Many exercise enthusiasts are on the constant lookout for the “next best thing” when it comes to supplementation. Beta-alanine has become a popular supplement among this group. Beta-alanine is naturally found in our bodies and can help with athletic performance in several ways. It can not only enhance athletic performance through delayed fatigue, but it can also increase muscle endurance1.
What Is Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid naturally found in our muscles and brain and in some foods such as meat and fish. Most amino acids in our body synthesize proteins; however, this is not the case with beta-alanine. Instead, beta-alanine combined with histidine produces carnosine, which reduces lactic acid buildup in our muscles, improving athletic performance2.
How Does It Work?
“Using beta-alanine supplements helps to enhance carnosine levels in the body by up to 80%.”
Our body’s natural production of beta-alanine along with what we get through our diet is insufficient to improve athletic performance. This is why many find supplementation helpful for their athletic regimen3.
Histidine levels in our muscles are usually high as opposed to beta-alanine levels which are normally low. This is why supplementing with beta-alanine becomes helpful. Here are the steps of how beta-alanine acts during a workout:
- Glycolysis: It all starts here, with the ongoing process where glucose is broken down in our bodies.
- Production of Lactate: As our bodies are physically exerted more and more our muscles break down glucose into lactate resulting in hydrogen ion production.
- pH Levels Decrease: The hydrogen ions decrease the pH levels in our muscles making them more acidic.
- Raised Acidity: Due to the lactic acid in our muscles it makes it more difficult for our bodies to break down glucose resulting in fatigue.
- Beta-Alanine: The combination of beta-alanine and histidine forms carnosine which acts as a buffer against lactic acid by reducing the level present in our muscles.
- Improved Performance: Because carnosine is present, exhaustion is reduced, which can improve performance4.
Improves High-Intensity Workouts
Due to lactic acid buildup in our muscles during short high-intensity workouts such as 100–1500-meter sprinting, 100-400 meter swimming, or heavy weight lifting, muscle fatigue, and exhaustion can set in. Beta-alanine alleviates this by acting as a buffer in our muscles5.
The use of beta-alanine helps you work out for a longer period of time before you become exhausted. There is evidence to suggest that beta-alanine also can provide energy before a period of recovery is needed.
Increased Strength & Muscle Mass
Because beta-alanine allows you to train more intensely and for longer periods of time, you are likely to gain more muscle mass and strength. Although it may not in itself change your body composition, it allows for an advantage during your workout6.
There are many supplements on the market geared towards athletes and especially bodybuilders. The science behind how beta-alanine works is sound which makes it a highly likable supplement. If you find you are easily tired during your exercise or are feeling the negative effects of lactic acid buildup, then beta-alanine is the supplement for you.
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**These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
- Beta-Alanine A beginners Guide, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/beta-alanine-101.
- Beta-Alanine, https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/.
- Your Complete Guide To Beta-Alanine, https://www.carnosyn.com/beta-alanine/#:~:text=Beta%2Dalanine%20works%20by%20binding,contributes%20to%20fatigue%20when%20training.
- What Does Beta-Alanine Do? https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/what-does-beta-alanine-do.
- Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up In Muscles? And Why Does It Cause Soreness? https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-lactic-acid-buil/.
- Beta-Alanine Benefits: 6 Reasons Why You Should Supplement With Beta-Alanine, https://swolverine.com/blogs/blog/beta-alanine-benefit.