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  • Author: Gabriel Motta Pinheiro Brisola x
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Gabriel Motta Pinheiro Brisola, Fabio Milioni, Marcelo Papoti and Alessandro Moura Zagatto

In water polo, several high-intensity efforts are performed, leading to the fatigue process due to accumulation of hydrogen ions, and thus β-alanine supplementation could be an efficient strategy to increase the intramuscular acid buffer.

Purpose

To investigate whether 4 wk of β-alanine supplementation enhances parameters related to water polo performance.

Methods

Twenty-two highly trained male water polo players of national level were randomly assigned to receive 28 d of either β-alanine or a placebo (4.8 g/d of the supplement in the first 10 d and 6.4 g/d in the final 18 d). The participants performed 30-s maximal tethered swimming (30TS), 200-m swimming (P200m), and 30-s crossbar jumps (30CJ) before and after the supplementation period.

Results

The β-alanine group presented significant increases in 30TS for mean force (P = .04; Δ = 30.5% ± 40.4%) and integral of force (P = .05; Δ = 28.0% ± 38.0%), as well as P200m (P = .05; Δ = –2.2% ± 2.6%), while the placebo group did not significantly differ for mean force (P = .13; Δ = 24.1% ± 33.7%), integral of force (P = .12; Δ = 24.3% ± 35.1%), or P200m (P = .10; Δ = –1.6% ± 3.8%). However, there was no significant group effect for any variable, and the magnitude-based-inference analysis showed unclear outcomes between groups (Cohen d ± 95%CL mean force = 0.16 ± 0.83, integral of force = 0.12 ± 0.84, and P200m = 0.05 ± 0.30). For 30CJ the results were similar, with improvements in both groups (placebo, Δ = 14.9% ± 14.1%; β-alanine, Δ = 16.9% ± 18.5%) but with no significant interaction effect between groups and an unclear effect (0.14 ± 0.75).

Conclusion

Four weeks of β-alanine supplementation does not substantially improve performance of 30TS, P200m, or 30CJ in highly trained water polo athletes compared with a control group.

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Gabriel Motta Pinheiro Brisola, Elvis de Souza Malta, Paulo Roberto Pereira Santiago, Luiz Henrique Palucci Vieira and Alessandro Moura Zagatto

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.