Date of Graduation

7-2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Kinesiology (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Health, Human Performance and Recreation

Advisor

Michelle Gray

Committee Member

Tyrone Washington

Second Committee Member

Stavoros Kavouras

Abstract

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid typically obtained in the diet via high-protein foods (beef, chicken, pork, and fish) and produced in the confines of the liver. BA is a precursor to the cytoplasmic dipeptide carnosine (beta-alanylhistidine). Carnosine is found in high concentrations in human skeletal muscle where it plays a key role in intracellular pH buffering. Research indicates BA supplementation increased punch power, punch frequency, and lactate concentrations in male amateur fighters after 28-day supplementation. There are currently no studies evaluating the effects of BA on boxing performance variables in women. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the longitudinal effects of exogenous supplementation of BA on punch power, punch frequency, fatigue, and lactate accumulation in female amateur fighters. Twelve females (age = 23.25 ± 3.84) with at least three months of training volunteered to participate in this randomized double-blind study. Each participant was supplemented with either beta-alanine (800 mg + 8 g of dextrose) or placebo (8 g of dextrose) 4 times per day (at least three hours apart) over the course of 28 days. Participants took part in a simulated boxing contest at three time points (pre supplementation, day 14, and day 28). Participants completed three, 3-minute rounds of continuous punching on a punching bag, a one minute punch frequency test, and finished the trial with a 10-second maximal punch power test. Punch power, punch frequency, RPE, and fatigue were all assessed during the trials. Blood lactate measures were taken prior to exercise, immediately post exercise, and after 20-minutes of seated passive recovery. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed there were no significant differences pre- to post-supplementation on any of the boxing performance (punch power, punch frequency, and fatigue index), perceived variables (RPE), or lactate measures (p ˃ .05). Previous results evaluating the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on punch power, punch frequency, and blood lactate measure in men demonstrated significant increases for each variable. However, the results from the current study indicate that there were no significant differences in performance in female fighters.

Keyword: ergogenic aids, beta-alanine, boxing, exercise performance

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