Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Performance Research for November: Beta Alanine and Exercise Peformance

Some brand spanking new research on beta alanine once again! Dr Stout's lab has done lots of work on beta alanine to date.

Be sure to see all the other blog posts I've done on beta alanine HERE.

There is also a review study at the bottom about the growing area of "functional foods"

Mike N

The effects of beta-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on neuromuscular fatigue and muscle function.

Smith AE, Moon JR, Kendall KL, Graef JL, Lockwood CM, Walter AA, Beck TW, Cramer JT, Stout JR.

Metabolic and Body Composition Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, 1401 Asp Ave HHC 104, Norman, OK, 73019, USA. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of beta-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMG(FT)) and efficiency of electrical activity (EEA). A total of 46 men completed four, 2-min work bouts on a cycle ergometer.

Using bipolar surface electrodes, the EMG amplitude was averaged and plotted over the 2-min. The resulting slopes were used to calculate EMG(FT) and EEA. Following initial testing, all participants were randomly assigned to either placebo (PL; n = 18), beta-alanine (BA; n = 18) or control groups (CON; n = 10). Following randomization, participants engaged in 6 weeks of HIIT training. Significant improvements in EMG(FT) and EEA resulted for both training groups.

Conclusion: In conclusion, high-intensity interval training appeared to be the primary stimulus effecting electromyographic fatigue threshold or efficiency of electrical activity, suggesting adaptations from high-intensity interval training may be more influential than increasing skeletal muscle carnosine levels on delaying fatigue in recreationally active men.

The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue in elderly (55-92 Years): a double-blind randomized study.

Stout JR, Graves BS, Smith AE, Hartman MJ, Cramer JT, Beck TW, Harris RC. Department of Health and Exercise Science,

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA. jrstout@ou.edu. ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Ageing is associated with a significant reduction in skeletal muscle carnosine which has been linked with a reduction in the buffering capacity of muscle and in theory, may increase the rate of fatigue during exercise. Supplementing beta-alanine has been shown to significantly increase skeletal muscle carnosine. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to examine the effects of ninety days of beta-alanine supplementation on the physical working capacity at the fatigue threshold (PWCFT) in elderly men and women.

METHODS: Using a double-blind placebo controlled design, twenty-six men (n = 9) and women (n = 17) (age +/- SD = 72.8 +/- 11.1 yrs) were randomly assigned to either beta-alanine (BA: 800 mg x 3 per day; n = 12; CarnoSyntrade mark) or Placebo (PL; n = 14) group. Before (pre) and after (post) the supplementation period, participants performed a discontinuous cycle ergometry test to determine the PWCFT.

RESULTS: Significant increases in PWCFT (28.6%) from pre- to post-supplementation were found for the BA treatment group (p < style="font-weight: bold;">

CONCLUSION: We suggest that BA supplementation, by improving intracellular pH control, improves muscle endurance in the elderly. This, we believe, could have importance in the prevention of falls, and the maintenance of health and independent living in elderly men and women.

Functional food for exercise performance: fact or foe?

Deldicque L, Francaux M.

Université catholique de Louvain, Institut d'éducation physique et de réadaptation, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium. PURPOSE OF REVIEW: To present food components showing evidence for improved sport performance in the light of the scientific literature from the past 2 years. RECENT FINDINGS: Appropriate nutrition is essential for sport performance. Nutritional products containing carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals have been widely used by athletes to provide something extra to the daily allowance.

Currently, the field of interest is shifting from macronutrients and fluids to physiologically active isolated food components. Several of them have been demonstrated to improve sport performance at a higher level than expected with a well balanced diet. In the present review, we will focus on the benefits of creatine, caffeine, branched-chain amino acids, and more particularly leucine, beta-alanine, bicarbonate, and glycerol ingestion on exercise performance.

Conclusion: A bulk of products are sold on the market labeled with various performance benefit statements without any scientific evidence. These food components are often used without a full understanding or evaluation of the potential benefits and risks associated with their use. There is thus a real need to classify food components on the basis of their evidence-based effectiveness.