Effects of β-alanine supplementation on physical performance, cognition, endocrine function, and inflammation during a 24 h simulated military operation.

Research paper by Alyssa N AN Varanoske, Adam J AJ Wells, Gregory J GJ Kozlowski, Yftach Y Gepner, Cheyanne L CL Frosti, David D Boffey, Nicholas A NA Coker, Idan I Harat, Jay R JR Hoffman

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Physiological Reports


Sustained military operations (SUSOPs) are associated with performance decrements and cognitive dysfunction. β-Alanine (BA) supplementation may have a role in increasing soldier resiliency by enhancing muscle-buffering capacity and reducing oxidative stress. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of BA on physical performance, cognition, endocrine function, and inflammation during a 24 h simulated SUSOP. Nineteen males were randomized into one of two groups: BA (n = 10) or placebo (n = 9; PLA) (12 g/day) for 14 days preceding the 24 h SUSOP. Assessments were performed at 0 h (0H), 12 h (12H), and 24 h (24H) during the SUSOP. No changes in visual tracking ability, jump power, or upper-body muscular endurance were observed between groups or time points (P's > 0.05). Increases in subjective feelings of soreness and fatigue were noted at 12H compared to 0H (P < 0.05) in PLA, but not in BA. Visual reaction time for PLA was slower at 24H compared to 0H (P = 0.035), and PLA made more errors on reaction time testing at 12H compared to BA (P = 0.048), but motor reaction time was faster (P = 0.016) for PLA. Simulated litter carry and 1 km run completion times increased at 24H compared to 0H in both groups (P < 0.05), however, PLA had a longer 1 km time compared to BA at 24H (P = 0.050). Increases in inflammatory and endocrine markers were observed over the SUSOP, with no differences between groups. BA supplementation appears to maintain some aspects of cognition and physical performance during a 24 h SUSOP, with no effects on endocrine function or inflammation. © 2018 The Authors. Physiological Reports published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of The Physiological Society and the American Physiological Society.

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