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Effect of intramuscular and blood buffering agents on exercise performance
Hydrogen ion accumulation is a major contributing factor to fatigue during intense physical activity. Intramuscular carnosine acts to buffer these ions, which in turn can delay fatigue and result in improved exercise performance. When carnosine is ingested it is hydrolysed in the plasma and is therefore ineffective in increasing intramuscular levels. However, ingesting beta-alanine, a rate limiting factor in the synthesis of carnosine, has been shown to potentially increase intramuscular carnosine levels. My research aims to examine the effects of serial supplementation with beta-alanine on intramuscular carnosine concentrations and sports performance. Beta-alanine will also be combined with sodium bicarbonate to identify whether any additional increase in buffering capacity (above using either supplement in isolation) is possible.
Little research has been conducted to investigate possible ergogenic benefits available to athletes completing events where performances can be potentially limited by hydrogen ion (H+) accumulation, such as prolonged and repeated sprint efforts following supplementation with beta-alanine. The combination of beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate to improve both intramuscular and blood buffers has also not yet been investigated.