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Nutrients 2012, 4(10), 1441-1453; doi:10.3390/nu4101441
Article

Effect of 10 Week Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Competition and Training Performance in Elite Swimmers

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1 Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Leverrier Crescent, Bruce, Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia 2 Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Ballarat Road, Footscray Park, Melbourne, VIC 3011, Australia 3 Department of Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport, Leverrier Crescent, Bruce, Canberra, ACT 2617, Australia 4 Department of Physiology, Queensland Academy of Sport, Level 1 Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre (QSAC), Kessels Road, Nathan, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 July 2012 / Revised: 17 September 2012 / Accepted: 26 September 2012 / Published: 9 October 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sports Nutrition)
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Abstract

Although some laboratory-based studies show an ergogenic effect with beta-alanine supplementation, there is a lack of field-based research in training and competition settings. Elite/Sub-elite swimmers (n = 23 males and 18 females, age = 21.7 ± 2.8 years; mean ± SD) were supplemented with either beta-alanine (4 weeks loading phase of 4.8 g/day and 3.2 g/day thereafter) or placebo for 10 weeks. Competition performance times were log-transformed, then evaluated before (National Championships) and after (international or national selection meet) supplementation. Swimmers also completed three standardized training sets at baseline, 4 and 10 weeks of supplementation. Capillary blood was analyzed for pH, bicarbonate and lactate concentration in both competition and training. There was an unclear effect (0.4%; ±0.8%, mean, ±90% confidence limits) of beta-alanine on competition performance compared to placebo with no meaningful changes in blood chemistry. While there was a transient improvement on training performance after 4 weeks with beta-alanine (−1.3%; ±1.0%), there was an unclear effect at ten weeks (−0.2%; ±1.5%) and no meaningful changes in blood chemistry. Beta-alanine supplementation appears to have minimal effect on swimming performance in non-laboratory controlled real-world training and competition settings.
Keywords: carnosine; physiology; ergogenic aid; swimming; exercise; athlete carnosine; physiology; ergogenic aid; swimming; exercise; athlete
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Chung, W.; Shaw, G.; Anderson, M.E.; Pyne, D.B.; Saunders, P.U.; Bishop, D.J.; Burke, L.M. Effect of 10 Week Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Competition and Training Performance in Elite Swimmers. Nutrients 2012, 4, 1441-1453.

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