Beta-Alanine May Help Exercise, Brain Function in Mature Adults
As people age, they usually have a decline in muscle mass and function. A recent study suggests that beta-alanine supplementation may help increase exercise capacity and inhibit declines in executive brain function that occur after endurance exercise in people over the age of 50.
Participants in the study included 12 healthy adults with an average age of 60. Over the course of 28 days, half of the group took 2.4 g of beta-alanine, divided into 800 mg doses, while the other half took a placebo. All of the participants underwent a cycling test before and after supplementation to measure exercise capacity. Executive function was measured using Stroop Tests before and following exercise during which they had to identify words and colors.
The researchers found that the beta-alanine supplement group had increased exercise capacity. They cycled 3.8 minutes longer following supplementation compared to baseline. Endurance exercise induced declines in executive function were eliminated. No similar benefits were seen in the placebo group.
Researchers from the University at Buffalo conducted the study. It was published on July 11, 2018, in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that can primarily be found in meats but the most effective way to consume beta-alanine is in a supplement form.