effects of using PDE5 inhibitors may be headaches, and therefore a disadvantage for the athlete. 

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