The Effect of β-Alanine Supplementation on Performance, Cognitive Function and Resiliency in Soldiers

Ishay Ostfeld, Jay R. Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

β-alanine is a nonessential amino acid that combines with the amino acid histidine to form the intracellular dipeptide carnosine, an important intracellular buffer. Evidence has been well established on the ability of β-alanine supplementation to enhance anaerobic skeletal muscle performance. As a result, β-alanine has become one of the more popular supplements used by competitive athletes. These same benefits have also been reported in soldiers. Evidence accumulated over the last few years has suggested that β-alanine can result in carnosine elevations in the brain, which appears to have broadened the potential effects that β-alanine supplementation may have on soldier performance and health. Evidence suggests that β-alanine supplementation can increase resilience to post-traumatic stress disorder, mild traumatic brain injury and heat stress. The evidence regarding cognitive function is inconclusive but may be more of a function of the stressor that is applied during the assessment period. The potential benefits of β-alanine supplementation on soldier resiliency are interesting but require additional research using a human model. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the physiological role of β-alanine and why this nutrient may enhance soldier performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1039
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Keywords

  • carnosine
  • dietary supplementation
  • ergogenic aid
  • military performance
  • soldiers

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