L-carnosine is made up of 2 amino acids, histidine and beta-alanine, making it a dipeptide. L-carnosine is most heavily concentrated in those body tissues with the greatest energy requirements; skeletal muscle, cardiac muscle and the brain. Carnosine has a broad range of functions in the body.
Carnosine's Health Benefits
Carnosine is a powerful antioxidant1 and metal-chelating agent2, but much of the interest in carnosine supplements center around its ability to inhibit the process of glycation3, which accelerates the aging process. Glycation occurs when sugar combines with protein, forming non-functional compounds (AGEs) that damage cells, impair normal function and generate free-radicals. Wrinkled skin, cataracts and some types of age-related mental decline are all examples of the effects of AGEs.
Of special interest to athletes and strength trainers is L-carnosine's effect on muscle function. Carnosine plays a major role as a pH buffer in muscle tissue, increasing its work capacity.4 Increasing carnosine levels is the focus of several preworkout formulas for this reason.
Carnosine supplements should be used as directed. Doses from 500-3000 mg have been used safely.