A common supplement could help endurance athletes pull off a late-race push. Belgian researchers say cyclists who took the amino acid beta-alanine had more power in a 30-second sprint following a long workout. In the study, the cyclists rode for nearly 2 hours, and then performed a 10-minute time trial, which revealed no advantage. But in a sprint afterward, riders who had taken beta-alanine showed 11% more peak sprint power output than a control group did. Study author Peter Hespel, PhD, says beta-alanine boosts levels of carnosine in muscle cells, buffering muscle from fatigue during bursts of maximal exercise. Try no more than 1 gram of slow-release beta-alanine capsules three or four times a day, for 8 to 10 weeks before your next competition.
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