ArticleCritique on Nutrition

Effectof Beta-Alanine With and Without Sodium Bicarbonate on 2,000-m RowingPerformance

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Thispaper critiques the article titled Effectof Beta-Alanine With and Without Sodium Bicarbonate on 2,000-m RowingPerformance byRobson and Harris et al. The main purpose of the study is to observethe impact of beta-alanine only as well as beta-alanine consists ofsodium bicarbonate supplementation on 2,000-m rowing performance(Hobson et al, 2013, p. 480).

Inconducting rowing races, participants perform over 2000-m,necessitating the participant to tolerate high intensity motion forsix to seven minutes. 12% of energy is derived from non-oxidativeglycolysis which means that there is a massive energy involvementfrom anaerobic glycolysis, leading in the development of twocarboxylic acid groups. Anaerobic glycolysis is accountable formajority of the hydrogen cation (H+) creation in skeletal muscleespecially when performing high-intensity exercise. This consequentlyadd to exhaustion by damaging muscle function as well as forcegeneration, leading to an advanced weakening in performance. Thus,decreasing the negative effect of intracellularH+ build-up is likely to weaken decline in conducting activitieswhere decreasing in pH are likely to be elaborated in the formationof fatigue. Beta-alanine is the preventive element to carnosinemixture, and study has unfailingly exposed that supplementation withbeta-alanine for 4 weeks or beyond tend to increase the concentrationof muscle carnosine. Various studies have shown that supplementationwith beta-alanine enhances capacity and performance in exercise. Ameta-analysis study showed that supplementation with beta-alaninecould enhance the result of exercise evaluation by 2.85%. It waslikewise demonstrated that there are massive improvements in theexercise capacity assessments but not for performance assessmentexercise, even though it was acknowledged that there are a number ofstudies accessible utilizing performance measures than with capacitymeasures. The effectiveness of supplementation with beta-alaninethrough the use of appropriate performance in exercise needs furtherstudy. Majority of evidence also posits that both sodium bicarbonateand beta-alanine supplementation can improve exercise performance aswell as capacity through attenuation in the reduction in pH inextracellular and intracellular compartments, despite the fact thatthe potential of beta-alanine enhances performance because ofaugmented sensitivity in calcium.


Thisstudy involved twenty participants who are all non-vegetarian and areall club-level rowers. The participants were informed about thepossible risks as well as discomforts relative to the study prior tothe completion of a health screen as well as giving informed consent,following which the body mass and height were documented. Theseparticipants had not taken any supplements for the past three months.They were not also able to take beta-alanine over the past six monthsprior to testing to enable long washout time of muscle carnosine.Multivitamins and sports drinks were not classified as supplements.Participants were also told to maintain their regular trainingregimen to replicate the activity patterns and diet over 36 hoursprior to each trial. The rowers also attended three assessmentsessions that were already familiar to them. The study made use of abaseline 2000-m rowing ergometer time trial which was finished priorto 30-day double blind supplementation with either a placebo or abeta-alanine. The athletes also endured two post-supplementationtrials – the first trial was on Day 28 and the second trial was onDay 30. The double-blinded regimen is made up of the consumption oftablets (800 mg). Supplementation with beta-alanine has been shown toimprove muscle carnosine concentrations. No participants documentedany symptoms of paraesthesia with either placebo or beta-alanine.During the baseline trial, all athletes took maltodextrin. For day 28and 30, the athletes took sodium bicarbonate and maltodextrin. In thebaseline assessment, the athletes took maltodextrin.

Thesodium bicarbonate or maltodextrin supplements were given to theathletes two days prior to time trial. As participants arrived in thevenue, they performed pre-exercises and then completed a warm upexercise. Finger prick blood samples were also take for theevaluation of blood lactate.

Thedata were examined for distribution normality through the use of theShapiro-Wilk test. Time trial performance data were examined throughthe use of a modern magnitude-based inferences strategy. The resultsof the study showed that Beta-alanine supplementation is beneficialto the athletes compared to the maltodextrin or placebo, with theimpact of sodium bicarbonate having a possible advantage. There was aminor yet possible advantageous additional impact when chronicbeta-alanine supplementation is combined with acute sodiumbicarbonate supplementation than with only chronic beta-alaninesupplementation. Sodium bicarbonate ingestion resulted to an increasein base excess, plasma pH, lactate concentrations, and bicarbonate.

Thestudy concluded with the idea that both acute sodium bicarbonatesupplementation and chronic beta-alanine had positive impacts on2,000-m rowing performance. The combination of acute sodiumbicarbonate and chronic beta-alanine supplementation may also enhancerowing performance.

Wordsfor Athletes

Performingexercises can be tiring when the body lacks the proper nutrientsneeded to endure the long periods of working out and doing heavymovements. Sodium bicarbonate is a known household product that hasvarious applications. Sodium bicarbonate can be used in cooking andbrushing teeth. But more than anything, recent study shows thatsodium bicarbonate is an essential supplement to increase enduranceamong athletes. This happens when sodium bicarbonate functions as abuffer to keep the blood from becoming acidic.


Hobson,R., Harris, R., Martin, D., Smith, P., Macklin, B., Gualano, B., &ampSale, C. (2013). Effect of Beta-Alanine With and Without SodiumBicarbonate on 2,000-m Rowing Performance.&nbspInternationalJournal Of Sport Nutrition And Exercise Metabolism,&nbsp23,480-487.