Where's Your Edge?

Posted by on 2/21/2016

Where's Your Edge?

Scientists looked at the effect on exercise performance of beta-alanine alone or with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) compared to placebo. They gave eight healthy men 4.8 to 6.4 grams per day of beta-alanine for 6 weeks. They also gave the men an average of 20 grams of sodium bicarbonate prior to the exercise testing. This amounts to 4 teaspoons. The exercise consisted of a repeated sprint ability (RSA) test and cycling capacity test.

Results

Carnosine levels increased in the gastrocnemius and soleus of five of the men from the beta-alanine supplementation. 14% exercise performance improvement occurred from the beta-alanine supplementation alone. A 2% greater exercise performance improvement occurred when the sodium bicarbonate was added.

Dr. S's Comment

Other studies have shown that regular oral ingestion of beta-alanine can substantially elevate (up to 80%) the carnosine content of human skeletal muscle. Still other studies have shown that muscle carnosine loading leads to improved performance in high-intensity exercise in athletes. Although the doses of both beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate were excessive, the study clearly shows a huge improvement in exercise capacity for both runners and cyclists when beta-alanine (key ingredient in PrePare) is regularly taken and sodium bicarbonate (key ingredient in Hydrate) is taken before and during high-intesity exercise.

Reference:

Danaher J, Gerber T, et al. The effect of β-alanine and NaHCO3 co-ingestion on buffering capacity and exercise performance with high-intensity exercise in healthy males. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Aug;114(8):1715-24.