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Article Title

EFFECTS OF BETA-ALANINE ON ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE

Abstract

B. McGonigle, J. Arnold, M. Lockard

Willamette University, Salem, OR

Increasing total power and decreasing overall fatigue in anaerobic performance are sought-after physical abilities among various athletic and fitness disciplines. Beyond physical training, many athletes supplement with the popular pre-workout beta-alanine to further optimize performance. Beta-alanine binds with histidine to form carnosine and is stored within skeletal muscle. Research has found that multi-week Beta-alanine supplementation improves total power and decreases overall fatigue in anaerobic exercise ≥ 60 seconds. However, data is limited among supplementation phases of under two weeks. PURPOSE: To analyze the effects of one week of beta- alanine loading on anaerobic power during a Wingate cycle ergometer test (WAnT). METHODS: 11 physically active college-age students were recruited from Willamette University. After conducting a baseline WAnT, participants were randomly assigned to either the control (placebo sugar pill) or experimental condition (10 mg/kg body weight/per day beta-alanine). Participants were instructed to take their respective supplements twice daily, for seven days. Following the supplementation period, a second WAnT was performed. Paired t-tests were conducted to assess the change in fatigue index and mean power variables within each group. RESULTS: Significant differences were observed when comparing pre to post supplementation for individuals in the Beta-alanine group in both mean power output and fatigue index score. Individuals increased their mean power by an average of 94.43 ± 49.73 watts (p=0.012) and decreased their fatigue score by an average of 34.74 ± 22.32% (p=0.006). In comparison, the placebo group's mean power output was an average of 30.79 ± 30.16 Watts (p=0.054). Fatigue index for the placebo group saw only slight improvements totaling a 2.2 ± 14.06% lower fatigue score than their first attempt (p=0.714). CONCLUSION: This pilot study indicates that implementation of a one-week supplementation of 10 mg/kg body weight of beta-alanine results in both an increased total power output and a lower fatigue index score; therefore, this may be an effective tool for improved anaerobic performance.

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