Effects of β-Alanine Supplementation on Carnosine Elevation and Physiological Performance

Adv Food Nutr Res. 2018:84:183-206. doi: 10.1016/bs.afnr.2017.12.003. Epub 2018 Jan 8.


β-Alanine is one of the more popular sport supplements used by strength/power athletes today. The popularity of β-alanine stems from its ability to enhance intracellular muscle-buffering capacity thereby delaying fatigue during high-intensity exercise by increasing muscle carnosine content. Recent evidence also suggests that elevated carnosine levels may enhance cognitive performance and increase resiliency to stress. These benefits are thought to result from carnosine's potential role as an antioxidant. This review will discuss these new findings including recent investigations examining β-alanine supplementation and increased resiliency to posttraumatic stress and mild traumatic brain injury. This review will focus on the physiology of carnosine, the effect of β-alanine ingestion on carnosine elevations, and the potential ergogenic benefits it has for competitive and tactical athletes.

Keywords: Antioxidant; Buffering capacity; Carnosine; Dietary supplement; Histidine dipeptide; Nutrition; Performance; Sport supplement.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / pharmacokinetics
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Carnosine / metabolism*
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Drug Interactions
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • beta-Alanine / administration & dosage
  • beta-Alanine / pharmacokinetics
  • beta-Alanine / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • beta-Alanine
  • Carnosine