Objectives: To investigate whether 4 wk of β-alanine supplementation improves total distance covered, distance covered and time spent in different speed zones, and sprint numbers during a simulated water polo game. Design: Double-blind, parallel, and placebo controlled. A total of 11 male water polo players participated in the study, divided randomly into 2 homogeneous groups (placebo and β-alanine). Methods: The participants performed a simulated water polo game before and after the supplementation period (4 wk). They received 4.8 g·d−1 of dextrose or β-alanine on the first 10 d and 6.4 g·d−1 on the final 18 d. Results: Only the β-alanine group presented a significant improvement in total sprint numbers compared with the presupplementation moment (PRE = 7.8 [5.2] arbitrary units [a.u.]; POST = 20.2 [7.8] a.u.; P = .002). Furthermore, β-alanine supplementation presented a likely beneficial effect in improving total distance covered (83%) and total time spent (81%) in speed zone 4 (ie, speed ≥ 1.8 m·s−1). There was no significant interaction effect (group × time) for any variable. Conclusions: Four weeks of β-alanine supplementation slightly improved sprint numbers and had a likely beneficial effect on improving distance covered and time spent in speed zone 4 in a simulated water polo game.
Brisola, de Souza Malta, and Vieira are with the Postgraduate Program in Movement Sciences, and Brisola, de Souza Malta, and Zagatto, the Laboratory of Physiology and Sport Performance (LAFIDE), Dept of Physical Education, São Paulo State University (Unesp), Bauru, Brazil. Santiago is with the Laboratory of Biomechanics and Motor Control, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil.