Article

Amino Acids

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 225-233

First online:

Influence of β-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity

  • C. A. HillAffiliated withSchool of Sports, Exercise & Health Sciences, University of Chichester
  • , R. C. HarrisAffiliated withSchool of Sports, Exercise & Health Sciences, University of Chichester
  • , H. J. KimAffiliated withHuman Exercise Physiology, Korea National Sport University
  • , B. D. HarrisAffiliated withSchool of Sports, Exercise & Health Sciences, University of Chichester
  • , C. SaleAffiliated withCentre for Human Sciences
  • , L. H. BoobisAffiliated withSunderland Royal Hospital
  • , C. K. KimAffiliated withHuman Exercise Physiology, Korea National Sport University
  • , J. A. WiseAffiliated withNatural Alternatives International

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Summary.

Muscle carnosine synthesis is limited by the availability of β-alanine. Thirteen male subjects were supplemented with β-alanine (CarnoSyn™) for 4 wks, 8 of these for 10 wks. A biopsy of the vastus lateralis was obtained from 6 of the 8 at 0, 4 and 10 wks. Subjects undertook a cycle capacity test to determine total work done (TWD) at 110% (CCT110%) of their maximum power (Wmax). Twelve matched subjects received a placebo. Eleven of these completed the CCT110% at 0 and 4 wks, and 8, 10 wks. Muscle biopsies were obtained from 5 of the 8 and one additional subject. Muscle carnosine was significantly increased by +58.8% and +80.1% after 4 and 10 wks β-alanine supplementation. Carnosine, initially 1.71 times higher in type IIa fibres, increased equally in both type I and IIa fibres. No increase was seen in control subjects. Taurine was unchanged by 10 wks of supplementation. 4 wks β-alanine supplementation resulted in a significant increase in TWD (+13.0%); with a further +3.2% increase at 10 wks. TWD was unchanged at 4 and 10 wks in the control subjects. The increase in TWD with supplementation followed the increase in muscle carnosine.

Keywords: β-alanine – Muscle – Carnosine – Taurine – Exercise – Cycle performance