The effect of ß-alanine on buffering capacity and exercise performance during and following high-intensity exercise in healthy males
Danaher, J, Gerber, T, Wellard, R M, Hayes, A, Bishop, D, & Satathis, C G (2012) The effect of ß-alanine on buffering capacity and exercise performance during and following high-intensity exercise in healthy males. In ICMRBS 2012 : XXVth International Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems, 19-24 August 2012, Lyon Convention Centre, Lyon, France. (Unpublished)
Intense exercise induced acidosis occurs after accumulation of hydrogen ions as by-products of anaerobic metabolism. Oral ingestion of ß-alanine, a limiting precursor of the intracellular physiochemical buffer carnosine in skeletal muscle, may counteract detrimental effects of acidosis and benefit performance. This study aimed to investigate the effect of ß-alanine as an ergogenic aid during high intensity exercise performance.
Five healthy males ingested either ß-alanine or placebo (Pl) (CaCO3) in a crossover design with 6 wk washout between. Participants performed two different intense exercise protocols over consecutive days. On the first day a repeated sprint ability (RSA) test was performed. On the second day a cycling capacity test measuring the time to exhaustion (TTE) was performed at 110% of maximum workload achieved in a pre supplementation max test (CCT110%). Non-invasive quantification of carnosine, prior to, and following each supplementation, with in vivo magnetic resonance spectrometry was performed in the soleus and gastrocnemius muscle. Time to fatigue (CCT110%), peak and mean power (RSA), blood pH, and plasma lactate were measured.
Muscle carnosine concentration was not different prior to ß-alanine supplementation and increased 18% in the soleus and 26% in the gastrocnemius, respectively after supplementation. There was no difference in the measured performance variables during the RSA test (peak and average power output). TTE during the CCT110% was significantly enhanced following the ingestion of BAl (155s ± 19.03) compared to Pl (134s ± 26.16). No changes were observed in blood pH during either exercise protocol and during the recovery from exercise. Plasma lactate after BAI was significantly higher than Pl only from the 15th minute following exercise during the CCT110%.
Greater muscle carnosine content following 6wk supplementation of ß-alanine enhanced the potential for intracellular buffering capacity. This translated into enhanced performance during the CCT110% high intensity cycling exercise protocol but not during the RSA test. The lack of change in plasma lactate or blood pH indicates that 6wks ß-alanine supplementation has no effect on anaerobic metabolism during multiple-bout high-intensity exercise. Changes measured in plasma lactate during recovery support the hypothesis that ß-alanine supplementation may affect anaerobic metabolism particularly during single bout high intensity.
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