intramuscular carnosine. 15 Carnosine is a stable dipeptide that has a 2-fold higher concentration in type II fibers 23 , 24 and is associated with the muscle-biopsy-determined percentage area occupied by type II fibers ( P < .01 and r = .71). 15 Bex et al 25 demonstrated the construct validity of this
Adam Mallett, Phillip Bellinger, Wim Derave, Eline Lievens, Ben Kennedy, Hal Rice, and Clare Minahan
Adam Mallett, Phillip Bellinger, Wim Derave, Katie McGibbon, Eline Lievens, Ben Kennedy, Hal Rice, and Clare Minahan
their MFT to be estimated using the 1 H-MRS measurement of muscle carnosine content in the gastrocnemius and soleus. 15 , 18 Overall race time and 50-m split times from each subjects’ top 3 career-best 200-m freestyle performances (long course) were collated from publicly available online sources. The
Phillip Bellinger, Eline Lievens, Ben Kennedy, Hal Rice, Wim Derave, and Clare Minahan
were less described. As such, contemporary information on the most accomplished swimmers is scarce. Baguet et al 11 developed a noninvasive method to estimate muscle typology, based on the proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy ( 1 H-MRS) measurement of muscle carnosine. This technique clearly
Gulshanara Begum, Adam Cunliffe, and Michael Leveritt
High-intensity exercise leads to reductions in muscle substrates (ATP, PCr, and glycogen) and a subsequent accumulation of metabolites (ADP, Pi, H+, and Mg2+) with a possible increase in free radical production. These factors independently and collectively have deleterious effects on muscle, with significant repercussions on high-intensity performance or training sessions. The effect of carnosine on overcoming muscle fatigue appears to be related to its ability to buffer the increased H+ concentration following high-intensity work. Carnosine, however, has other roles such as an antioxidant, a metal chelator, a Ca2+ and enzyme regulator, an inhibitor of protein glycosylation and protein-protein cross-linking. To date, only 1 study has investigated the effects of carnosine supplementation (not in pure form) on exercise performance in human subjects and found no improvement in repetitive high-intensity work. Much data has come from in vitro work on animal skeletal muscle fibers or other components of muscle contractile mechanisms. Thus further research needs to be carried out on humans to provide additional understanding on the effects of carnosine in vivo.
Gabriel Perri Esteves, Paul Swinton, Craig Sale, Ruth M. James, Guilherme Giannini Artioli, Hamilton Roschel, Bruno Gualano, Bryan Saunders, and Eimear Dolan
Beta-alanine (BA) supplementation is an established nutritional strategy to improve exercise capacity ( Saunders et al., 2017 ). This is likely due to its capacity to increase muscle carnosine (MCarn) content ( Rezende et al., 2020 ), which acts as an intracellular buffering agent ( Blancquaert et
Nathalia Saffioti Rezende, Giulia Cazetta Bestetti, Luana Farias de Oliveira, Bruna Caruso Mazzolani, Fabiana Infante Smaira, Alina Dumas, Paul Swinton, Bryan Saunders, and Eimear Dolan
Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule comprising the amino acids L-histidine and β-alanine (BA), and is abundant in human skeletal muscle ( Boldyrev et al., 2013 ). Although investigation into the biological functions of this diverse dipeptide is ongoing, evidence indicates that it contributes to many
João Paulo Limongi França Guilherme and Antonio Herbert Lancha Jr.
Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine), abundantly found in skeletal muscle, plays an important role during exercise, especially for high-intensity contractions. Variability in muscle carnosine content between individuals exists and may also be explained by different genetic bases, although no study has addressed the association of polymorphisms in genes related to carnosine metabolism in athletes. This study aimed to investigate the frequency of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the carnosinase genes (CNDP1 and CNDP2) in a large Brazilian cohort of athletes and nonathletes. Eight SNPs were compared between a representative cohort of elite athletes from Brazil (n = 908) and a paired group of nonathletes (n = 967). The athletes were stratified into three groups: endurance (n = 328), power (n = 415), and combat (n = 165). The CNDP2 rs6566810 (A/A genotype) is overrepresented in endurance athletes, but only in international-level endurance athletes. Three SNPs (CNDP2 rs3764509, CNDP2-CNDP1 rs2346061, and CNDP1 rs2887) were overrepresented in power athletes compared with nonathletes. Carriers of the minor allele had an increased odds ratio of being a power athlete. For the rs2346061, no significant difference was observed in genotype frequencies between power and combat sports athletes, but for rs2887 the power and combat groups showed an inverse genotype distribution. In conclusion, we found that minor alleles carriers for CNDP2 rs3764509 (G-allele), CNDP2-CNDP1 rs2346061 (C-allele), and CNDP1 rs2887 (A-allele) are more likely to be a power athlete. These polymorphisms may be novel genetic markers for power athletes. Furthermore, these results are suggestive of a distinct CNDP genotype for sporting development.
