Enhance Your Performance with Beta-Alanine!

enhance your performance with beta-alanine

Hey there, fitness enthusiast!

Are you always pushing yourself to the limit during your workouts? If so, imagine taking things up a notch and crushing your goals like never before! That’s where this incredible supplement comes into play.

With a seemingly endless array of supplements available, it’s hard to know which ones are worth your time. But let me introduce you to Beta-Alanine, a natural amino acid that can skyrocket your performance! Initially embraced by track and field athletes, it’s now making waves in the bodybuilding world as well. If the idea of squeezing in a couple more reps and watching your muscles grow faster excites you, then you’re in the right place!

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As a dedicated athlete, you know that nutrition and supplementation can give you that extra edge you need, especially if you’re committed to natural training. Building strength and muscle the old-fashioned way takes time and persistence, but with a Beta-Alanine supplement in your arsenal, you’ll be on your way to even better results in no time! So, what are you waiting for? Let’s get started!

What is beta-alanine?

beta-alanine
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Beta-alanine is an amino acid. Meat, Chicken, Fish, and Eggs are some of the beta-alanine foods. One of the primary uses of beta-alanine is to form carnosine in skeletal muscle  in the presence of another amino acid ‘Histidine’. The concentration of carnosine in our body is directly proportional to the level of Beta-Alanine. The more beta-alanine available, the more carnosine will be synthesized. And supplementing with beta-alanine has been noted with increased levels of muscle carnosine.

Understanding Beta-Alanine Benefits for Improved Athletic Performance

Beta-Alanine Benefits
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Muscle Fatigue and Lactic Acid Buildup

During intense exercise, muscles break down glucose into lactic acid, which is then converted into lactate, producing hydrogen ions in the process. As hydrogen ions accumulate, the pH level in muscles decreases, causing increased acidity. This muscle acidity hinders the further breakdown of glucose and impairs muscle contraction, resulting in fatigue and a decreased ability to continue exercising.

The Role of Beta-Alanine and Carnosine

Beta-alanine supplementation benefits athletes by increasing carnosine concentrations in muscles. Carnosine serves as a buffer, reducing muscle acidity during high-intensity exercise by counteracting the effects of lactic acid. By mitigating the impact of lactic acid, beta-alanine helps to improve athletic performance.

Beta-Alanine Supplementation and Athletic Performance

Studies have shown that athletes can perform an additional 2-3 reps and handle a higher workload after four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation. This increased work capacity is crucial for hypertrophy (muscle growth). Research has consistently demonstrated a linear relationship between workload/volume and muscle growth. As a result, beta-alanine supplementation can aid in the pursuit of increased strength and muscle size.

Beta-Alanine Supplementation

When to take beta alanine?

Although beta alanine is present in a majority of pre-workouts. It is not necessary to take it just before a workout. In fact muscle, carnosine concentrations respond to beta-alanine regardless of when it’s consumed. To ensure you reach optimal carnosine levels, to support performance and increase lean body mass. I suggest using 6g beta alanine powder per day spread into four: 1.5g doses for the first 3 weeks, and then 3g per day spread into two: 1.5g doses thereafter.

Proven Benefits of Beta Alanine

Proven Benefits of Beta Alanine to enhance performance
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1. Increased endurance during high-intensity exercise

Beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to increase muscle carnosine levels, which can improve endurance during high-intensity exercise 1 

One study found that athletes who took beta-alanine for four weeks had a 13-16% increase in their ability to perform high-intensity cycling exercise 2

Another study found that beta-alanine supplementation improved rowing performance in trained athletes 3

2. Improved muscle strength and power output

Beta-alanine supplementation has also been shown to increase muscle strength and power output. One study found that athletes who took beta-alanine for four weeks had a 3.2% increase in their ability to perform a one-rep max bench press 4 

Another study found that beta-alanine supplementation increased peak power output during a Wingate test in trained cyclists 5

3. Delayed onset of muscle fatigue

Beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to delay the onset of muscle fatigue during high-intensity exercise. One study found that athletes who took beta-alanine for 28 days had a 13.6% increase in their time to exhaustion during a cycling time trial. 6

Another study found that beta-alanine supplementation improved repeated sprint ability in trained soccer players 7

4. Enhanced recovery post-workout

Beta-alanine supplementation may also enhance recovery post-workout. One study found that beta-alanine supplementation reduced muscle soreness and improved muscle function after a high-intensity cycling workout 8

Another study found that beta-alanine supplementation increased muscle protein synthesis after resistance exercise in older adults 9

5. Possible benefits for cognitive function

There is some evidence to suggest that beta-alanine supplementation may have cognitive benefits. One study found that beta-alanine supplementation improved cognitive performance in healthy older adults 10 

Another study found that beta-alanine supplementation improved cognitive function and mood in military cadets during a high-stress training program 11

Potential Beta Alanine Side Effects – Reported

Potential Beta Alanine Side Effects
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Beta-alanine is a popular dietary supplement used by athletes to increase endurance and improve performance during high-intensity workouts. However, like any supplement, it can have potential side effects that users should be aware of. 

