The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on power performance during repeated sprint activity

J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):79-87. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c63bd5.


The dipeptide carnosine has been shown to contribute to the buffer capacity of hydrogen ions (H) during intense exercise. Increasing skeletal muscle carnosine levels through beta-alanine (BA) supplementation has been shown to maintain acid-base balance, delay fatigue, and improve exercise performance. We designed this study to examine the effect of 5 weeks of BA supplementation on repeat high-intensity sprint performance. Nineteen, physically active, college men were divided into 2 groups (control [C], n = 10 or BA, n = 9). We performed double-blind placebo-controlled study where subjects ingested 4 g per day during the first week and 6 g per day over the next 4 weeks of a placebo (rice flour) or a BA supplement. Subjects completed 2 sets of 5 5-second sprints with 45-second recovery separated by 2 minutes of active recovery. All tests were conducted on a non-motorized treadmill against a resistance of 15% of the participant's body weight. We recorded horizontal power (HP) of the running sprint. Post-exercise capillary blood samples were analyzed for lactate to determine the metabolic demands. There were no significant between-group differences (p > 0.05) in HPpeak or HPmean for the repeat sprint protocol. No significant between-group differences were found for performance decrement (% fatigue) for HPpeak or HPmean. In addition, no significant interactions were observed. Post-exercise blood lactate values were similar pre and post supplementation in both groups. The results of this study clearly indicate that 5 weeks of BA supplementation provides no benefit for repeat sprint performance.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Fatigue / drug effects
  • Muscle Fatigue / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Running / physiology*
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Alanine / pharmacology*


  • Lactates
  • beta-Alanine