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IronMagLabs - Bodybuilding Supplements

You probably already knew that trained rowers are faster over 2 km if they use the amino acid beta-alanine. You might not already know that beta-alanine enhances rowers’ performance even more if it’s combined with sodium bicarbonate. British sports scientists from Nottingham Trent University write about it in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

You probably already knew that trained rowers are faster over 2 km if they use the amino acid beta-alanine. You might not already know that beta-alanine enhances rowers’ performance even more if it’s combined with sodium bicarbonate. British sports scientists from Nottingham Trent University write about it in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

You probably already knew that trained rowers are faster over 2 km if they use the amino acid beta-alanine. [J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Oct;109(4):1096-101.] You might not already know that beta-alanine enhances rowers’ performance even more if it’s combined with sodium bicarbonate. British sports scientists from Nottingham Trent University write about it in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Human muscles cells are not very good at being active and burning carbohydrates for a long time at a high level. The metabolic processes don’t run complete cycles during highly intensive forms of exercise, which results in larger amounts of lactic acid. And it’s the lactic acid that makes the muscle cells stop contracting at a certain point.

Supplements that help to keep the acidity in muscle cells stable might help boost performance in high-intensity sports. One candidate is beta-alanine, and sodium bicarbonate is another. The effectiveness of both has been proved, but so far there have been few studies on the combine effect of the two – so the Brits decided to carry out investigations.

The researchers performed their experiment on 20 rowers. Half of them took a placebo for four weeks [PLA]; the other half took 1600 mg beta-alanine [BA] four times a day.

At the end of the period half of both groups took a single placebo containing maltodextrin [MD], and the other half took 0.3 g sodium bicarbonate per kg bodyweight [SD]. Two hours after intake the researchers got the rowers to cover a distance of 2000 metres on an ergometer.

The figure below shows the times of the rowers before supplementation started [Baseline], and at the end of the experiment. Beta-Alanine reduced the time by nearly 2 seconds; when sodium bicarbonate was added an extra second was shaved off.

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“It is very likely that the effect of beta-alanine on 2,000-m rowing performance was beneficial and there was a small but possibly beneficial effect when acute sodium bicarbonate ingestion was added to chronic beta-alanine supplementation”, the researchers write. “This suggests a slightly greater benefit of cosupplementation over beta-alanine supplementation alone.”

Effect of Beta-Alanine With and Without Sodium Bicarbonate on 2,000-m Rowing Performance.

Hobson RM, Harris RC, Martin D, Smith P, Macklin B, Gualano B, Sale C.

Abstract

Purpose: To examine the effect of beta-alanine only and beta-alanine with sodium bicarbonate supplementation on 2,000-m rowing performance. Methods: Twenty well-trained rowers (age 23 ± 4 y; height 1.85 ± 0.08 m; body mass 82.5 ± 8.9 kg) were assigned to either a placebo or beta-alanine (6.4 g·d-1 for 4 weeks) group. A 2,000-m rowing time trial (TT) was performed before supplementation (Baseline) and after 28 and 30 days of supplementation. The post supplementation trials involved supplementation with either maltodextrin or sodium bicarbonate in a double-blind, crossover design, creating four study conditions (placebo with maltodextrin; placebo with sodium bicarbonate; beta-alanine with maltodextrin; beta-alanine with sodium bicarbonate). Blood lactate, pH, bicarbonate, and base excess were measured pre-TT, immediately post-TT and at TT+5 min. Performance data were analyzed using magnitude based inferences. Results: Beta-alanine supplementation was very likely to be beneficial to 2,000-m rowing performance (6.4 ± 8.1 s effect compared with placebo), with the effect of sodium bicarbonate having a likely benefit (3.2 ± 8.8 s). There was a small (1.1 ± 5.6 s) but possibly beneficial additional effect when combining chronic beta-alanine supplementation with acute sodium bicarbonate supplementation compared with chronic beta-alanine supplementation alone. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion led to increases in plasma pH, base excess, bicarbonate, and lactate concentrations. Conclusions: Both chronic beta-alanine and acute sodium bicarbonate supplementation alone had positive effects on 2,000-m rowing performance. The addition of acute sodium bicarbonate to chronic beta-alanine supplementation may further enhance rowing performance.

PMID: 24172994 [PubMed - in process]

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24172994

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