Whether you’re George St Pierre winning by unanimous decision over Jake Shields at UFC 129, Anderson Silva submitting Chael Sonnen in the 5th round at UFC 117 by triangle choke or an MMA amateur preparing for your first fight, you have to be prepared to go the distance if it comes down to it! Now obviously grueling cardio sessions, mma specific conditioning and a well thought out game plan will form the basis of any fight, but what other tricks can you put in your fighting arsenal just incase it goes to the final round? Here we uncover, what could be, an MMA fighters best secret weapon; Beta Alanine and L-Histidine!
Beta Alanine and L-Histidine are both amino acids, put simply these are small molecules that link together to form longer chains that make up protein. Whilst on their own studies have found they play numerous roles in human biochemistry, it’s when they are combined that they become an MMA Fighters best friend! See once joined they form something called Carnosine which studies show can reduce the build up of lactic acid in the muscles, which in turn, ensures you become less fatigued during the latter stages of a fight and here’s how. As a fighter or athlete, you will have felt that intense burning sensation you get when you really start to exert yourself. This is because the pH in your muscles and blood decrease, causing them to become too acidic, hence the intense burning sensation. It is literally like your muscles are on fire!
To briefly explain what is happening, during short-term, high-intensity exercise, lactate accumulates as the result of lactic acid production being greater than its removal. However carnosine helps to put out this burning fire in your muscles that is felt before reaching failure and as a result enhances muscular performance. What this means for MMA fighters is that it will allow you to carry that same fighting intensity through to the final round, once your opponent (not supplementing with Beta Alanine and L-Histidine) is beginning to tire. In a study published in the Journal of Japanese physiology it stated “It has been shown that people whose muscle carnosine was high could exhibit high power during the latter half of the 30 second maximal cycle ergometer sprinting. These results suggested that the muscle carnosine concentration could be one of the important factors determining high-intensity exercise performance.” (Y Suzuki et al 2002.) But put simply…. Beta Alanine + L-Histidine = Carnosine = 5th round KO!
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