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Nutrients 2012, 4(10), 1441-1453; doi:10.3390/nu4101441
Article

Effect of 10 Week Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Competition and Training Performance in Elite Swimmers

1,2
, 3
, 4
, 1,* , 1
, 2
 and 3
1 Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Leverrier Crescent, Bruce, Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia 2 Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Ballarat Road, Footscray Park, Melbourne, VIC 3011, Australia 3 Department of Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Leverrier Crescent, Bruce, Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia 4 Department of Physiology, Queensland Academy of Sport, Level 1 Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC), Kessels Road, Nathan, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2012 / Revised: 17 September 2012 / Accepted: 26 September 2012 / Published: 9 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Nutrition)
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Abstract

Although some laboratory-based studies show an ergogenic effect with beta-alanine supplementation, there is a lack of field-based research in training and competition settings. Elite/Sub-elite swimmers (n = 23 males and 18 females, age = 21.7 ± 2.8 years; mean ± SD) were supplemented with either beta-alanine (4 weeks loading phase of 4.8 g/day and 3.2 g/day thereafter) or placebo for 10 weeks. Competition performance times were log-transformed, then evaluated before (National Championships) and after (international or national selection meet) supplementation. Swimmers also completed three standardized training sets at baseline, 4 and 10 weeks of supplementation. Capillary blood was analyzed for pH, bicarbonate and lactate concentration in both competition and training. There was an unclear effect (0.4%; ±0.8%, mean, ±90% confidence limits) of beta-alanine on competition performance compared to placebo with no meaningful changes in blood chemistry. While there was a transient improvement on training performance after 4 weeks with beta-alanine (−1.3%; ±1.0%), there was an unclear effect at ten weeks (−0.2%; ±1.5%) and no meaningful changes in blood chemistry. Beta-alanine supplementation appears to have minimal effect on swimming performance in non-laboratory controlled real-world training and competition settings.
Keywords: carnosine; physiology; ergogenic aid; swimming; exercise; athlete carnosine; physiology; ergogenic aid; swimming; exercise; athlete
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Chung, W.; Shaw, G.; Anderson, M.E.; Pyne, D.B.; Saunders, P.U.; Bishop, D.J.; Burke, L.M. Effect of 10 Week Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Competition and Training Performance in Elite Swimmers. Nutrients 2012, 4, 1441-1453.

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