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β-alanine efficacy for sports performance improvement: from science to practice
  1. George P Nassis1,
  2. Ben Sporer2,3,
  3. Christos G Stathis4
  1. 1National Sports Medicine Programme, Excellence in Football Project, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  2. 2Department of Family Practice—Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3Vancouver Whitecaps Football Club, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  4. 4College of Health and Biomedicine and Institute of Sport, Exercise and Healthy Living (ISEAL), Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr George P Nassis, National Sports Medicine Programme, Excellence in Football Project, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha 29222, Qatar; George.Nassis{at}aspetar.com

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β-alanine is a popular supplement among athletes with 61% of competitive team sport players recently surveyed reporting β-alanine use.1 Despite its popularity, there is limited evidence on the most effective supplementation strategy and the systematic review and meta-analysis published by Sauders B et al2 has shed some light on this issue. Athletes' understanding of β-alanine potential benefits and appropriate daily dose and duration of consumption is low,1 potentially compromising the impact of β-alanine supplementation in a real world setting. This editorial aims to highlight issues regarding the efficacy of β-alanine supplementation and suggest possible approaches to improve its effectiveness in the field.

What we know

The mechanism of ergogenic effect of β-alanine as the precursor to carnosine synthesis is associated with an expansion of its key physiological role as a proton buffer with potential for antioxidant, glycation and calcium regulation influence.3 Increases in carnosine muscle levels depend on the β-alanine load provided.4 β-alanine supplementation of 4–6 g/day for …

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