All You Should Know – Beta Alanine Usage, Side Effects, Safety and Health Risks
Table of Contents
Beta-alanine is used for improving athletic performance and exercise capacity, building lean muscle mass, and even improving physical functioning among the elderly individuals. Beta Alanine Usage has been around for quite some time now.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is converted to other chemicals that can affect muscle in the body.
Beta Alanine Usage, Do This Right!
Beta alanine is real for improving physical performance. This comes in the wake of some research showing that taking beta-alanine modestly improves some measures of physical performance, especially during high-intensity exercise and strength training.
Beta-alanine supplements might also improve physical performance and delay muscle fatigue in the elderly among us.
Researchers are hopeful that these benefits it offers to the elderly might lower fall risk. Another research showed that a product containing beta-alanine, creatine monohydrate, arginine, alpha-ketoisocaproate, and leucine, might increase fat-free mass and strength in men participating in resistance training.
However, not all research shows beneficial effects of beta-alanine on physical performance, and the conflicting results might be due to the variability in doses used, duration of supplementation, variable exercise protocol, and the populations studied. Most research has used a specific beta-alanine product (CarnoSyn, by NAI).
Beta-alanine supplements are believed to boost the production of carnosine and, which in turn, boost sports performance.
A review of studies of the beta-alanine supplement shows that it doesn’t increase muscle strength or aerobic endurance, instead, it slightly increase the amount of time an athlete can perform high-intensity exercises, such as weight lifting, before getting exhausted.
Side Effect of Beta Alanine Usage
Beta-alanine is believed to be safe when taken by mouth appropriately for a short time, since no side effects have been reported with moderate doses of beta-alanine. However, high doses can cause flushing and tingling in the body.
This flushing and tingling associated with acute beta alanine administration is called paresthesia, and is marked by feelings of tingling, itching, burning, numbness and skin crawling on the face, chest, abdomen, legs and arms.
The use of beta-alanine causes paresthesia when excessive dosages are administered acutely, but can be avoided, in most cases, by using extended-release formulas, or by dividing your daily dose into several smaller doses that would be taken through the day.
Lactic acid (lactate) is a byproduct of energy synthesis that increases in muscle during anaerobic exercise where oxygen supply to exercising muscle is insufficient for aerobic ATP production.
The lactate synthesis during anaerobic exercise releases positively charged hydrogen ions (H+) which reduce intramuscular potential for hydrogen levels (pH), causing the tissue environment to become acidic.
The accumulated H+, not lactic acid, is what causes the muscles to tire out and burn with continued exertion, but carnosine serves as an acidic buffer, helping to maintain optimal base-acid levels in the muscle tissues.
Safety Procedures for Beta Alanine
There is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking beta-alanine if you are a pregnant or breast-feeding woman, so it is best to stay on the safe side and avoid use if you fall under this category.
This beta-amino acid is found naturally in very low dosages in some foods that we eat, and the proper oral use of Beta Alanine on the short term is rated as possibly safe by the Natural Medicines database.
Multiple studies have shown that it can be used safely in doses of up to 6.4 grams per day for 10 weeks in young adults, and at 2.4 grams per day for 3 months in the elderly adults over the age of 55 years.
Health Risks of Beta Alanine Usage
Some people have reported tingling of the skin after taking large doses of beta-alanine, where the symptoms usually subsided after about an hour or so.
Beta-alanine may interact with some heart medications and with drugs for erectile dysfunction, and its safety has not been proven for children, or for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is in charge of regulating dietary supplements. However, it treats them like foods rather than medications.
Thus, unlike drug manufacturers, the makers of supplements don’t have to show that their products are safe or effective before selling them to the public.
Having said that, it is best to talk to your doctor before you begin beta-alanine supplementation.
By increasing levels of beta-alanine in the body, carnosine levels are subsequently improved, and an elevated carnosine levels reduce intramuscular acidity, helping to restore proper pH levels in the muscle.
This process is associated with reduced muscular fatigue and the various improvements to athletic performance and bodybuilders.