Objectives: Supplementation with β-alanine has been proposed to improve performance in some exercises such as cycling and running. Also, it has been demonstrated that great deals of proton ions are produced in the skeletal muscles during exercise that result in acidosis, whereas β-alanine may reduce this effect. Therefore, the aim of this study is to assess the effects of alanine supplementation on VO(2) max, time to exhaustion and lactate concentrations in physical education male students.
Methods: Thirty-nine male physical education students volunteered for this study. Participants were supplemented orally for 6 week with either β-alanine (5*400 mg/d) or placebo (5*400 mg dextrose/d), randomly. VO(2) max and time to exhaustion (TTE) with a continuous graded exercise test (GXT) on an electronically braked cycle ergometer; and serum lactate and glucose concentrations were measured before and after supplementation.
Results: Supplementation with β-alanine showed a significant increase in VO(2) max (P<0.05) and a significant decrease in TTE and lactate concentrations (P<0.05). A significant elevation in lactate concentrations and a non significant increase in TTE were observed in placebo group. Plasma glucose concentrations did not change significantly in two groups after intervention.
Conclusion: It can be concluded that β-alanine supplementation can reduce lactate concentrations during exercise and thus can improve exercise performance in endurance athletes.
Keywords: performance; supplementation; β-alanine.