Carnosine – A Groundbreaking Muscle Recovery Supplement For Horses

Table of Contents

Carnosine – A Groundbreaking Muscle Recovery Supplement For Horses

Table of Contents

Copyright ©FEI/Yong Teck Lim

Effective muscle recovery involves not just the restoration of strength and elimination of fatigue but also the repair and rebuilding of muscle tissues. This is particularly crucial in horses, given their heavy reliance on muscle strength and endurance for activities ranging from racing and show jumping to dressage and recreational riding.

The challenge in optimizing muscle recovery lies in addressing both the immediate and cumulative stress that intense physical activities place on equine muscles.

Carnosine, a naturally occurring dipeptide, has emerged as a groundbreaking supplement in muscle recovery. This article looks into the biochemistry of Carnosine and its benefits for horses and introduces an innovative product developed by Chemipower in collaboration with the Tartu Pharmacology Institute.

What Is Carnosine?

First identified by Russian chemist Vladimir Gulevich in 1900, Carnosine is a dipeptide naturally found in the body and made up of two amino acids,  beta-alanine and histidine. Found in high concentrations in skeletal muscles and the central nervous system, it plays a pivotal role in buffering hydrogen ions during exercise, thus preventing muscle fatigue and enhancing performance. L-carnosine, a bioavailable form, is also known for its antioxidant properties and is found in dietary supplements aimed at anti-aging and cognitive function improvement.

Overall Benefits Of Carnosine For Horses

For equine athletes, Carnosine offers significant benefits. It enhances muscle endurance and delays fatigue, particularly beneficial in disciplines requiring sustained or intense physical effort. It also aids in faster muscle recovery post-exercise, reducing the risk of muscle soreness and injuries. 

Its antioxidant properties also contribute to a strong immune system and overall healthy muscle function, safeguarding against damage from free radicals generated during strenuous activities. 

Related: Is carnosine the best supplement for performance horses?

Copyright © FEI/Stefan Lafrentz

Muscle Recovery In Horses – Why Essential

Effective muscle recovery is vitally important for preventing injuries, which are more likely to occur when muscles are fatigued or overexerted. It also directly impacts a horse’s athletic performance, with well-recovered muscles more capable of achieving peak functionality.

This is particularly important for sport horses in competitive activities like racing, show jumping, and dressage, where optimal performance is essential. Working horses, used in physically demanding tasks such as farming or hauling, also experience significant muscle stress.

Age is another factor; older horses tend to have muscles that are more prone to damage and may not recover as efficiently as those of younger horses. Moreover, horses with pre-existing health conditions or a history of injuries are at an increased risk of experiencing muscle stress or damage.

However, it’s important to note that all horses, irrespective of their age, breed, or activity level, are susceptible to muscle stress or damage to varying degrees. Even horses used for leisure riding require appropriate muscle care to maintain optimal health and prevent injuries. 

So, how can carnosine help safeguard their muscles and aid in recovery?

A Closer Look At Carnosine and Muscle Recovery

Enhancing Muscle Repair and Regeneration

Post-exercise, horse muscles undergo repair and regeneration processes. Carnosine contributes to these processes in several ways:

  • Accelerating Muscle Cell Regeneration:

Carnosine helps in the regeneration of muscle cells by promoting protein synthesis and reducing oxidative damage. This accelerated regeneration is crucial for horses, especially after intense exercise or competitions.

  • Reducing Acidosis in Muscles:

Intense exercise leads to the accumulation of lactic acid, causing muscle soreness and fatigue. Carnosine acts as a buffer, reducing acidosis and thereby minimizing muscle soreness and speeding up the recovery process.

Copyright Photo: Libby Law Photography

Reducing Muscle Inflammation

Inflammation is a natural response to muscle overexertion. Carnosine’s anti-inflammatory properties help reduce this inflammation, aiding in quicker recovery. This is particularly important in preventing chronic muscle damage and ensuring the long-term health of equine athletes.

Strengthening Muscle Fibers

Carnosine also plays a role in strengthening muscle fibers. By protecting these fibers from oxidative stress and glycation, it helps maintain their integrity and function. This is especially beneficial for older horses, where muscle recovery can be slower.

Improving Overall Muscle Health

Beyond immediate recovery, Carnosine contributes to the overall health of equine muscles. Its antioxidant properties combat free radicals generated during exercise, reducing the risk of long-term muscle damage. This comprehensive protection is vital for horses undergoing regular training and competition.

Carnosine Supplementation For Muscle Recovery

While feed-based supplements are a common method to introduce Carnosine into a horse’s diet, the efficacy can vary due to factors like digestive metabolism and individual absorption rates. On the other hand, topical gels like Chemipower’s CarnoGel, developed in collaboration with Tartu Pharmacology Institute, offer a targeted approach specifically designed for equine muscle recovery and performance enhancement.

Advantages of Direct Application

Targeted Delivery: Applying the gel directly to muscles ensures a concentrated delivery of Carnosine to the areas most in need, particularly after strenuous exercise or in preparation for competition.

Enhanced Absorption: Topical application allows Carnosine to penetrate muscle tissues more efficiently, bypassing digestive processes that can dilute its potency.

Immediate Effect: Direct application can provide faster relief from muscle fatigue, making it ideal for quick recovery and performance enhancement.

© FEI/Leanjo de Koster


As explored in this article, Carnosine stands out as a significant supplement in equine health and performance, particularly in muscle recovery. Its role in accelerating muscle repair, reducing inflammation, and enhancing overall muscle health makes it an invaluable asset for equine athletes.

By directly applying CarnoGel to horses’ muscles, trainers and caretakers can ensure targeted delivery and enhanced absorption of Carnosine, making it a more efficient and effective method than traditional feed-based supplementation. 

Whether for competitive sports, training, or general well-being, CarnoGel offers a scientifically backed, innovative solution to support and enhance the muscle recovery process in horses.