Improving athletic performance and strength is one of the main goals of athletes and those living a fitness lifestyle. One popular ingredient, especially in pre-workout products is beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine is a non essential amino acid that combines with histidine in muscle cells and converts into carnosine (beta-alanyl-L-histidine). Carnosine is then stored in muscle fibers where it mainly sustains the acid base equilibrium. This balance is where beta-alanine lends its hand to performance.
During exercise muscles breakdown fuel (glucose) into lactic acid that is then converted into lactate. This builds up in muscle cells causing them to be more acidic. The acidity build up reduces the amount of glucose that can be broken down into fuel leading to muscular fatigue. Carnosine acts as a buffer against the acidity during exercise increasing performance and endurance.
Beta-alanine seems to support short, high intensity exercise the most. In studies looking at resistance training an increase in overall workload volume has been seen. Similarly, a study looking at cyclists saw an increase of work volume and increased time to exhaustion. Beta-alanine also seemed to reduce the perception of fatigue during exercise.
Paired with exercise beta-alanine also seems to increase muscle mass when compared to a placebo in multiple studies.
With all these benefits why not just supplement with carnosine? Beta-alanine increases muscle carnosine stores to a higher degree and more efficiently than the same dose of carnosine. Beta-alanine is the proper choice due to how it is converted and utilized within the body.
One interesting effect seen when supplementing with higher doses of beta-alanine is paresthesia. It is a harmless tingling sensation on skin usually around the face and extremities. This is usually noticed when consuming doses over 1 gram.
-Fuel your path
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.