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Amino Acids. 2015 Dec;47(12):2463-74. doi: 10.1007/s00726-015-2051-9. Epub 2015 Jul 24.

β-Alanine supplementation and military performance.

Author information

1
Institute of Exercise Physiology and Wellness, Sport and Exercise Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816, USA. jay.hoffman@ucf.edu.
2
Institute of Exercise Physiology and Wellness, Sport and Exercise Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL, 32816, USA.
3
Junipa Ltd, Newmarket, UK.
4
School of Health Science, Ariel University, Ariel, Israel.
5
Givat Washington College of Education, Givat Washington, Israel.

Abstract

During sustained high-intensity military training or simulated combat exercises, significant decreases in physical performance measures are often seen. The use of dietary supplements is becoming increasingly popular among military personnel, with more than half of the US soldiers deployed or garrisoned reported to using dietary supplements. β-Alanine is a popular supplement used primarily by strength and power athletes to enhance performance, as well as training aimed at improving muscle growth, strength and power. However, there is limited research examining the efficacy of β-alanine in soldiers conducting operationally relevant tasks. The gains brought about by β-alanine use by selected competitive athletes appears to be relevant also for certain physiological demands common to military personnel during part of their training program. Medical and health personnel within the military are expected to extrapolate and implement relevant knowledge and doctrine from research performed on other population groups. The evidence supporting the use of β-alanine in competitive and recreational athletic populations suggests that similar benefits would also be observed among tactical athletes. However, recent studies in military personnel have provided direct evidence supporting the use of β-alanine supplementation for enhancing combat-specific performance. This appears to be most relevant for high-intensity activities lasting 60-300 s. Further, limited evidence has recently been presented suggesting that β-alanine supplementation may enhance cognitive function and promote resiliency during highly stressful situations.

KEYWORDS:

Dietary supplement; Nutrition; Performance; Soldiers

PMID:
26206727
PMCID:
PMC4633445
DOI:
10.1007/s00726-015-2051-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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