In 1953 the Russian scientist Professor Sergey Eugenyevich Severin was the first to show that L-Carnosine significantly contributes to the physicochemical buffering in skeletal muscles. Also that it maintains the acid-base balance when a large quantity of H(+) is produced in association with lactic acid accumulation during high-intensity exercise. Carnosine accounts for up to 30% of the body’s buffering capacity. More recent studies confirmed that increasing muscle carnosine concentrations lead to an increased intramuscular hydrogen ion (H+) buffering capacity (Dunnet and Harris 1999, Dunnet et al. 2002) and that pre-exercise carnosine regulates the intracellular pH (pH(I)) of oxidative and glycolytic muscle fibers (Damon et al. 2003).
Supplementing with carnosine helps to keep muscle pH levels at neutral. During heavy exercise lactic acid accumulates in our muscles which causes the pH levels to fall and we tire and ultimately become exhausted. Also, natural muscle carnosine levels diminish with age so supplementing with carnosine is essential to restore the carnosine concentration in your muscles which in turn increases strength, stamina, endurance and recovery times.
Fig. 1. above shows that Carnosine (30 nM) significantly increases the amount of calcium (Ca2+) liberated from muscles. The black columns show muscles with carnosine supplementation whereas the white columns show muscles without carnosine supplementation. As the pH levels fall the calcium channels close. (Rubtsov 2001)
The sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) provides feedback control required to balance the processes of calcium storage, release and re-uptake in skeletal muscles. In the membrane of the sarcoplasmic reticulum there is a calcium pump, powered by ATP. that pumps calcium ions back into the sarcoplasmic reticulum, reducing the calcium level around the actin and myosin filaments which allows the muscle to relax. Carnosine helps improve the function of the calcium pump whilst also helping to keep the calcium channels open. If there is a lack of carnosine the pump ceases to function properly and the calcium channels begin to close due to acidity, lipid peroxidation and accumulation of malondialdehyde (MDA). Carnosine very effectively helps to fight all of these harmful reactions making it the ideal physiologic sports supplement. Carnosine is 100% safe and perfectly within the rules as it is completely indigenous to the human body it is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substances list.
In both sports activities and body building, carnosine is involved in the detoxification pathway of reactive aldehydes from lipid peroxidation generated in skeletal muscles during physical endurance (Aldini et al. 2002a,b). Therefore carnosine effectively protects the skeletal muscles from injury, increases muscle strength and endurance plus it speeds up the recovery times after strenuous exercise, as proved scientifically in many tests.
Japanese investigators examined the relations between skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations, fiber-type distribution, and high-intensity exercise performance among eleven healthy men. Muscle biopsy samples were taken from the vastus lateralis at rest and the carnosine concentration was determined by the use of an amino acid autoanalyser. The fiber-type distribution was determined by the staining intensity of myosin adenosinetriphosphatase. The high-intensity exercise performance was assessed by the use of 30 second maximal cycle ergometer sprinting. A significant correlation was demonstrated between the carnosine concentration and the type IIX fiber composition. The carnosine concentration was significantly correlated with the mean power per body mass during the 30 second sprinting. When dividing the sprinting into 6 phases (0-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, 21-25, 26-30 s), significant correlations were observed between the carnosine concentration and the mean power per body mass of the final 2 phases. These results indicated that the carnosine concentration is an important factor in determining high-intensity exercise performance.
Carnosine helps to prevent muscular injuries and greatly speeds up recovery times in all athletes. One of the explanations is that high-intensity performance causes oxidative stress in the musculature, which in turn eats up the body’s own natural carnosine stores. The free radicals cause lipid peroxidation as well as carbonylation of proteins and phospholipids. Carnosine very effectively combats all of these reactions provided that there is enough of it present in the muscles. This is why daily supplementation with carnosine is so vital to all athletes looking to get the edge and help avoid damage and injury.
Figure 2. above shows how carnosine effectively inhibits the accumulation of lactate as a result of hypoxia in a rat brain. Hypoxia was experimentally induced by ligating four arteries. The white columns show rats supplemented with carnosine whereas the black columns show the controls. The two columns indicate the lactate concentration before ligature (a) and thereafter (b) 35-45 minutes, (c) 90-100 minutes and (d) 150-170 minutes. (Stvolinsky ja Dobrota 2000)
The Ideal Sports Supplement for All Athletes
Another study on rats indicated that the carnosine concentration in the soleus muscle increased 5-fold and the histidine content 2-fold in 8 weeks, when the rats were given 1.8 % carnosine in their food. There is evidence to show that exactly the same occurs in man. Therefore carnosine is the ideal supplement for athletes who are looking to get the edge and help protect themselves from injuries. Research suggests that the minimum quantity is 2.5 mM in order to halt lipid peroxidation and 1 mM to stop carbonylation. In one study rats were fed carnosine for 13 months, and it was noted that the carnosine concentration in their skeletal muscles increased significantly and, at the same time, lipidperoxidation and carbonylation diminished. This relevant study proved that carnosine in physiological circumstances prevents lipid peroxidation and protein carbonylation (Nagasawa ym 2001).
Normal use – Ethos Endymion Sport – take 1 gm per day for every 20 kg of body weight. If you weigh 80 kg then 4 gm/day. Dissolve the daily dose in a litre bottle of mineral water or fresh fruit juice and then drink from the bottle regularly throughout the day so that the last drops are drank just before sleeping. For athletes it is recommended to take an extra 2g to 3g thirty minutes before an event or a heavy training session.