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Review ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Nutr. | doi: 10.3389/fnut.2019.00135

Can the skeletal muscle carnosine response to beta-alanine supplementation be optimised?

  • 1University of São Paulo, Brazil
  • 2Exercise and Performance Nutrition Laboratory (EPNL), School of Health Sciences, Lindenwood University, United States

Carnosine is an abundant histidine-containing dipeptide in human skeletal muscle and formed by beta-alanine and L-histidine. It performs various physiological roles during exercise and has attracted strong interest in recent years with numerous investigations focused on increasing its intramuscular content to optimise its potential ergogenic benefits. Oral beta-alanine ingestion increases muscle carnosine content although large variation in response to supplementation exists and the amount of ingested beta-alanine converted into muscle carnosine appears to be low. Understanding of carnosine and beta-alanine metabolism and the factors that influence muscle carnosine synthesis with supplementation may provide insight into how beta-alanine supplementation may be optimised. Herein we discuss modifiable factors that may further enhance the increase of muscle carnosine in response to beta-alanine supplementation including, (i) dose; (ii) duration; (iii) beta-alanine formulation; (iv) dietary influences; (v) exercise; and (vi) co-supplementation with other substances. The aim of this narrative review is to outline the processes involved in muscle carnosine metabolism, discuss theoretical and mechanistic modifiable factors which may optimise the muscle carnosine response to beta-alanine supplementation and to make recommendations to guide future research.

Keywords: Optimising supplementation, muscle carnosine content, Metabolism, buffering, Modifying factors

Received: 15 May 2019; Accepted: 09 Aug 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Perim, Marticorena, Ribeiro, Barreto, Gobbi, Kerksick, Dolan and Saunders. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Bryan Saunders, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil,