Beta-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters

University of Chichester, Chichester, England, United Kingdom
Journal of Applied Physiology (Impact Factor: 3.06). 12/2007; 103(5):1736-43. DOI: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00397.2007
Source: PubMed


Carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine) is present in high concentrations in human skeletal muscle. The ingestion of beta-alanine, the rate-limiting precursor of carnosine, has been shown to elevate the muscle carnosine content. We aimed to investigate, using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (proton MRS), whether oral supplementation with beta-alanine during 4 wk would elevate the calf muscle carnosine content and affect exercise performance in 400-m sprint-trained competitive athletes. Fifteen male athletes participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study and were supplemented orally for 4 wk with either 4.8 g/day beta-alanine or placebo. Muscle carnosine concentration was quantified in soleus and gastrocnemius by proton MRS. Performance was evaluated by isokinetic testing during five bouts of 30 maximal voluntary knee extensions, by endurance during isometric contraction at 45% maximal voluntary contraction, and by the indoor 400-m running time. beta-Alanine supplementation significantly increased the carnosine content in both the soleus (+47%) and gastrocnemius (+37%). In placebo, carnosine remained stable in soleus, while a small and significant increase of +16% occurred in gastrocnemius. Dynamic knee extension torque during the fourth and fifth bout was significantly improved with beta-alanine but not with placebo. Isometric endurance and 400-m race time were not affected by treatment. In conclusion, 1) proton MRS can be used to noninvasively quantify human muscle carnosine content; 2) muscle carnosine is increased by oral beta-alanine supplementation in sprint-trained athletes; 3) carnosine loading slightly but significantly attenuated fatigue in repeated bouts of exhaustive dynamic contractions; and 4) the increase in muscle carnosine did not improve isometric endurance or 400-m race time.

