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β-Alanine supplementation and military performance

September 21, 2017

Amino Acids

β-Alanine-amino-acids

An article published in the scientific journal, Amino Acids shows an interesting review. The effects of β-Alanine supplementation related to military performance. During prolonged high-intensity military training or simulated combat exercises. Significant decreases in physical and cognitive performance measures have been reported. To compensate for the physiological and psychological fatigue associated with military training and combat. A number of pharmacological interventions have been examined.

However, recently several members of the US Army Medical Corps have expressed a need to examine non-pharmacological alternatives. Like the nutritional supplements, to counteract the fatigue associated with military combat.

β-Alanine

Fifty-three percent of the American soldiers at various military installations around the world indicated that they used nutritional supplements on a regular basis.These supplements may also have an important role during sustained combat scenarios. Scenarios where high intensity and prolonged activity can often impair the physical capability of the operator. The aim of β-alanine supplementation is to increase the carnosine content in skeletal muscle. Through this also the intracellular buffering capacity. Enabling a greater tolerance of sustained anaerobic activity.

The authors describe an investigation that revealed that 4 weeks of β-alanine supplementation was effective. It maintained lower body power and psychomotor performance. Peak jump power, target engagement speed. As well as shooting accuracy were significantly improved with the β-alanine supplementation.

Results of this investigation conducted on both competitive and tactical (i.e., soldiers) athletes. Provide strong evidence that β-alanine supplementation improves performance during sustained, high-intensity activity. It would likely benefit soldier performance during training and in specific combat scenarios and sustained operations.

Reference:

β-Alanine supplementation and military performance- Amino Acids. 2015; 47(12): 2463–2474

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