Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation): Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Metab.
Page numbers: 331-337
Background: Boxing is a high-intensity sport that requires both aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways for force generation and endurance, respectively. Due to the high intensity of boxing, an increase in lactic acid concentration in the muscles and, therefore, acidification of the muscles could be contributing to fatigue. β-alanine is a promising supplement to maintain the pH of the muscles since it can increase the amount of carnosine, a natural buffer, inside muscle cells by about 40-85%.
Hypothesis: β-Alanine supplementation at 6 g/day for 4 wks will improve punch performance (force and frequency) during a simulated boxing match.
Subjects: Sixteen competitive amateur boxers, age 25 ± 4 y
Experimental design: block randomized based on number and force of punches during baseline testing, placebo-controlled, single-blind, parallel groups
β-Alanine: 1.5 g β-alanine 4 times per day (6 g/day total) in capsules, taken at least 2 hrs apart and preferably after a meal containing protein.
Protocol: The participants first reported to the laboratory for familiarization with the testing procedures. Then, they completed baseline testing which included a simulated boxing contest. On a punching bag equipped with a force transducer, they followed a standardized punch combination every 12 sec for 2 min, 50 sec. Then, they performed maximal punching for 10 sec. After a 60 sec rest, they repeated the routine to yield 3 ×3 min rounds. Heart rate was measured between rounds and, immediately after the last round, a blood sample was collected for analysis of blood lactate concentration. After group assignment, they were given a supplement to consume for 28 days. On the 29th day, the participants repeated the same simulated boxing contest as at baseline. During the supplementation period, the participants completed questionnaires regarding side effects.