What is beta-alanine?
Beta-alanine (b-alanine) is a non-essential amino acid which is a potent antioxidant but has also been proven to be extremely effective for improved physical performance.
The body produces some beta-alanine from foods—mostly from meat sources, but supplemental b-alanine is shown to significantly increase carnosine levels in muscle cells—carnosine is produced when b-alanine binds with histidine. The main performance benefits occur because of the buffering of lactic acid and delayed muscle burn which allows you to train harder and longer.
Beta-alanine prevents the buildup of hydrogen ions which lowers the pH balance in muscle cells. This results in less fatigue and delayed onset of fatigue products, so you’re able to train beyond the point where muscle burn would normally force you to quit.
Noticeable effects of beta-alanine use:
- Boosted performance during high-intensity activities lasting longer than 60 seconds (most noticeable during 1- to 5-minute exercise bouts)
- Increased strength and power output
- Improved endurance and stamina (volume capacity of activity—longer sets, more reps, etc.)
- Increased peak oxygen uptake (enhanced endurance)
Who should use it?
Unlike creatine, which has proven performance benefits for most individuals, there appear to be no non-responders for beta-alanine. B-alanine works extremely well and is ideal for all individuals looking to improve physical performance in exercise and/or sports.
Note that beta-alanine can cause noticeable paresthesia (a tingling sensation described by many as pins and needles), but the sensation is harmless, generally dissipates quickly, and can be minimized if taken with food or other products.
Also note that the benefits of beta-alanine may not be noticed during low-intensity or sub-one-minute activities. It’s best used for bodybuilding type training programs, interval training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), CrossFit, or any other medium- to high-intensity activities lasting one to five minutes and/or with minimal rest between bouts.
When and how should it be used?
Beta-alanine can be taken at any time of the day, but it’s important to use it at the same time each day to ensure peak muscle concentrations. It’s most often a key ingredient in pre-workout formulas because of its proven effectiveness, and the effects can be enhanced and fully taken advantage of when combined with other “pre-workout” nutrients such as caffeine, L-taurine, and other intensity-enhancing ingredients. Taking it shortly before workouts on an empty stomach as part of a beta-alanine-enhanced pre-workout formula is ideal.
It should also be noted that you should always look for the patented CarnoSyn brand of beta-alanine within your pre-workout formulas.
Note: For information purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.