Power Drink version III - Carnosine and Beta Alanine Combination
Carnosine, a dipeptide made up of the amino acids alanine and histidine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine) has many beneficial effects, as per a previous article. In that article I stated that carnosine has been shown to have significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, increase performance, increase healing, enhance the immune system, decrease fatigue, and provide anti-aging effects.
It also inhibits glycation, a destructive protein/sugar reaction that occurs in the body and which contributes to aging through a number of mechanisms including the breakdown of connective tissue, a loss of elasticity, and a decrease in cellular hydration. Carnosine, along with alpha lipoic acid, provides protection against glycation and premature aging.
Carnosine has beneficial effects on exercise performance by helping to overcome muscle fatigue, likely due its effectiveness as a buffering agent, and perhaps its antioxidant, chelating,, and enzyme regulating effects.
Carnosine levels tend to be higher in athletes such as sprinters[ix],[x] and in bodybuilders[xi] These studies also show that intramuscular carnosine may be an effective physiological H+ buffer and that there is a significant relationship between the carnosine concentration in human skeletal muscle and high intensity exercise performance. A recent study found that beta-alanine supplementation increased muscle carnosine levels[xii] and resulted in an improvement in exercise performance.[xiii]
However, since dietary carnosine is absorbed across intestinal epithelial cells and much of it reaches the systemic system, while the rest is broken down to beta-alanine and histidine,, using carnosine itself is a more direct approach to increasing carnosine levels compared to using beta alanine which is used in producing endogenous carnosine. Using carnosine instead of beta-alanine also provides the amino acid histidine, which itself has potent cytoprotective, neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects.
As such, several of my nutritional supplements have carnosine as one of the ingredients, including MVM, Antiox, Joint Support, ReNew, InControl, InsideOut, Amino, Resolve, and Power Drink.
Power Drink has just been reformulated as of February 2017 and is now available - Power Drink version III. Power Drink version III also contains 800 mg of beta-alanine, which also impacts carnosine levels and when used together further improve exercise performance - see abstract below - although they use the ingredients prior to training, also taking while training would be more effective.Resolve, my pre-training supplement, also contains levels of both but in lower levels, acting more as a primer with the ingredients in Power Drink used while training enhances the effects of both.
As well the new formulation of Power Drink contains more branched chain amino acids, especially leucine, more amino acids, and the addition of other ingredients that are meant to maximize your body compositon and performance results during exercise.
Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2016 Apr;11(3):344-9. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2014-0507. Epub 2015 Aug 26. Effects of Acute Carnosine and ß-Alanine on Isometric Force and Jumping Performance.
Invernizzi PL, Limonta E, Riboli A, Bosio A, Scurati R, Esposito F. Abstract PURPOSE:
To assess the effects of acute combined L-carnosine and ß-alanine (Carn-BA) supplementation on isometric and dynamic tasks. METHODS:
Twelve healthy participants performed knee-extensor maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) and countermovement jumps (CMJs) before and after a fatiguing protocol (45-s continuous CMJs). Isometric and dynamic tests were performed 4 h after ingestion of Carn-BA (2 g of L-carnosine and 2 g of ß-alanine) or placebo (PLA), in random order. After the fatiguing protocol, blood lactate concentration ([La-]), general and muscular rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and muscle pain (24 and 48 h after the end of the fatiguing protocol) were assessed.
During the fatiguing protocol, significant decreases in jump height and increases in contact time were found in both groups from the 15th second onward to the end of the fatiguing protocol. Average contact time and jump height were respectively lower (-7%; P = .018) and higher (+6%; P = .025) in Carn-BA than in PLA. After the fatiguing protocol, MVC decreased in both PLA and Carn-BA, but it was higher in Carn-BA than in PLA (+15%, P = 0.012), while CMJ did not change. Moreover, general RPE was lower and muscle pain at 24 h was higher in Carn-BA than in PLA, whereas muscle RPE and [La-] did not differ between conditions.
Ingesting Carn-BA before exercise induced positive effects on MVC and CMJ after the fatiguing protocol and improved CMJ performance during the 45-s continuous jumping effort, even when acutely supplemented. Furthermore, Carn-BA reduced the general RPE and increased muscle pain 24 h after the fatiguing task.