During high-intensity anaerobic exercise, the massive accumulation of hydrogen ions, coupled with a decrease in pH in skeletal muscle, has been shown to adversely affect exercise performance. The ability to regulate skeletal muscle hydrogen ion concentration during high-intensity exercise is known as muscle buffering capacity, and there is a high positive correlation between muscle buffering capacity and exercise performance.
It is theoretically possible to improve muscle buffering capacity through training or nutrition, and beta-alanine is one of the sports supplements used to do this.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid commonly found in food. It is abundant in turkey and chicken. It is a natural source. It has limited energy-enhancing properties. However, when it enters muscle cells, it becomes a rate-limiting substrate for carnosine synthesis.
In humans, carnosine is primarily found in rapidly contracting skeletal muscle, and its role in skeletal muscle buffering of hydrogen ions during high-intensity anaerobic exercise is estimated to be as high as 40%, thereby promoting a decrease in pH.
In theory, long-term training supplementation with beta-alanine can increase carnosine levels in skeletal muscle. Thereby improving muscle buffering capacity, thereby improving anaerobic exercise capacity.