Creatine and Beta-Alanine Supplementation for Increased Anaerobic Performance in Sprinting, Jumping, and Throwing Track and Field Athletes

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Megan Saxvanderweyden
Darryn S. Willoughby


Muscle performance, Strength, Power, Exercise



Track and field athletes involved in sprinting, jumping, and throwing events are one of the largest groups utilizing both speed and power. As a result, this group of athletes could potentially benefit from creatine and beta-alanine supplementation. Short duration, high intensity exercise utilizes the immediate energy adenosine triphosphate (A TP)- phosphocreatine (PCr) system and will result in an accumulation of ADP, Pi, and H+ and contribute to muscle fatigue. For activities between ten second and two minutes, creatine in the cells can reduce pH changes by using hydrogen ions in the creatine kinase reaction and when phosphorylating ADP to ATP Theoretically, an increase in an immediate energy systems ability to act and recovery would increase an athlete’s capability to anaerobically exercise. Creatine supplementation can be used to increase intramuscular PCr levels. Beta-alanine bonds with histidine within muscle to create carnosine, a cytoplasmic dipeptide that operates as an intracellular pH buffer. Therefore, increasing beta-alanine through diet or supplementation is a way of increasing intramuscular cell buffering capacity. The ability to buffer pH is needed in athletes who perform activities that results in the acidosis of muscle Research on how these two supplements affect track and field athletes are limited. However, much research has been done to show creatine and beta-alanine’s effects on muscle strength and power for track and field events such as sprinting, jumping, and throwing. The purpose of this review is to discuss research studies involving creatine and beta-alanine supplementation and the implications for potential ergogenic effects in specific track and field events involving sprinting, jumping, and throwing.

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