β-Alanine (BA) supplementation has become an ergogenic aid amongst competitive athletes to augment intramuscular carnosine content, leading to higher buffer capacity and exercise performance. We investigated 27 regularly trained young males and females who were randomly allocated either to placebo (PL) or BA ingestion for 8 weeks. Every single day, BA or PL (4.0–5.6 g day−1) supplements were ingested by participants and associated with a strong plyometric high-intensity training (two sessions per week during the 8 weeks). Before and after training, maximal jump heights were recorded during squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jump (CMJ) and an index of fatigue was recorded as a mean height of 45 consecutive CMJ. Blood lactate was measured at rest, after completing the fatigue test and every 5 min thereafter up to 30 min recovery. After plyometric training, SJ and CMJ were increased, respectively, by 8.8 and 6.4 % in PL group and 9.9 and 11.0 % in BA group (p < 0.01, no difference between groups). Blood lactate reached a maximal value of 9.4 ± 1.6 mmol l−1 in PL group, and 10.3 ± 1.3 mmol l−1 in BA group, with a slight better performance in the fatigue test (+8.6 %, p ≤ 0.01) for BA group as compared to PL group. To conclude, 2-month β-alanine supplementation resulted in a slight improvement of explosive force after 45 maximal consecutive jumps in young athletes. However, the practical adequacy of supplementation remains questionable in an active and healthy population.
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We are indebted to Hedelab (Belgium) for the two food supplementations (placebo and β-alanine).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Statement of human rights: All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional committee and with the 1964 Helsinski declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Statement on the welfare of animals: This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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