Muscle carnosine has been reported to serve as a physiological buffer, possess antioxidant properties, influence enzyme regulation, and affect sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium regulation. Beta-alanine (β-ALA) is a non-essential amino acid. β-ALA supplementation (e.g., 2-6 grams/day) has been shown to increase carnosine concentrations in skeletal muscle by 20-80%. Several studies have reported that β-ALA supplementation can increase high-intensity intermittent exercise performance and/or training adaptations. Although the specific mechanism remains to be determined, the ergogenicity of β-ALA has been most commonly attributed to an increased muscle buffering capacity. More recently, researchers have investigated the effects of co-ingesting β-ALA with creatine monohydrate to determine whether there may be synergistic and/or additive benefits. This paper overviews the theoretical rationale and potential ergogenic value of β-ALA supplementation with or without creatine as well as provides future research recommendations.
Keywords: anaerobic capacity; creatine monohydrate; ergogenic aids; muscular fatigue.