Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation):J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr.
First Page : 26
doi : 10.1186/1550-2783-9-26
Background:β-Alanine is a compound that is thought to aid in performance by buffering hydrogen ions that are produced by exercise. In the body, β-alanine is combined with the amino acid histidine to form carnosine, a pH buffering molecule that is found in high concentrations in muscle cells.
Hypothesis: Daily β-alanine supplementation for 4 weeks will increase muscular endurance.
Subjects: Physically active, non-vegetarian males, n = 13, age 23 ± 6 y
Experimental design: randomized, placebo-controlled
Treatments : 800 mg tablets were taken 8 times per day, every 2 hours
β-alanine group: 6.4 g β-alanine per day
Control group: maltodextrin placebo
The participants were first familiarized with the knee extension test, and their maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) was determined. Then, before the supplementation period, they were evaluated for impulse and isometric hold time. To do this, they completed an isometric knee extension test at 45% of their previously determined MVIC, holding for as long as possible. Then, they consumed one of the two treatments for 4 weeks. They were familiarized with the isometric test at the beginning of week 4, and then were evaluated at the end of week 4 for post-test data.
Supplementation with β-alanine at 6.4 g/day for one month increased the muscle capacity during isometric exercises. This is likely due to increased buffering capacity of the muscle. A key limitation of these findings, however, is that their relevance to any known sporting activity is questionable.