Weiliang Chung, Audrey Baguet, Tine Bex, David J. Bishop, and Wim Derave
Muscle carnosine loading through chronic oral beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to be effective for short-duration, high-intensity exercise. This randomized, placebo-controlled study explored whether the ergogenic effect of beta-alanine supplementation is also present for longer duration exercise. Subjects (27 well-trained cyclists/triathletes) were supplemented with either beta-alanine or placebo (6.4 g/day) for 6 weeks. Time to completion and physiological variables for a 1-hr cycling time-trial were compared between preand postsupplementation. Muscle carnosine concentration was also assessed via proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy before and after supplementation. Following beta-alanine supplementation, muscle carnosine concentration was increased by 143 ± 151% (mean ± SD; p < .001) in the gastrocnemius and 161 ± 56% (p < .001) in the soleus. Postsupplementation time trial performance was significantly slower in the placebo group (60.6 ± 4.4–63.0 ± 5.4 min; p < .01) and trended toward a slower performance following beta-alanine supplementation (59.8 ± 2.8–61.7 ± 3.0 min; p = .069). We found an increase in lactate/proton concentration ratio following beta-alanine supplementation during the time-trial (209.0 ± 44.0 (beta-alanine) vs. 161.9 ± 54.4 (placebo); p < .05), indicating that a similar lactate concentration was accompanied by a lower degree of systemic acidosis, even though this acidosis was quite moderate (pH ranging from 7.30 to 7.40). In conclusion, chronic beta-alanine supplementation in well-trained cyclists had a very pronounced effect on muscle carnosine concentration and a moderate attenuating effect on the acidosis associated with lactate accumulation, yet without affecting 1-h time-trial performance under laboratory conditions.
Blake D. McLean, David Buttifant, Christopher J. Gore, Kevin White, Carsten Liess, and Justin Kemp
Little research has been done on the physiological and performance effects of altitude training on team-sport athletes. Therefore, this study examined changes in 2000-m time-trial running performance (TT), hemoglobin mass (Hbmass), and intramuscular carnosine content of elite Australian Football (AF) players after a preseason altitude camp.
Thirty elite AF players completed 19 days of living and training at either moderate altitude (~2130 m; ALT, n = 21) or sea level (CON, n = 9). TT performance and Hbmass were assessed preintervention (PRE) and postintervention (POST1) in both groups and at 4 wk after returning to sea level (POST2) in ALT only.
Improvement in TT performance after altitude was likely 1.5% (± 4.8–90%CL) greater in ALT than in CON, with an individual responsiveness of 0.8%. Improvements in TT were maintained at POST2 in ALT. Hbmass after altitude was very likely increased in ALT compared with CON (2.8% ± 3.5%), with an individual responsiveness of 1.3%. Hbmass returned to baseline at POST2. Intramuscular carnosine did not change in either gastrocnemius or soleus from PRE to POST1.
A preseason altitude camp improved TT performance and Hbmass in elite AF players to a magnitude similar to that demonstrated by elite endurance athletes undertaking altitude training. The individual responsiveness of both TT and Hbmass was approximately half the group mean effect, indicating that most players gained benefit. The maintenance of running performance for 4 wk, despite Hbmass returning to baseline, suggests that altitude training is a valuable preparation for AF players leading into the competitive season.
Pietro Luigi Invernizzi, Eloisa Limonta, Andrea Riboli, Andrea Bosio, Raffaele Scurati, and Fabio Esposito
To assess the effects of acute combined L-carnosine and β-alanine (Carn-BA) supplementation on isometric and dynamic tasks.
Twelve healthy participants performed knee-extensor maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) and countermovement jumps (CMJs) before and after a fatiguing protocol (45-s continuous CMJs). Isometric and dynamic tests were performed 4 h after ingestion of Carn-BA (2 g of L-carnosine and 2 g of β-alanine) or placebo (PLA), in random order. After the fatiguing protocol, blood lactate concentration ([La−]), general and muscular rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and muscle pain (24 and 48 h after the end of the fatiguing protocol) were assessed.
During the fatiguing protocol, significant decreases in jump height and increases in contact time were found in both groups from the 15th second onward to the end of the fatiguing protocol. Average contact time and jump height were respectively lower (−7%; P = .018) and higher (+6%; P = .025) in Carn-BA than in PLA. After the fatiguing protocol, MVC decreased in both PLA and Carn-BA, but it was higher in Carn-BA than in PLA (+15%, P = 0.012), while CMJ did not change. Moreover, general RPE was lower and muscle pain at 24 h was higher in Carn-BA than in PLA, whereas muscle RPE and [La−] did not differ between conditions.
Ingesting Carn-BA before exercise induced positive effects on MVC and CMJ after the fatiguing protocol and improved CMJ performance during the 45-s continuous jumping effort, even when acutely supplemented. Furthermore, Carn-BA reduced the general RPE and increased muscle pain 24 h after the fatiguing task.