β-Alanine supplementation has been shown to increase muscle carnosine levels and exercise performance. However, its effects on muscle recovery from resistance exercise (RE) remains unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of β-alanine supplementation on muscle function during recovery from a single session of high-intensity RE. Twenty-four untrained young adults (22.1 ± 4.6 years old) were assigned to one of two groups (N = 12 per group): a placebo-supplement group (4.8 g/day) or an β-alanine-supplement group (4.8 g/day). The groups completed a single session of high-intensity RE after 28 days of supplementation and were then evaluated for muscle function on the three subsequent days (at 24, 48, and 72 h postexercise) to assess the time course of muscle recovery. The following indicators of muscle recovery were assessed: number of repetitions until failure, rating of perceived exertion, muscle soreness, and blood levels of creatine kinase (CK). Number of repetitions until failure increased from 24 to 48 h and 72 h of recovery (time P < 0.01), with no difference between groups. There was a significant increase in the rating of perceived exertion among the sets during the RE session (time P < 0.01), with no difference between the groups. No difference was observed over time and between groups in rating of perceived exertion in the functional tests during recovery period. Blood CK levels and muscle soreness increased at 24 h postexercise and then progressively declined at 48 and 72 h postexercise, respectively (time P < 0.05), with no difference between groups. In conclusion, our data indicate that β-alanine supplementation does not improve muscle recovery following a high-intensity RE session in untrained young adults.
Keywords: Amino acid; Carnosine; Muscle performance; Muscle recovery; Strength training.