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Infographic. A systematic review and meta-analysis of the effect of β-alanine supplementation on exercise capacity and performance
  1. Bryan Saunders1,2,
  2. Adam Virgile3,
  3. Kirsty Jayne Elliott-Sale4,
  4. Guilherme Giannini Artioli1,
  5. Paul A Swinton5,
  6. Eimear Dolan1,
  7. Hamilton Roschel1,
  8. Craig Sale4,
  9. Bruno Gualano1
  1. 1 Applied Physiology and Nutrition Research Group, School of Physical Education and Sport; Rheumatology Division; Faculdade de Medicina FMUSP, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  2. 2 Institute of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Faculty of Medicine FMUSP, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil
  3. 3 Independent Researcher, New York City, New York, USA
  4. 4 Musculoskeletal Physiology Research Group, Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement Research Centre, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, UK
  5. 5 School of Health Sciences, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Bryan Saunders, Rheumatology Division, University of São Paulo, São Paulo - SP 05508-030, Brazil; drbryansaunders{at}

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Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) is an abundant compound in skeletal muscle, suggesting it plays an important role during exercise, with a key physiological role considered to be intracellular pH regulation.1 Chronic β-alanine supplementation can increase muscle carnosine content when taken for several weeks,2 and studies have shown that supplementation between 4 and 24 weeks can improve high-intensity exercise capacity, with the gains in exercise associated with the increase in muscle carnosine content.3 4 Although several studies have demonstrated the efficacy of β-alanine supplementation as an ergogenic aid, there are a number of confounding factors that may modify its effect, including exercise …

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  • Contributors BS was the principal writer of the article, while all authors contributed to drafting the article and revising it critically. AV designed the infographic. All authors approved the final version to be submitted.

  • Funding BS (2016/50438-0 and 2017/04973-4), GGA (2014/11948-8) and ED (2015/11328-2) were financially supported by Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo.

  • Competing interests BS has previously received financial support from Natural Alternatives International (NAI), a company that produces β-alanine, to undertake a study unrelated to this review. NAI have also provided β-alanine supplements free of charge for further experimental investigations and supported open access page charges for several of the author’s manuscripts. NAI have not had any input (financial, intellectual or otherwise) into this review.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.