Beta- alanine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid, meaning it is not used by the body to synthesise muscle. However, although muscle growth isn’t its primary role in the body, it is an amazing indirect muscle building supplement, and an even better overall performance enhancer....get to know this truly AMAZING supplement...seriously.
All natural substance
Beta- alanine is naturally formed within the body, it is produced endogenously in the liver but can also be consumed through the diet via poultry, meat and of course, nutritional supplements. It is considered completely safe for consumption in adults and has only one known side-effect, that characteristic tingling feeling you occasionally get within 10 or 15mins after consumption. This tingling sensation is proof that beta-alanine is getting to work, so it’s a good thing. Known as paraesthesia, this tingling sensation is the neurotransmitter function of beta-alanine i.e. it is firing up your nerve endings getting you ready for training!
What does Beta- alanine do?
Beta- alanine enhances performance. If consumed as per the recommendation of 4-6g for at least 2-4 weeks, you can expect to see a sustainable improvement in performance that comprises of reduced ‘burn’ in the muscle, better endurance, more focus and alertness, and overall reduced muscle fatigue.
How does it do it?
Beta-alanine’s mechanism of action surrounds its ability to increase the levels of carnosine in muscle. Carnosine is related to beta-alanine, it is a dipeptide of beta-alanine and histidine, so basically when beta-alanine and histidine combine they form carnosine. Carnosine has been seen to increase by up to 64% after 4 weeks, and up to 80% after 10 weeks of consuming beta-alanine. The relevance of this is that carnosine is highly effective at buffering the pH of your blood, so when your blood becomes more acidic whilst training, carnosine floats around and ‘mops up’ hydrogen ions. Hydrogen ions are released as a by-product of energy metabolism, and it is the accumulation of hydrogen that increases the acidity of the blood.
So by supplementing on beta-alanine daily, it is completely feasible that you will become more efficient at removing waste products from your muscle during exercise, in turn enhancing performance and recovery. Although beta-alanine supplementation is relatively new (first study performed in 2006), there is virtually no self-respecting pre-workout supplement that doesn’t contain it. Beta-alanine is evidence backed, tried and tested by a large range of athletes including Tour De France riders and professional bodybuilders. If you want to see improvements in your performance then harness the potential to be had from beta-alanine.
Trexler, E, T., Smith-Ryan, A, E., Stout, J, R., Hoffman, J, R., & Wilborn, C, D. et al. (2015). International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Retrieved 24th July, 2015, from http://www.jissn.com/content/12/1/30
Harris, R, C., Tallon, M, J., Dunnett, M., Boobis, L., Coakley, J., Kim, H, J, et al. The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids. 2006; 30(3):279-89.