BACKGROUNDThe primary purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of arachidonic acid (ARA) supplementation on functional performance and body composition in trained males. In addition, we performed a secondary study looking at molecular responses of ARA supplementation following an acute exercise bout in rodents.METHODSThirty strength-trained males (age: 20.4 ± 2.1 yrs) were randomly divided into two groups: ARA or placebo (i.e. CTL). Then, both groups underwent an 8-week, 3-day per week, non-periodized training protocol. Quadriceps muscle thickness, whole-body composition scan (DEXA), muscle strength, and power were assessed at baseline and post-test. In the rodent model, male Wistar rats (~250 g, ~8 weeks old) were pre-fed with either ARA or water (CTL) for 8 days and were fed the final dose of ARA prior to being acutely strength trained via electrical stimulation on unilateral plantar flexions. A mixed muscle sample was removed from the exercised and non-exercised leg 3 hours post-exercise.RESULTSLean body mass (2.9%, p<0.0005), upper-body strength (8.7%, p<0.0001), and peak power (12.7%, p<0.0001) increased only in the ARA group. For the animal trial, GSK-β (Ser9) phosphorylation (p<0.001) independent of exercise and AMPK phosphorylation after exercise (p-AMPK less in ARA, p = 0.041) were different in ARA-fed versus CTL rats.CONCLUSIONSOur findings suggest that ARA supplementation can positively augment strength-training induced adaptations in resistance-trained males. However, chronic studies at the molecular level are required to further elucidate how ARA combined with strength training affect muscle adaptation.