Beta-alanine is a natural amino acid that has been gaining popularity among athletes and fitness enthusiasts for its ability to improve muscle performance. The science behind beta-alanine revolves around its ability to increase muscle carnosine levels, which can delay the onset of muscle fatigue and enhance exercise performance.
How does it work?
When you exercise, your muscles produce lactic acid, a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism. Lactic acid buildup in the muscles can cause fatigue, muscle soreness, and reduced exercise performance. Carnosine, a dipeptide molecule made up of beta-alanine and histidine, helps buffer lactic acid and maintain muscle pH balance during high-intensity exercise. Therefore, increasing muscle carnosine levels can delay the onset of muscle fatigue and improve exercise performance.
Beta-alanine is the rate-limiting antecedent of carnosine, which means that its availability limits the rate at which carnosine can be synthesized in the muscles. By supplementing with beta-alanine, we can increase muscle carnosine levels, improving exercise performance.
It enhances muscle performance.
Several studies to enhance beta-alanine information have investigated the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle performance. A meta-analysis of 15 studies found that beta-alanine supplementation can improve exercise performance by an average of 2.85%. This improvement is most significant in high-intensity exercises lasting between one and four minutes, such as sprinting, cycling, and rowing.
It enhances muscle endurance.
Beta-alanine supplementation has also been shown to improve muscle endurance. In a study of 22 trained cyclists, beta-alanine supplementation for four weeks improved time to exhaustion during high-intensity cycling by 13%. Another study of 37 men found that beta-alanine supplementation for eight weeks improved muscle endurance during a bench press test.
Reduces muscle soreness
Beta-alanine supplementation can also reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. A study of 18 men showed that four-week beta-alanine supplementation reduced muscle soreness and fatigue after high-intensity exercise. Another study of 26 men found that beta-alanine supplementation for 28 days reduced muscle fatigue during a cycling test.
Does it have side effects?
Beta-alanine supplementation is generally safe and well-tolerated, with few reported side effects. The most common side effect is paresthesia, a tingling sensation on the skin that occurs shortly after taking beta-alanine. This sensation is harmless and temporary, lasting up to 60 minutes.
The recommended dosage of beta-alanine for improving exercise performance is 3-6 grams daily, taken in doses of 1.6-2 grams. Taking beta-alanine with food is best to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. One should use beta-alanine supplementation for at least four weeks to increase muscle carnosine levels significantly.
Beta-alanine supplementation can improve muscle performance by increasing muscle carnosine levels. Consequently, it can slow muscle fatigue onset and improve exercise endurance. It is generally safe and well-tolerated, with few reported side effects. However, following the recommended dosage and taking beta-alanine with food is essential to reduce the risk of gastrointestinal side effects. If you are an athlete or fitness enthusiast looking to improve your exercise performance, beta-alanine supplementation may be worth considering as part of your training regimen.