Beta-Alanine Decreases Fatigue Increases Training Capacity

fit woman exercisingBeta-Alanine is a supplement used to delay fatigue and increase endurance and strength. It can be used in both endurance sports such as cycling as well as in higher intensity activities such strength training. A study published in Nutrition Research confirms the ability of beta-alanine to increase exercise capacity and decrease fatigue.

The study was performed on college football players before and during their preseason training. The subjects were divided into two groups. One group consumed 4.5 g of beta-alanine daily, and the other group consumed 4.5 g of maltodextrin daily as a placebo. Supplementation began 21 days before preseason training camp began, and continued for another 9 days once training camp began.

During training camp, the group supplementing with 4.5 g beta-alanine experienced less subjective fatigue than the placebo group. The beta-alanine group was also able to perform more reps on resistance training exercises than the placebo group. During very high intensity exercise lasting under 60 seconds, however, beta-alanine did not seem to have a very great effect. The researchers summarize their findings:

“In conclusion, despite a trend toward lower fatigue rates during 60 seconds of maximal exercise, 3 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation did not result in significant improvements in fatigue rates during high-intensity anaerobic exercise. However, higher training volumes and lower subjective

feelings of fatigue in BA indicated that as duration of supplementation continued, the efficacy of beta-alanine supplementation in highly trained athletes became apparent.”

Despite the fact that beta-alanine did not seem to cause improvements in exercise lasting less than 60 seconds, it did decrease fatigue and increase the amount of reps that subjects were able to perform on certain resistance exercises. This study was performed over a 30 day period, and it is commonly believed that beta-alanine needs to be taken for longer peroids of time to obtain its full benefits. Still, the fact that the subjects showed improvements over the placebo group in only a 30 day period confirms the efficacy of beta-alanine as an ergogenic aid that, over time, may provide even more significant benefits.



Hoffman JR, Ratamess NA, Faigenbaum AD, Ross R, Kang J, Stout JR, & Wise JA. (2008). Short-duration beta-alanine supplementation increases training volume and reduces subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players. Nutrition Research (New York, N.Y.). 28(1), 31-5.

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