So let’s explore some of the commonly reported beta-alanine side effects:

1. Paresthesia

Paresthesia, or a tingling sensation in the skin, is the most commonly reported side effect of beta-alanine supplementation. It occurs due to the release of histamine, which can cause a mild irritation in the skin. The tingling sensation is usually harmless and subsides within an hour or two after ingestion.

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2. Flushing

Flushing, or reddening of the skin, is another common side effect of beta-alanine supplementation. It occurs due to the dilation of blood vessels and increased blood flow to the skin. The flushing is usually mild and subsides quickly, but it can be more severe in some individuals.

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3. GI Distress

Some individuals may experience gastrointestinal (GI) distress, such as nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, after taking beta-alanine. These symptoms are usually mild and short-lived, but they can be more severe in some individuals.

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4. Hypersensitivity

In rare cases, individuals may experience an allergic reaction to beta-alanine, which can cause hives, itching, and difficulty breathing. These symptoms can be severe and require immediate medical attention.

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5. Interference with taurine

There is some evidence to suggest that beta-alanine supplementation may interfere with taurine metabolism. Taurine is an amino acid that plays a role in muscle function and has been linked to various health benefits.

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Summarizing Beta-Alanine

Performance
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  • Naturally occurring amino acid
  • Enhances athletic performance
  • Increases muscle carnosine levels
  • Reduces muscle acidity during high-intensity exercise
  • Improves endurance, muscle strength, and power output
  • Delays muscle fatigue
  • Enhances post-workout recovery
  • May have cognitive benefits
  • Common side effects: skin tingling, flushing, mild gastrointestinal distress
  • Recommended dosage: 6g/day for first three weeks, 3g/day thereafter
References
  1. Blancquaert, L., Everaert, I., Derave, W., & Baguet, A. (2015). A review on the use of beta-alanine supplementation and its effects on exercise performance, the onset of fatigue and more. Frontiers in Physiology, 6, 611. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2015.00611[]
  2. Hill, C. A., Harris, R. C., Kim, H. J., Harris, B. D., Sale, C., Boobis, L. H., & Wise, J. A. (2007). Influence of β-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity. Amino acids, 32(2), 225-233. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-006-0364-4[]
  3. Kendrick, I. P., Harris, R. C., Kim, H. J., Kim, C. K., Dang, V. H., & Wise, J. A. (2008). The effects of 10 weeks of resistance training combined with β-alanine supplementation on whole body strength, force production, muscular endurance and body composition. Amino Acids, 34(4), 547-554. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-007-0008-3[]
  4. Kern, B. D., Robinson, T. L., & Ereth, M. H. (2009). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(5), 1483-1492. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181a4e290[]
  5. Sweeney, K. M., Wright, G. A., Glenn Brice, A., & Doberstein, S. T. (2010). The effects of beta-alanine supplementation on power performance during repeated sprint activity. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 24(1), 79-87. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c63a8b[]
  6. Baguet, A., Bourgois, J., Vanhee, L., Achten, E., & Derave, W. (2010). Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 109(4), 1096-1101. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00141.2010[]
  7. Hoffman, J. R., Ratamess, N. A., Faigenbaum, A. D., Ross, R., Kang, J., Stout, J. R., & Wise, J. A. (2008). Short-duration beta-alanine supplementation increases training volume and reduces subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players. Nutrition Research, 28(1), 31-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nutres.2007.11.004[]
  8. Trexler, E. T., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Hoffman, J. R., Wilborn, C. D., Sale, C., … & Campbell, BI. (2015). International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1), 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y[]
  9. Chung, W., Shaw, G., Anderson, M. E., Pyne, D. B., Saunders, P. U., & Bishop, D. J. (2012). Effect of 10 week beta-alanine supplementation on competition and training performance in elite swimmers. Nutrients, 4(10), 1441-1453. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu4101441[]
  10. Stout, J. R., Graves, B. S., Smith, A. E., Hartman, M. J., Cramer, J. T., Beck, T. W., & Harris, R. C. (2012). The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue in elderly (55–92 Years): a double-blind randomized study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 39. https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-9-39[]
  11. O’Brien, C., Woolf, K., DeFilippis, M., Schwindt, C., McGinnis, W., & Welleford, E. (2014). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on cognitive function and mood in military cadets. Military Medicine, 179(10), 1132-1138. https://doi.org/10.7205/milmed-d-13-00408[]
  12. Harris, R. C., Tallon, M. J., Dunnett, M., Boobis, L., Coakley, J., Kim, H. J., … & Wise, J. A. (2006). The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino acids, 30(3), 279-289. doi.org/10.1007/s00726-006-0299-9[]
  13. Artioli, G. G., Gualano, B., Smith, A., Stout, J., & Lancha Jr, A. H. (2010). Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 42(6), 1162-1173. doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181c74e38[]
  14. Sale, C., Saunders, B., Hudson, S., & Wise, J. A. (2011). Effect of β-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance. Amino Acids, 43(1), 25-37.doi.org/10.1007/s00726-011-1200-z[]
  15. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2019). Beta-alanine. https://medlineplus.gov/druginfo/natural/1225.html[]
  16. Blancquaert, L., Everaert, I., Derave, W., & Baguet, A. (2015). A review on the use of beta-alanine supplementation and its effects on exercise performance, the onset of fatigue and more. Frontiers in physiology, 6, 611. doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2015.00611[]
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