Beta-Alanine Supplementation to Boost Athletic Performance

Beta-alanine is a naturally-occurring nonessential amino acid. This acid is vital to building and repairing muscle tissue. The body naturally produces beta-alanine in the liver, thus it is classified as a nonessential amino acid. Normal alanine is used in protein synthesis but beta-alanine is not. There are components of beta-alanine that can be absorbed when protein-rich foods like fish and meat are consumed. Most benefits of beta-alanine come in the form of physical enhancements to the body.

Beta Alanine Benefits

The benefits of beta-alanine include increased strength and muscle mass, decreased muscle fatigue, increased aerobic endurance, and increased output power. Athletes who perform in endurance sports and bodybuilders who compete in weightlifting commonly use beta-alanine supplements. This usage is because taking beta-alanine can result in an increase in muscle endurance and strength. Many people have reported that they have seen the results of taking beta-alanine within just the first two weeks of supplementation. Beta-alanine works by ramping up the production of carnosine, a peptide that is found in muscle fibers. Hydrogen molecules that are released during exercise are buffered by carnosine which results in normalization of the pH level of the muscles. It is said that beta-alanine is therefore likely responsible for the endurance and recovery processes that muscles undergo.

Bodybuilders tend to use beta-alanine to decrease the resting period between exercise sets

Beta-Alanine boosts athletic performanceby increasing muscle endurance. This results in increased intensity of the workout and can in turn lead to increased muscle and strength gains. Beta-alanine will also reduce the amount of lactic acid that builds up in the muscle. This reduction will help to prevent muscle soreness after grueling workouts. Beta-alanine can be found in many different foods such as fish, chicken, and beef. However, it can also be found in many health supplements including protein supplements and meal replacement powders. Additionally, beta-alanine powder is available as well as beta-alanine capsules.

The recommended beta-alanine dosage is 4 grams per day or around 0.15 ounces. However, the dosage should be adjusted according to individual needs and goals. Many times, athletes will start out with a loading phase which is when the athlete takes beta-alanine in larger dosages for the first week. Taking beta-alanine with carbohydrates is also recommended so that the absorption of beta-alanine can be optimized. Beta-alanine is considered to be safe with minimal toxicity. Recent studies have shown that taking beta-alanine over a period of several months has resulted in no negative side effects. So if you are an endurance athlete, bodybuilder, runner, or sprinter, then beta-alanine could be very beneficial for you.

Sources:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19935102
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20482881
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19841932