Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on sprint endurance

J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Feb;27(2):526-32. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318256bedc.


Recent research has shown that beta-alanine (BA) supplementation can increase intramuscular carnosine levels. Carnosine is an intramuscular buffer, and it has been linked to improvements in performance, specifically during bouts of high-intensity exercise that are likely limited by muscle acidosis. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effect of BA supplementation on sprint endurance at 2 different supramaximal intensities. Twenty-one anaerobically trained (rugby players [n = 4], wrestlers [n = 11], and recreationally strength trained athletes [n = 6]) college-aged men participated in a double-blind, placebo controlled study. The subjects performed an incremental VO2max test and 2 sprint to exhaustion tests set at 115 and 140% of their VO2max on a motorized treadmill before (PRE) and after (POST) a 5-week supplementation period. During this time, the subjects ingested either a BA supplement or placebo (PLA) with meals. The subjects ingested 4 g·d(-1) of BA or PLA during the first week and 6 g·d(-1) the following 4 weeks. Capillary blood samples were taken before and after each sprint to determine blood lactate response to the sprint exercise. No significant group (BA, PLA) × intensity (115%, 140%; p = 0.60), group by time (PRE, POST; p = 0.72), or group × intensity × time (p = 0.74) interactions were observed for time to exhaustion. In addition, similar nonsignificant observations were made for lactate response to the sprints (group × intensity, p = 0.43; group × time, p = 0.33, group × intensity × time, p = 0.56). From the results of this study, it was concluded that beta-alanine supplementation did not have a significant effect on sprint endurance at supramaximal intensities.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test
  • Exercise Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Running / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult
  • beta-Alanine / pharmacology*


  • beta-Alanine
  • Lactic Acid