With performance pressure continuing to increase for professional athletes, more competitors are turning to natural supplements rich in amino acids, minerals and vitamins. In particular, the amino acid beta alanine has been in the spotlight recently due to its benefits to strength and endurance. Mo Farah, one of Brittan’s most accomplished world record-holding track athlete has revealed that beta alanine supplementation plays a significant role in his training regime.
Beta Alanine Enhances Endurance and Strength
Beta alanine is a renowned performance enhancing compound that raises muscle carnosine concentrations. This natural substance is converted into carnosine when consumed. Studies have revealed that four weeks supplementation with beta alanine can increase muscle carnosine levels by approximately 60%; this increases to around 80% after ten weeks1. This is very valuable to athletes that depend on endurance and strength.
Carnosine buffers the effects of lactic acid build-up that occurs as a result of physical exertion, allowing athletes to push their body further. Research shows that muscle carnosine loading can improve physical performance in both trained and untrained athletes2. Ongoing research indicates that the benefits of beta alanine supplementation are not restricted to athletes.
Carnosine has been identified as being able to help safeguard the body from stroke, diabetes, and atherosclerosis3, 4. It also may prevent hypertension5 and has cancer-inhibiting properties6, 7, 8. Other studies show that carnosine may help to prevent the development of brain degeneration associated with diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s9 increases efficiency of DOPA therapy of Parkinson’s disease: a pilot study.” Rejuvenation Res.11(4):821-7.”], 10, 11, plus minimise the formation of cataracts12.
The richest dietary sources of beta alanine are dipeptiedes commonly found in proteins such as pork, chicken, fish and beef. For a regular source of beta alanine, it’s recommended to take a quality dietary supplement.
- “Hill CA, Harris RC, Kim HJ, Harris BD, Sale C, Boobis LH, Kim CK, Wise JA. (2007). “Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity”. Amino Acids 32 (2): 225–33.” ↩
- “Derave W, Everaert I, Beeckman S, Baguet A. (2010). “Muscle carnosine metabolism and beta-alanine supplementation in relation to exercise and training.” Sports Med 40(3):247-63.” ↩
- “Rashid I, van Reyk DM, Davies MJ. (2007). “Carnosine and its constituents inhibit glycation of low-density lipoproteins that promotes foam cell formation in vitro”. FEBS Lett. 581(5):1067-70.” ↩
- “Rajanikant GK, Zemke D, Senut MC, et al. (2007). “Carnosine is neuroprotective against permanent focal cerebral ischemia in mice.” Stroke. 38(11):3023-31.” ↩
- “Niijima A, Okui T, Matsumura Y, et al. (2002). “Effects of L-carnosine on renal sympathetic nerve activity and DOCA-salt hypertension in rats.” Auton Neurosci. 97(2):99-102”. ↩
- “Chuang CH, Hu ML. (2008) L”-carnosine inhibits metastasis of SK-Hep-1 cells by inhibition of matrix metaoproteinase-9 expression and induction of an antimetastatic gene, nm23-H1.” Nutr Cancer. 60(4):526-33.” ↩
- “Renner C, Zemitzsch N, Fuchs B, et al. (2010) “Carnosine retards tumor growth in vivo in an NIH3T3-HER2/neu mouse model.” Mol Cancer. 9:2.” ↩
- “Renner C, Asperger A, Seyffarth A, Meixensberger J, Gebhardt R, Gaunitz F. (2010) “Carnosine inhibits ATP production in cells from malignant glioma”. Neurol Res. 32(1):101-5.” ↩
- “Boldyrev A, Fedorova T, Stepanova M, et al. (2008) “Carnosine [corrected ↩
- “Boldyrev AA, Stvolinsky SL, Fedorova TN, Suslina ZA.(2010) “Carnosine as a natural antioxidant and geroprotector: from molecular mechanisms to clinical trials.” Rejuvenation Res.13(2-3):156-8.” ↩
- “Tsai SJ, Kuo WW, Liu WH, Yin MC. (2010) “Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory protection from carnosine in the striatum of MPTP-treated mice.” J Agric Food Chem. 58(21):11510-6.” ↩
- ”Guo Y, Yan H. (2006) “Preventive effect of carnosine on cataract development. Yan Ke Xue Bao.” 22(2):85-8.” ↩