Carnosine

Carnosine

SHORT CARNOSINE DESCRIPTION:

Carnosine is a histidine-containing dipeptide, comprised of a chemical combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. The typical practice for using Carnosine involves injecting l-2 grams of the nutrient into the bellies of the muscles that are to be trained that day. At the present time it is a difficult to give practical advice on using injectable Carnosine, as we know of no such pharmaceutical preparation in production.

LONG CARNOSINE DESCRIPTION:

Carnosine is a histidine-containing dipeptide, comprised of a chemical combination of the amino acids beta-alanine and L-histidine. The exact role of Carnosine in the human body is not fully understood, but it is believed to play a role as antioxidant, neurotransmitter, and protective nutrient against cell aging. Carnosine is currently on its way to becoming a popular general health supplement, due to its perceived role in preserving good health and slowing the cellular damage of aging. Dietary supplements containing Carnosine, however are not the subject of this profile. We are discussing injectable Carnosine here, or more specifically the practice of using intramuscular injections of Carnosine to improve athletic performance. In this regard it is being used to reduce muscle fatigue, increase muscle endurance, and extend the overall capacity for work.

The interest in using Carnosine to enhance athletic performance becomes fairly obvious when we look at the role this nutrient plays in human muscle physiology. Carnosine has been shown to contribute to physiochemical buffering in exercised muscles. You may be familiar with the practice of Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda) loading, which loosely works on the same principle. Carnosine acts as a buffering agent because of its L-histidine content. As the muscles are taxed during exercise, and lactic acid begins to build, Carnosine beings to break down at a high rate. Free amino acids are formed, as the chemical bonds holding them together are broken. The histidine this process yields helps to maintain acid-base (pH) balance in the muscles, allowing them to work at a higher capacity for a longer period of time. Studies have shown that Carnosine concentrations correlate closely with the maximum power output capacity of the muscles.

The typical practice for using Carnosine involves injecting l-2 grams of the nutrient into the bellies of the muscles that are to be trained that day. Small muscle groups such as the deltoids and biceps may take a single injection in each side, while larger muscle groups may require placing smaller injections into more than one area of tissue to better distribute the nutrient. The injections are administered within 3 minutes before training, so that local levels of Carnosine are at their highest. The first time we heard of this practice was from renowned strength and conditioning expert Charles Poliquin. Charles has many of his Olympic athletes using this procedure during their weight training sessions, and reports excellent success with it. The results he describes are very much in line with what one might expect from reading the research; the muscles have notably greater endurance. According to Charles Poliquin, this is providing tangible benefits in terms of actual tissue gain (size and strength). He believes the buffering is allowing for greater total tonnage in the gym, which allows for more stimulation and more growth.

At the present time it is a difficult to give practical advice on using injectable Carnosine, as we know of no such pharmaceutical preparation in production. One doesn’t want to simply try and home-brew a solution either, as Carnosine is not particularly stable in solution (nor would it be very pure). Any such preparation really needs to be prepared professionally, with proper attention to temperature, pH, sterility, and general product stability. Those using injectable Carnosine right now are most likely getting a product that originates from a private drug compounding firm, made at the direction of a physician. This isn’t of much use to the average bodybuilder. This is also a very new practice, however, and few people have “caught on” to the use of Carnosine injections as of yet. As word spreads of Olympic and professional athletes using a new “designer agent” this will undoubtedly change very quickly. Until then, a visit to a strength couch like Charles Poliquin may be your only tangible option for experimenting with this.

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