Athletic Dietary Supplement Works for Bodybuilders and Boomers Alike

A recent study at the University of Oklahoma found that a dietary supplement used by athletes and bodybuilders also increases fitness levels in older adults.

Such results could help the elderly maintain health and independent living and avoid falls. Half of the participants, ages 55 to 92, received a supplement of beta-alanine (BA), an amino acid found in high-protein foods such as beef, chicken and fish. The rest were given a placebo.

After 90 days, those receiving BA had a significant reduction in muscle fatigue during exercise, compared to the group taking the placebo.

Previous research on younger subjects showed BA supplements benefit exercise performance by boosting the level of skeletal muscle carnosine, a dipeptide necessary for normal muscle function.

Such effects of BA in older adults may aid their ability to complete daily tasks, improving quality of life.