Abstract Purpose It was investigated if β-alanine supplementation counteracts muscular fatigue development or improves athletic performance. Methods Elite kayak rowers (10 males and 7 females) were supplemented with either 80 mg/kg body mass/day β-alanine or placebo for 8 weeks. Muscular fatigue development was investigated by applying a 2 min elbow flexor maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). Electromyography (EMG) was recorded continuously and voluntary activation (VA) was determined 30, 60, 90 and 115 s into the 2 min MVC. Additionally, performance was evaluated as 1000 m and 5 × 250 m kayak ergometer rowing. Results Force reduction during the 2 min MVC was similar before and after supplementation with β-alanine (30.9 ± 10.3 % vs 36.0 ± 14.1 %) and placebo (35.5 ± 7.7 % vs 35.1 ± 8.0 %). No time-effect was apparent in VA during the 2 min MVC. Additionally, there was no detectable effect of β-alanine supplementation on 1000 m kayak ergometer performance (β-alanine: 0.26 ± 0.02 % vs placebo: –0.18 ± 0.02 %) or accumulated 5 × 250 m time (β-alanine: –1.0 ± 0.3 % vs placebo: –1.0 ± 0.2 %). In 5 × 250 m, mean power output (MPO) was reduced to a similar extend from 1st to 5th interval before and after supplementation with β-alanine (23 ± 11 % vs 22 ± 10 %) and placebo (26 ± 13 % vs 20 ± 5 %). Conclusion 2 min MVC characteristics are unaffected by β-alanine supplementation in elite kayakers and likewise both a 1000 m kayak ergometer time trial lasting 4–5 min as well as 5 × 250 m repeated sprint ability was unaltered by supplementation.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise – Wolters Kluwer Health
Published: May 1, 2017
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