What you will learn...
Beta-alanine belongs to ergogenic supplements, and chemically structure belongs to the amino acid group, but it does not build proteins.
On the other hand, it’s a precursor of carnosine, which has shown a number of biological functions in the human body.
Reported beta-alanine benefits include improving athletic endurance, decreasing fatigue and increasing lean mass volume.
Role in The Athlete’s Body and Safety
Beta-alanine in the human body is responsible for a number of functions that are related to muscle performance and endurance, mostly due to carnosine, which is stored in muscle tissues.
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Carnosine, like creatine phosphate, is stored in the muscle tissues, and proper level of it shows the following functions:
• Regulates pH of the muscle
• Delays the incidence of lactic acid
• Transports hydrogen ions
• Supports muscle strength
• Reduces intervals between series
• Supports regeneration in the muscle tissues
• Advances muscle contraction, and
• Supports long-term effort, as we can train longer and more intensely
In addition, carnosine has a strong antioxidant effect, which acts to effectively neutralize the free radicals in the body. These functions translate into better protection of muscle tissue, helping to prevent excessive catabolism.
The Human Body Can Biosynthesize Beta-Alanine in 3 Ways.
• It is released, along with carbondioxide when digestive microbes break down L-aspartate.
• It may be produced as a bye-product of the conversion of L-alanine to pyruvate.
• Beta-alanine can be released when histidine-based dipeptides, like carnosine are metabolized.
Beta-alanine is found in a number of foodstuffs such as chicken, beef, pork and fish, and exists in these sources in the form of carnosine, anserine or balenine.
Free beta-alanine is only found in very small amounts in food sources, but numerous commercial supplements are available for increasing intracellular beta-alanine levels, with one popular brand being the proprietary CarnoSyn supplement.
Benefits for Athletic Performance
Beta-Alanine and Carnosine can also promote improvements in athletic performance, even as human research on potential beta-alanine benefits has shown the following improvements to certain workout performance markers:
• Augmented output of power during a sprint
• Augmented training volume on the bench press
• Augmented total number of repetitions
• Improved mean power
• Improved fatigue threshold
• Improved ventilatory threshold, and
• Better time to exhaustion
In a 4-week human trial using beta-alanine, improved endurance performance in runners were recorded, and the effects believed to be the result of delays in the onset of blood lactate accumulation. In this same study however, post-supplementation aerobic capacities were reduced.
Beta-Alanine Benefits for Vegetarians
The best natural sources of beta-alanine and carnosine are meats (beef, pork, fowl and fish), and are all recommended for increasing levels in the body.
This means that vegetarians may develop deficiencies of these two important substances (Beta alanine and carnosine) in the absence of dietary supplementation.
Some health experts recommend taking between 4 and 5 grams of beta alanine each day, and in order to increase tolerability, this dosage can still be divided into smaller amounts that is taken at least 2 hours apart.
Beta-Alanine Dosing Recommendations
The recommended beta-alanine dosage cycle is to start with 2 grams daily for 2 weeks, followed by 3 grams daily for three weeks, and then 4 grams daily for the remaining days of the cycle.
Using as much as 8 grams daily, of beta alanine over one month has been shown to improve endurance, increase volume of training and diminish feeling of fatigue.
Other sources state that beta-alanine supplements should be taken every day during heavy athletic training periods, and should continue for a minimum of two weeks.
In general, a minimum of four weeks is preferred to maximize the benefits of beta-alanine powder, and some supplement manufacturers recommend using beta-alanine for at least 3 months.
Beta Alanine Safety
There are few possible side effects of beta alanine. Some users experience a condition called paresthesia. Beta-alanine may bind to certain nervous system receptors and cause this sensation of tingling.
However, this effect is believed to be harmless and normally subsides on its own after an hour and a half or so.
Beta alanine may also irritate the respiratory tract, digestive tract, skin and/or eyes, though this effect is very rare.
There are no reported disease, drug, food or herbal interactions with beta-alanine, as per information in the Natural Medicines database.
Beta-alanine is undoubtedly a substance that actually supports physical activities, with its effect confirmed by numerous scientific studies and the opinions of people who has used the supplements.
Effective support of this compound mainly, during continuous work, involving endurance is undoubtedly good information for people who are involved in endurance sports, and such-like.
However, bodybuilders and strength trainers will also benefit from the use of this supplement.