2015 Volume 61 Issue 2 Pages 161-166
Longitudinal beta-alanine (BA) supplementation can improve exercise performance in males through increases in carnosine; however, females experience greater relative increases in carnosine compared to males. This potentially allows females to benefit from acute BA doses; however, effects of an acute BA dose on performance in females remain unknown. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate how an acute dose of 1.6 g BA affects anaerobic performance in female cyclists. Twelve females (age=26.6±1.3 y) volunteered to participate in this randomized, double-blind study. All participants completed two supplement trials: 1) Placebo=34 g dextrose and 2) BA=1.6 g BA + 34 g dextrose. Thirty-minutes after supplementation, participants performed three repeated Wingate cycling tests with 2 min of active rest after each. Fatigue index, mean power, and peak power were measured during each Wingate. Lactate, heart rate, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured at rest, immediately after each Wingate, and after each active rest period. RPE significantly decreased (p<0.001) immediately following Wingates 1 and 2 and after each 2-min rest period for the BA trials; however, no differences were observed immediately after Wingate 3 (p>0.05). No significant supplementation effect was observed for any performance or physiological variable (p>0.05 for all variables). Findings suggest that an acute dose of BA (1.6 g) decreases RPE during anaerobic power activities in trained female cyclists.