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Review
. 2015 Jul 15;12:30.
doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y. eCollection 2015.

International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Beta-Alanine

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Free PMC article
Review

International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: Beta-Alanine

Eric T Trexler et al. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) provides an objective and critical review of the mechanisms and use of beta-alanine supplementation. Based on the current available literature, the conclusions of the ISSN are as follows: 1) Four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation (4-6 g daily) significantly augments muscle carnosine concentrations, thereby acting as an intracellular pH buffer; 2) Beta-alanine supplementation currently appears to be safe in healthy populations at recommended doses; 3) The only reported side effect is paraesthesia (tingling), but studies indicate this can be attenuated by using divided lower doses (1.6 g) or using a sustained-release formula; 4) Daily supplementation with 4 to 6 g of beta-alanine for at least 2 to 4 weeks has been shown to improve exercise performance, with more pronounced effects in open end-point tasks/time trials lasting 1 to 4 min in duration; 5) Beta-alanine attenuates neuromuscular fatigue, particularly in older subjects, and preliminary evidence indicates that beta-alanine may improve tactical performance; 6) Combining beta-alanine with other single or multi-ingredient supplements may be advantageous when supplementation of beta-alanine is high enough (4-6 g daily) and long enough (minimum 4 weeks); 7) More research is needed to determine the effects of beta-alanine on strength, endurance performance beyond 25 min in duration, and other health-related benefits associated with carnosine.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
The relative effects of beta-alanine supplementation on time to exhaustion (TTE) lasting (A) 0–350 s (0–6 min) and (B) lasting 500–1400 s (8–25 min)
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Relative effects of beta-alanine on time trial/fixed end-point exercise performance
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Relative effects of beta-alanine on neuromuscular fatigue (i.e. threshold/workload that can be sustained without fatigue)

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