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β-Alanine, Muscle Carnosine and Exercise

Chronic supplementation with β-alanine has been shown to increase intramuscular concentrations of carnosine resulting in increased muscle buffering capacity. The ergogenic potential of β-alanine has been widely demonstrated across some exercise intensities, durations and modalities, particularly those limited by muscle acidosis (i.e., high-intensity exercise between 1 and 7 min in duration). Although the effects of training on muscle carnosine are yet to be fully investigated, evidence exists to suggest that supplementation with β-alanine alongside a structured training program may result in enhanced adaptations and additive improvements in exercise performance. Furthermore, several studies have demonstrated the beneficial effects of increased intracellular and extracellular buffering capacity through cosupplementation with sodium bicarbonate. Interestingly, it has been shown that β-alanine supplementation can improve exercise performance to a similar extent in both trained and nontrained individuals, meaning β-alanine can be used as an ergogenic aid for high-intensity exercise regardless of training status. Thus, β-alanine can be considered an appropriate nutritional aid to attenuate fatigue during high-intensity exercise.

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13 Aug 2015
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