Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid formed by gut microbes or in the liver. It binds to histidine in the brain and muscles to form carnosine which improves the ability of the muscles to resist acid build-up during high-intensity exercises. Carnosine is very effective during intense and exhaustive activities that cause lactic accumulation in the muscles, such as sprinting and cycling. It delays fatigue during several bouts of intense exercises with short recovery times.
However, the amount of carnosine levels in your muscles is limited to the beta-alanine available. Since beta-alanine occurs at low levels than histidine, using a beta-alanine supplement helps boost carnosine levels over time. Here are the immense benefits of beta-alanine supplementation.
It delays fatigue
Beta-alanine boosts carnosine stored in the muscles and comes in handy during workouts. During a workout, lactic acid accumulates in the muscles and then converts to hydrogen ions, reducing the PH and increasing muscle acidity. The muscle acidity minimizes the ability of your muscles to contract hence fatigue. Carnosine buffers against muscle acidity, allowing you to work out for longer before fatigue sets in. when you work out longer, you can increase your volume of exercise hence better performance.
It boosts exercise capacity.
Exercise capacity measures how long you can perform an activity at your maximum level before fatigue sets in. according to one study, athletes supplemented with beta-alanine showed increased exercise capacity in continuous cardio exercise. In another study, beta-alanine improved resistance training volume for athletes who play sports.
Another study on 25female soccer players revealed that beta-alanine improved repeated sprinting, endurance and jumping. Overall beta-alanine supplementation boosts exercise capacity and improves resistance training performance.
It increases power output
A specific study in a group of athletes tested the power of beta-alanine on performance. After four weeks of supplementation, the cyclists manifested a higher output and power than the placebo group during a high-intensity trial. In another study on high-intensity upper body lifts, researchers concluded that beta-alanine improves power output. Therefore taking beta-alanine supplements immensely benefits short burst type training like heavy lifts and high-intensity training.
It may improve body composition.
In a study, football players and college wrestlers took beta-alanine supplements for two months and researchers measured their performance and body composition. The footballers gained weight while the wrestlers lost weight, but both groups gained lean muscle mass.
In another study on 44women, beta-alanine supplementation led to increased fat-free mass and overall body mass. Although the evidence is mixed, there are promising studies that beta-alanine can improve body composition.
It has anti-oxidant properties.
According to research, beta-alanine has anti-oxidant properties which protect against free radicals and slow down the aging process. Beta-alanine binds with histidine to create carnosine, reducing aging-related stress that damages cells. However, more clinical trials are necessary to back up this benefit. Beta-alanine also benefits the elderly by increasing their exercise capacity and muscle endurance.
Beta-alanine supplements work in the long haul; therefore, consistency is essential. You should take between 3 to 6g of beta-alanine per day for several weeks to see notable changes in your workouts.