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
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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.
Chung W, Shaw G, Anderson ME, Pyne DB, Saunders PU, Bishop DJ, Burke LM. Effect of 10 Week Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Competition and Training Performance in Elite Swimmers. Nutrients. 2012; 4(10):1441-1453.
Chung, Weiliang; Shaw, Greg; Anderson, Megan E.; Pyne, David B.; Saunders, Philo U.; Bishop, David J.; Burke, Louise M. 2012. "Effect of 10 Week Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Competition and Training Performance in Elite Swimmers." Nutrients 4, no. 10: 1441-1453.