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Available from: Wim Derave, Sep 29, 2015
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    • "In skeletal muscle, carnosine increases with progressive glucose intolerance , suggesting that increased carnosine might be a compensatory mechanism to prevent cell damage in states of skeletal muscle insulin resistance (Stegen et al. 2015). Skeletal muscle is an important tissue in the development of insulin resistance (Abdul-Ghani and DeFronzo 2010; DeFronzo and Tripathy 2009) and over 99% of total body carnosine is located in skeletal muscle (Boldyrev 2006; Derave et al. 2007). Thus, it is possible that boosting endogenous muscle carnosine levels via carnosine administration antagonizes oxidation-and glycation-induced carbonylation and low-grade inflammation, which are characteristic of insulinresistant skeletal muscle (Bonnard et al. 2008; Kewalramani et al. 2010; Oh-Ishi et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: There is growing in vivo evidence that the dipeptide carnosine has protective effects in metabolic diseases. A critical unanswered question is whether its site of action is tissues or plasma. This was investigated using oral carnosine versus β-alanine supplementation in a high-fat diet rat model. Thirty-six male Sprague-Dawley rats received a control diet (CON), a high-fat diet (HF; 60% of energy from fat), the HF diet with 1.8% carnosine (HFcar), or the HF diet with 1% β-alanine (HFba), as β-alanine can increase muscle carnosine without increasing plasma carnosine. Insulin sensitivity, inflammatory signaling, and lipoxidative stress were determined in skeletal muscle and blood. In a pilot study, urine was collected. The 3 HF groups were significantly heavier than the CON group. Muscle carnosine concentrations increased equally in the HFcar and HFba groups, while elevated plasma carnosine levels and carnosine-4-hydroxy-2-nonenal adducts were detected only in the HFcar group. Elevated plasma and urine N(ε)-(carboxymethyl)lysine in HF rats was reduced by ∼50% in the HFcar group but not in the HFba group. Likewise, inducible nitric oxide synthase mRNA was decreased by 47% (p < 0.05) in the HFcar group, but not in the HFba group, compared with HF rats. We conclude that plasma carnosine, but not muscle carnosine, is involved in preventing early-stage lipoxidation in the circulation and inflammatory signaling in the muscle of rats.
    Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism 03/2015; 40(9):150331143629004. DOI:10.1139/apnm-2015-0042 · 2.34 Impact Factor
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    • " 1 g ) of pure β - alanine was associated with symptoms of paresthesia most appropriately described as tingling and / or pins and needles . Previ - ous research has reported that , for most individuals , consuming an acute 400 - mg dose of pure β - alanine is symptom free with this dose frequently used in previous studies ( Baguet et al . , 2009 ; Derave et al . , 2007 ; Harris et al . , 2006 ) . With 500 - mg doses , no symptoms were reported and participants could not differentiate between β - alanine and placebo ( Van Thienen et al . , 2009 ) . With 800 - mg doses ( 10 mg·kg −1 ) , Harris et al . ( 2006 ) reported " mild symptoms of flushing " in two out of four partici - pants , beginning within 20"
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    ABSTRACT: β-alanine is a common ingredient in supplements consumed by athletes. Indeed, athletes may believe that the β-alanine induced paresthesia, experienced shortly after ingestion, is associated with its ergogenic effect despite no scientific mechanism supporting this notion. The present study examined changes in cycling performance under conditions of β-alanine induced paresthesia. Eight competitive cyclists (VO2max = 61.8 ± 4.2 mL·kg·min−1) performed three practices, one baseline and four experimental trials. The experimental trials comprised a 1-km cycling time trial under four conditions with varying information (i.e., athlete informed β-alanine or placebo) and supplement content (athlete received β-alanine or placebo) delivered to the cyclist: informed β-alanine/received β-alanine, informed placebo/received β-alanine, informed β-alanine/received placebo and informed placebo/received placebo. Questionnaires were undertaken exploring the cyclists’ experience of the effects of the experimental conditions. A possibly likely increase in mean power was associated with conditions in which β-alanine was administered (±95% CL: 2.2% ± 4.0%), but these results were inconclusive for performance enhancement (p = 0.32, effect size = 0.18, smallest worthwhile change = 56% beneficial). A possibly harmful effect was observed when cyclists were correctly informed that they had ingested a placebo (–1.0% ± 1.9%). Questionnaire data suggested that β-alanine ingestion resulted in evident sensory side effects and six cyclists reported placebo effects. Acute ingestion of β-alanine is not associated with improved 1-km TT performance in competitive cyclists. These findings are in contrast to the athlete’s “belief” as cyclists reported improved energy and the ability to sustain a higher power output under conditions of β-alanine induced paresthesia.
    European Journal of Sport Science 01/2015; Epub. DOI:10.1080/17461391.2015.1005696 · 1.55 Impact Factor
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    • "Carnosine serves as a muscle buffer during intense exercise and increasing carnosine stores through beta-alanine supplementation can enhance this buffering ability [6]. Research on beta-alanine has shown that supplementation improves the rate of fatigue in sprinters [10] and improves YoYo Intermittent Recovery performance (the ability to repeatedly perform and recover from exercise) for amateur athletes [7]. Additionally, beta-alanine supplementation has increased the number of repetitions to fatigue and overall work capacity [6]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pre-workout supplements containing numerous ingredients claim to increase performance and strength. Product-specific research is important for identifying efficacy of combined ingredients. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of a proprietary pre-workout dietary supplement containing creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, L-Tarurine, L-Leucine, and caffeine, on anaerobic power, muscular strength, body composition, and mood states. Methods In a double-blind, randomized, matched-pair design, twenty male subjects (mean ± SD; 22.4 ± 9.5 yrs, 76.9 ± 11.2 kg, 22.7 ± 9.5% body fat), consumed either 30 g of a pre-workout supplement (SUP) or maltodextrin placebo (PLC) 30 minutes before a resistance training workout, after completing baseline testing. Body composition was determined via dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). Subjects completed 12 vertical jumps for height (VJ) and one repetition maximum (1RM) and repetitions to failure lifts on bench (BPM) and leg press (LPM). Finally, subjects completed a Wingate power test on a cycle ergometer [mean power (WMP) and peak power (WPP)]. After baseline testing, participants completed eight days of supplementation and four split-body resistance-training bouts. Side effect questionnaires were completed daily 30 minutes after consuming the supplement. Subjects completed post-supplement testing on Day 8. Data were analyzed utilizing a 2 × 2 repeated measures ANOVA [treatment (PLC vs SUP) × time (T1 vs T2)] and ninety-five percent confidence intervals. Results There were no significant treatment × time interactions (p > 0.05). There were no significant changes in %body fat (%BF; ∆-0.43 ± 0.58; p = 0.920), fat mass (∆-2.45 ± 5.72; p = 0.988), or lean body mass (LBM; 10.9 ± 12.2; p = 0.848). 95% CI demonstrated significant LBM increases for both groups. There was a main effect for time for WPP (∆100.5 ± 42.7W; p = 0.001), BPM (∆8.0 ± 12.9 lbs; p = 0.001), and LPM (∆80.0 ± 28.8 lbs; p = 0.001), with no significant differences between treatments. There was no significant difference in mood states between groups or over time. Conclusion The proprietary pre-workout blend combined with eight days of training did not significantly (ANOVA) improve body composition or performance. While not significant, greater gains in LPM were demonstrated in the SUP group for lean body mass and lower body strength. Future studies should evaluate more chronic effects of proprietary pre-workout blends on total training volume and performance outcomes.
    Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 08/2014; 11(1):40. DOI:10.1186/s12970-014-0040-0 · 1.91 Impact Factor
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