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The effect of combined β-Alanine and NaHCO3 supplementation on cycling performance


Bellinger, PM and Howe, ST and Shing, CM and Fell, JW, The effect of combined β-Alanine and NaHCO3 supplementation on cycling performance, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 44, (8) pp. 1545-1551. ISSN 0195-9131 (2012) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 by the American College of Sports Medicine

DOI: doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e31824cc08d


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of 28-days of β-alanine supplementation on four minute cycling time trial performance and to determine if there was an additive effect of combined β-alanine and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) supplementation on high-intensity cycling performance.

Method: Fourteen highly-trained cyclists (mean SD; age = 25.4 7.2 yr; mass = 71.1 7.1 kg; V̇O2max = 66.6 5.7 supplemented for 28-days with β-alanine (65 body mass each day) or placebo. A maximal four minute bout of cycling was performed pre-supplementation (baseline) and twice post-supplementation: following ingestion of NaHCO3 (300 body mass), and ingestion of a placebo using a randomized crossover design with two days between trials. Blood pH and HCO3- concentration were determined pre-loading (post-supplementation trials), pre-test and post-test.

Results: In the acute NaHCO3 loading trials blood pH and HCO3- were elevated from pre-loading to pre-test and the magnitude of the change in HCO3- from pre-test to post-test was significantly greater compared to the acute placebo loading trial (P < 0.001). Average power output in the four minute cycling performance trial was increased in placebo + NaHCO3 (+3.1% 1.8%) and β-alanine + NaHCO3 (+3.3% 3.0%) compared to baseline (P < 0.05). β-alanine + placebo did not significantly improve average power output compared to baseline (+1.6% 1.7%; P = 0.20), however, magnitude based inferences demonstrated that β-alanine+placebo was associated with a 37% likelihood of producing average power improvements.

Conclusions: In trained cyclists β-alanine supplementation did not significantly improve four minute cycling performance; however, there may be a small meaningful improvement in performance. Acute NaHCO3 supplementation significantly improved four minute cycling performance. There appeared to be minimal additive effect of combined β-alanine and NaHCO3 supplementation.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:supplementation, cyclists, performance, highly-trained, cyclist, sodium bicarbonate, ergogenic
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Sports science and exercise
Research Field:Exercise physiology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Other health
Objective Field:Other health not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bellinger, PM (Mr Phillip Bellinger)
UTAS Author:Howe, ST (Mr Sam Howe)
UTAS Author:Shing, CM (Dr Cecilia Kitic)
UTAS Author:Fell, JW (Associate Professor James Fell)
ID Code:76112
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:55
Deposited By:Health Sciences A
Deposited On:2012-02-28
Last Modified:2017-11-01
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