Comparison of Two β-Alanine Dosing Protocols on Muscle Carnosine Elevations

David D. Church, Jay R. Hoffman, Alyssa N. Varanoske, Ran Wang, Kayla M. Baker, Michael B. La Monica, Kyle S. Beyer, Sarah J. Dodd, Leonardo P. Oliveira, Roger C. Harris, David H. Fukuda, Jeffrey R. Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Objective: β-alanine (BA) is a nonproteogenic amino acid that combines with histidine to form carnosine. The amount taken orally in individual doses, however, is limited due to symptoms of paresthesia that are associated with higher doses. The use of a sustained-release formulation has been reported to reduce the symptoms of paresthesia, suggesting that a greater daily dose may be possible. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether increasing the daily dose of BA can result in a similar increase in muscle carnosine in a reduced time. Methods: Eighteen men and twelve women were randomized into either a placebo (PLC), 6-g BA (6G), or 12-g BA (12G) groups. PLC and 6G were supplemented for 4 weeks, while 12G was supplemented for 2 weeks. A resting blood draw and muscle biopsy were obtained prior to (PRE) and following (POST) supplementation. Plasma and muscle metabolites were measured by high-performance liquid chromatography. The loss in peak torque (ΔPT) was calculated from maximal isometric contractions before and after 250 isokinetic kicks at 180°·sec−1 PRE and POST. Results: Both 12G (p = 0.026) and 6G (p = 0.004) increased muscle carnosine compared to PLC. Plasma histidine was decreased from PRE to POST in 12G compared to PLC (p = 0.002) and 6G (p = 0.001), but no group x time interaction (p = 0.662) was observed for muscle histidine. No differences were observed for any hematological measure (e.g., complete blood counts) or in symptoms of paresthesia among the groups. Although no interaction was noted in ΔPT, a trend (p = 0.073) was observed. Conclusion: Results of this investigation indicate that a BA supplementation protocol of 12 g/d−1, using a sustained-release formulation, can accelerate the increase in carnosine content in skeletal muscle while attenuating paresthesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)608-616
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American College of Nutrition
Issue number8
StatePublished - 17 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Dietary supplements
  • dosing strategies
  • ergogenic aids
  • nutrition
  • skeletal muscle metabolism


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