NEW STUDY MEASURES THE IMPACT OF BETA ALANINE ON COGNITIVE FUNCTION IN TACTICAL SCENARIOSBETA ALANINE'S CAPACITY FOR SUPPORTING ENDURANCE IS VITAL TO BODYBUILDERS AND OTHER COMPETITIVE ATHLETES. BUT CAN IT ALSO HELP THEM THINK BETTER UNDER PRESSURE? FLORIDA RESEARCHERS THINK SO.
As a performance aid, supplementation with beta alanine is developing quite the reputation for increasing training tolerance and supporting muscle recovery. A large number of published studies completed using athletes have demonstrated these changes, but a recent study published in the journal Amino Acids
took a slightly different angle of measuring beta alanine’s ability to enhance performance.
The study was completed by researchers at the University of Central Florida and had eighteen soldiers from an elite combat unit complete a 30-day supplementation regimen with either placebo or beta alanine (Hoffman, Landau et al. 2015). Before and after the supplementation, they completed a number of tasks that assessed physical and mental faculties. Muscle carnosine levels were found to increase and were correlated to fatigue rate, while changes in 2.5-kilometer run, one minute sprint and marksmanship were not impacted. When supplemented with beta-alanine, participants did improve their performance in the 50-meter casualty carry test and demonstrated improvements. Interestingly, the test subjects also demonstrated marked improvements in scoring in a cognitive function test. While these findings are strictly preliminary, they do suggest the need for further research.
Scientific Reference: Hoffman, J. R., G. Landau, J. R. Stout, M. W. Hoffman, N. Shavit, P. Rosen, D. S. Moran, D. H. Fukuda, I. Shelef, E. Carmom and I. Ostfeld (2015). "beta-Alanine ingestion increases muscle carnosine content and combat specific performance in soldiers." Amino Acids 47(3): 627-636.