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Carnosine and Anserine Ingestion Enhances Contribution of Nonbicarbonate Buffering


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: February 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - pp 334-338
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000185108.63028.04
APPLIED SCIENCES: Physical Fitness and Performance

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of supplementation with chicken breast extract (CBEX), which was a rich source of carnosine and anserine, on acid-base balance and performance during intense intermittent exercise.

Methods: Eight male subjects performed intense intermittent exercise that consisted of 10 × 5-s maximal cycle ergometer sprints with a 25-s recovery period between each sprint. The subjects ingested 190 g of the test soup containing either CBEX or a placebo 30 min before the commencement of exercise. Arterial blood samples were collected at rest and during exercise to estimate the carnosine and anserine concentrations, pH, and bicarbonate concentration ([HCO3]).

Results: Concentrations of anserine and its related amino acid significantly increased 30 min after CBEX supplementation, as compared with their values at rest. However, carnosine did not increase significantly. Following CBEX supplementation, the pH was significantly higher (P < 0.05) at the end of exercise, and [HCO3] was also significantly higher (P < 0.05) during the latter half of exercise and after exercise. There were no significant differences in the total power and mean power of each set between the CBEX and placebo supplemented groups.

Conclusion: Although oral supplementation with CBEX (which is a rich source of carnosine and anserine) increased the contribution of the nonbicarbonate buffering action and decreased bicarbonate buffering action in blood, intense intermittent exercise performance did not improve significantly.

1Department of Sports Sciences, Japan Institute of Sports Sciences, Tokyo, JAPAN; 2School of Health and Physical Education, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, JAPAN; 3Doctoral Program in Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, JAPAN; 4R & D Center, Nippon Meat Packers, Inc., Tsukuba, JAPAN; 5Institute of Medical Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, JAPAN; and 6Institute of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Tsukuba, Tsukuba, JAPAN

Address for correspondence: Yasuhiro Suzuki, Ph.D., Department of Sports Sciences, Japan Institute of Sports Sciences, 3-15-1 Nishigaoka, Kita-ku, Tokyo 115-0056, Japan; E-mail:

Submitted for publication May 2004.

Accepted for publication August 2005.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine