Ethos Endymion Sport is the leading brand of L-Carnosine for athletes. Not all carnosine supplements are 99.9% pure and not all of them have the unique cellular rejuvenating properties that Ethos Endymion Sport has; some are ‘inert’ and are not bio-active.
L-Carnosine (ß-alanyl-L-histidine) is a cytoplasmic dipeptide of the two amino acids Beta Alanine and L-Histidine covalently bonded to one another (joined together). It is found at high concentration levels in skeletal muscle, and in particular type II (fast twitch) muscles; there are higher concentrations in sprinter’s and rower’s muscles, as compared to a marathon runner’s muscles. It is especially useful for athletes who want to ‘get the edge’ and for those looking for greater muscular endurance to help them to ‘go the extra mile’.
L-Carnosine is Safe and is within the Rules
L-Carnosine is naturally occurring within all of our bodies; but it depletes with age by approximately 10% per year, after the age of 30. L-Carnosine is not on the World Anti-Doping Agencies (WADA) prohibited substances list so it is safe to take in high doses; 5g per day is recommended.
L-Carnosine is normally locked inside our muscles; heart, liver, brain, kidneys and skeletal muscles. It is normally inactive within the body until damage occurs and then it is released and goes to work helping to repair the damage. By supplementing daily with L-Carnosine, it is then bio-available and bio-active within the body and goes around the body looking for damage to repair. So it can be likened to the body’s own repair substance or natural repair mechanism.
When doing heavy exercise and an athlete hits the “burn”, this damages the muscle and tissue and this is when the natural carnosine within the muscle is released and goes to work to start repairing the damage caused. In tests, L-Carnosine has been shown to greatly increase stamina, fitness, performance, recovery rates and the recovery times taken to recover from injuries. It greatly speeds up the body’s own natural healing processes by as much as 50%. It also helps to protect the body from damage and slows down, and even starts to reverse, the body’s natural aging processes.
Intense heavy exercise is primarily fuelled by anaerobic glycolysis with increased lactate and hydrogen ion (H+) production. These large increases in H+ can cause a significant reduction in muscle pH; from resting values of ~7.1 down to pH values of 6.3 to 6.5. The primary causes of fatigue during intense exercise lasting from ~1 to 10 min involves both limitations imposed by anaerobic glycolysis, as well as negative consequences resulting from the associated muscular acidosis caused by declining muscle pH levels.
This drop in muscular pH (not lactate) has been shown to negatively affect metabolic processes, including disturbances of the creatine-phosphorylcreatine equilibrium limiting the re-synthesis of phosphorylcreatine, as well as the inhibition of glycolysis and the muscle contraction processes itself.
In 1953, the Russian scientist W.S. Gulewich proved that L-Carnosine significantly increases the chemical buffering in skeletal muscles; the ones that you use during exercise. ‘Buffering’ is a process whereby the acid-alkali balance of the muscles is maintained, despite the fact that the lactic acid production created during exercise is trying to make the muscles more acidic. This is very important because if the muscles get too acidic they simply will not work and so supplementing with L-Carnosine very effectively extends the time before you hit the “burn” and this means that you can train harder and for longer periods of time to ‘get the edge’.
The Role of L-Carnosine in Intra-Muscular Buffering
During high-intensity exercise, many different innate metabolic processes and physio-chemical properties contribute to muscular buffering capacity in attempts to maintain intramuscular pH, including muscle histidine and carnosine. A buffer has the ability to retain a nearly constant pH when either a small amount of an acid or base is added to a solution. Accordingly, a higher innate buffering capacity between different athletes has been directly associated with improved high-intensity performance, with sprinters and rowers having higher measured muscle carnosine, buffering capacity, and high-intensity performance as compared to marathon runners. Therefore, the further enhancement of intra-muscular buffering capacity within a given athlete should lead to a further increase in performance during high-intensity exercise situations where metabolic acidosis is a limiting factor. Accordingly, a recent and novel nutritional supplement that athletes can utilise to augment intra-muscular buffering capacity is via the prolonged supplementation of L-Carnosine to increase muscle carnosine levels.
Carnosine has been described since the 1930’s as a potent intra-muscular buffer due to its nitrogen containing side imidazole ring, which can directly accept and buffer H+ ions, thus slowing the decline in pH during intense exercise. Supporting this mechanism, is recent evidence showing that 4 weeks of Carnosine supplementation, with assumed increased muscle carnosine contents, directly reduced muscle acidosis, through an attenuation of the decline in normal exercise associated decrease in blood pH. The contribution of normal muscle carnosine levels to total intra-cellular muscle buffering capacity has been suggested to reach ~6 to 7%. However, when increased via Carnosine supplementation can reach ~15%.
Prolonged L-Carnosine supplementation leads to increased muscle carnosine contents; Prof. Roger Harris from Chichester University in the UK was the first to show increases in muscle carnosine with prolonged L-Carnosine supplementation.
All studies to date that have measured muscle carnosine following L-Carnosine supplementation (minimum 2 weeks) have shown a significant increase (~40 to 50%) in muscle carnosine levels utilising ~3 to 6 g of L-Carnosine /day over 4 to 8 weeks. On average, this has lead to a significant ~40% increase in muscle carnosine (or approximately an increase of ~10-15 mmol/kg dry muscle (dm) carnosine. Even 1.6g L-Carnosine/day can lead to a ~30% increase in dm carnosine in 8 weeks of supplementation.
Several well-done studies have shown that prolonged L-Carnosine supplementation can result in significant anaerobic performance benefits. The emerging data is starting to reveal that when subjects consume ~3 to 6g ß-alanine/day over 4 to 8 weeks (for a total L-Carnosine intake of >120g) this will result in an increase of muscle carnosine of about 40 to 50%, and this will lead to positive anaerobic performance outcomes. It is also thought that prolonged L-Carnosine supplementation can also lead to significantly enhanced weight training, or single-sprints (<15 sec) and endurance (>20min).
L-Carnosine for Increased Stamina & Endurance
As already stated, the natural concentration of L-Carnosine within the body depletes with age; by about 10% per year, after the age of 30. This is one of the main reasons why muscular endurance also decreases with age; daily supplementation with L-Carnosine helps to reverse this decline and improves stamina, fitness, endurance and performance levels all round.
But this is not the only reason that L-Carnosine helps muscles; during heavy exercise, the large amount of oxygen going through the metabolism causes damage to cellular structures by a process known as lipid peroxidation which, in turn, creates toxic aldehydes within the body. These, along with free radicals derived from oxygen, then attack the cell membranes of the muscles. This then greatly reduces their effectiveness, as the cell membranes contain special structures called calcium channels (essential in muscle contraction) which become damagedby these toxic substances.
Carbonylation is another type of molecular damage which occurs during heavy exercise and is caused by a reaction of these toxic aldehydes with proteins, rather than with the fatty substances in the cell membrane.
Glycation is a process whereby proteins within the body, including muscle proteins, are irreversibly damaged by joining with glucose; the levels of which are also increased during heavy exercise.
L-Carnosine works at a cellular level to protect muscles from damage during heavy exercise and effectively reduces the levels of all of the different types of toxic materials which helps to prevent molecular damage.
Daily supplementation with L-Carnosine, especially when taken just before training and competitions, keeps ones energy levels and concentration at their highest and increases stamina and overall performance. It also reduces recovery times so there will be less ground to make up during rest periods.