Found in The Energy Booster (as well as red meat), beta alanine fits the bill if you're looking to boost your high-intensity muscle performance, and improve your recovery time. It's also the ingredient that's responsible for some people experiencing the subtle harmless tingling sensation associated with pre-workouts, which wears off in around half an hour or so. It's one of the most widely used and popular supplements around for people who workout and exercise. Read on to find out why.
Beta alanine has been used in pre-workout energy drinks for years, but few people know what it is. Technically, beta alanine is a non-essential beta-amino acid. Research has shown it can help improve maximal power output and high-intensity exercise performance, which has led it to be considered to be one of the most consistently effective supplements around.
What is it?
Beta alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in protein-rich foods such as red meat, chicken and fish. It's also used by the body as the building block of carnosine. When you do prolonged high-intensity exercise, metabolites like hydrogen ions accumulate in the muscles, making them fatigued. As more and more metabolites build up, pH levels drop reducing muscle function and power. Carnosine can help to reduce acidity in muscles. But, the amount of carnosine that is made in the body is dependant on the amount of beta alanine available, and it's only when there's excess beta alanine (via supplementation) that carnosine levels can increase and help performance.
Supplementing with beta alanine can raise levels of carnosine in the muscles by up to 80%. Just ∼1.2g of beta alanine per day can keep muscle carnosine levels elevated at 30-50% above baseline, resulting in improvements in muscular endurance, and high-intensity cardiovascular exercise performances, by reducing the impact of acidity on the muscles. In addition, beta alanine supplementation can reduce fatigue, and allow greater training volume.
Beta alanine is a research-backed ingredient that can help you to work out harder, and reach your goals faster. You don't have to have beta alanine straight before or straight after workouts, but in order to gain the greatest benefits you should aim to take it for a few weeks to maximise your carnosine stores. Beta alanine can be found in The Energy Booster, our pre-workout booster.
- Hobson, Ruth M., et al. Effects of ?-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids, 2012. 43.(1): p. 25-37.
- Sale, Craig, et al. "Carnosine: from exercise performance to health." Amino acids 44.6 (2013): 1477-1491. - Stegen, Sanne, et al. "The Beta-Alanine Dose for Maintaining Moderately Elevated Muscle Carnosine Levels." Medicine and science in sports and exercise (2014).
- Bex, Tine, et al. "Muscle carnosine loading by beta-alanine supplementation is more pronounced in trained vs. untrained muscles." Journal of Applied Physiology 116.2 (2014): 204-209.