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

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Feb;105(3):357-63. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0911-7. Epub 2008 Nov 7.


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. In conclusion, HIIT appeared to be the primary stimulus effecting EMG(FT) or EEA, suggesting adaptations from HIIT may be more influential than increasing skeletal muscle carnosine levels on delaying fatigue in recreationally active men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Biological / drug effects
  • Adaptation, Biological / physiology*
  • Adult
  • Bicycling / physiology
  • Carnosine / metabolism
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / drug effects
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Physical Fitness / physiology
  • beta-Alanine / metabolism
  • beta-Alanine / pharmacology*


  • beta-Alanine
  • Carnosine