Alanine for Running Improvements
Alanine is an amino acid, also known as beta-alanine, which may have some benefits for runners, although at the moment, it is at the very early stages of scientific study and much more work is needed in this area.
It is not even entirely clear that if there are benefits, what exactly they are.
Some believe that as it stimulates the production of carnosine, which naturally occurs in meat products, which can buffer the effects of lactic acid within muscles and hence lengthen the period of time that anaerobic work can occur for.
Others say that it is an easily digestible energy source, which can be consumed during long duration workouts and provide a significant proportion of the calories needed for exercise and hence prolong the period to fatigue (one study showed by 2.5%).
Currently there have only been a few studies done, with mixed results, for example a Belgian study did show that levels of carnosine were significantly increased in trained athletes calf muscles by taking the supplement, but that this didn't appear to show improvements in 400m times.
Currently, it would be advisable to be cautious about this supplement, as, although there are no reported side-effects at the moment it is an area that needs lots more work just to convince athletes that there could be a benefit in taking the supplement.
The information here is written by an athletics coach who has read widely into the subject and not a sports nutritionist, so is about gearing your food and drink to the practicalities of running.
- When to Eat
- How to Prepare for Races
- Calorie Requirements
- Losing Weight when Running
- Gaining Muscle Nutrition Advice
- Fluid Intake
- Energy Drinks
- Vitamins and Minerals
- Fish Oils
- Bicarbonate of Soda