Research & Investigations in Sports Medicine

Effects of Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Athletic Performance: A Mini-Review

Submission: January 25, 2018; Published: February 23, 2018

Volume1 Issue5
February 2018


Background and purpose: Diet and muscle fiber type are all major factors in predicting intramuscular carnosine concentration [1]. Constituent substrate availability, including the amino acids L-histidine and more specifically beta alanine, play the greatest role in determining the concentration of intramuscular carnosine, a potent intracellular Hydrogen ion buffer. The purpose of this review is to analyze the efficacy of beta alanine supplementation on exercise performance, specifically activities relying on anaerobic glycolysis.

Method: The review included articles from peer-reviewed journals with sufficient data related to the purpose and focus of the study. Inclusion criteria included randomized control trials, systematic reviews and meta-analysis published since 2007.

Results: Twenty relevant studies were identified; various experimental protocols were employed, including both acute and chronic effects of beta alanine supplementation on physical performance. All studies were published 2007 through 2017, providing a robust overview of experimentation over the last 10 years.

Discussion and conclusion: Among studies analyzed in this mini-review, the consensus reached regarding the efficacy of beta alanine supplementation for performance enhancement was relatively positive. Most studies followed similar supplementary strategies, consuming anywhere from 1.6 to 6.4g/day for 2 to 10 weeks. The majority of these studies demonstrated statistically significant increases in intramuscular carnosine content, a physiological parameter that is positively correlated with sprinting and power performance. Many studies presented results in support of enhanced muscular endurance performance subsequent to supplementation relative to the placebo group. Researchers also noted a decline in peak aerobic capacity concurrent to a delay in the onset of blood lactate accumulation, supporting the notion of enhanced glycolytic capacity. More research is necessary to identify optimal dosing strategies for performance optimization across the spectrum of physical activities.

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