Beta-Alanine - What is it, how to take it and… does it work?

Everything you need to know about Beta-Alanine, gathered in one article.

A complete guide to Beta-Alanine

If you use or have used any supplements pre workout, this name is probably not unfamiliar to you, since the Beta-Alanine it is more and more usual presence in this type of products.

Theoretically, you can achieve greater muscular endurance, more strength and an improvement in your body composition with this supplement, but ... is it true?

Find out in this article.

What is Beta-Alanine?

First of all, to know more about this supplement, you need to know more about Carnosine, as the role of Beta-Alanine and the mechanism by which it works, is by increasing Carnosine levels.

Carnosine is an amino acid that, by attenuating the increase in acidity in the muscles, allows you to exercise them for a longer time, mainly in short / medium duration and medium / high intensity activities, such as the training of hypertrophy.

In practice, by increasing Carnosine reserves, we get, for example, one or two more repetitions at the bench press, or if you are a fan of HIIT training, greater tolerance to the sprint phase (and consequently better performance).

So, how do we increase Carnosine levels?

With Carnosine supplementation?

Yes, it is possible to increase Carnosine levels by supplementing the amino acid itself.

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But ... it is not the most effective way.

As células musculares não conseguem absorver de forma eficaz a Carnosina, portanto, a Carnosina que é uma “combinação” de Beta-Alanina e L-Histidina, é transformada nestes dois precursores para conseguir entrar dentro das células musculares, e ser sintetizada em Carnosina dentro do músculo.

The most effective way to increase Carnosine levels within the muscle (where we need it) is through the supplementation of Beta-Alanine, which when entering muscle cells is synthesized in ... Carnosine!

And the oral supplementation of Beta-Alanine is really effective in this task.

beta alanine3

Benefícios da Beta-Alanina

The main benefits of this supplement are:

  • More performance
  • More lean mass
  • Less fatigue
  • More resistance

But, is it effective?

Yes, it appears to be effective in several contexts, but not in all.

You greatest benefits occur mainly in moderate / intense intensity activities, with a duration of between 60 to 240 seconds.

That is, if you are a strength athlete and / or train with low repetitions (less than 8), it is possible that Beta-Alanine is not the right supplement for you.

Now, if you use eight or more repetitions per set, or if you’re a fan of superseries, Beta-Alanine can help.

O HIIT training is another example where this supplement works.

Beta-Alanine can reduce fatigue, as well as the perception of fatigue, that is, it acts not only on the muscular level but also on the mental level in a positive way. (1)

Estudos e Beta Alanina

The comparison was made between the training HIIT com e sem Beta Alanina durante 6 semanas.

Ambos os grupos baixaram a percentagem de gordura corporal, mas o grupo que utilizou Beta-Alanina teve também um aumento de massa muscular.(2)

It was also concluded that supplementation with Beta-Alanine more Creatine leads to greater gains in lean mass than just Creatine. (3)

In addition to gains in lean mass, it also brings benefits in terms of endurance and performance. (4)

Finally, Beta-Alanine supplementation was tested in conjunction with resistance training, in which the protocol used was 6 sets of 12 repetitions in the squat. (5)

The result?

Uma diferença de 22% no número total de repetições, favorável ao grupo que utilizou Beta Alanina.

A Beta-Alanine supplement

There are studies that demonstrate benefits in short-duration exercises, but there are also several that show that this type of activity is not worth it(6), that is, there may or may not be a benefit.

If your goal is to increase lean mass, what you will notice with this supplement is above all a greater ability to get one or two more repetitions in your series, especially if you use higher repetitions.

Less than eight repetitions is probably not worth using this supplement, although there may be advantages, apparently they are not significant, or at least that's what scientific studies say!

Onde comprar a Beta-Alanina?

Encontras suplementos de Beta-Alanina facilmente em qualquer loja de suplementos, mas como é costume, a Myprotein alia a qualidade a um bom preço e está disponível here a Beta-Alanina desta marca.

How to take Beta-Alanine? 

A dosagem deve ser de pelo menos 2g diárias, e pode ir até 5g por dia.

Um dos efeitos secundários da Beta-Alanina é uma sensação de formigueiro no corpo, e se já utilizaste um suplemento pré-treino com Beta-Alanina provavelmente já conheces este efeito.

Take it easy ... this happens only in some people, and usually in high doses.

In addition, this effect has no negative consequences, it is somewhat harmless.

The ideal if you have this effect, is to divide the dose of Beta-Alanine in several doses throughout the day.

Este suplemento deve ser tomado de preferência às refeições, já que é mais eficaz desta maneira.

Ideally, it should not be combined with Taurine, as they can “get in the way” of absorption.

Oh, and you don’t need to use Beta-Alanine in the pre-workout, since its effect is cumulative (similar to Çreactor), and not immediately, that is, if you take it today for the first time the only thing you can notice is the tingling.

You usually start to feel its effects after 1 to 2 weeks, depending on the dose used.

Have you tried it? Leave your opinion in the comments.

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3 comentários

  1. Is it advisable to take it every day even if you don't train? And by the way, should you stop for example 1 week after 8 weeks of taking it?

  2. Is it necessary to stop taking about 1 or 2 weeks if you have been using it for 8 consecutive weeks for example?

    1. Hi Diogo.

      There is not much information related to long-term use (+12 weeks), however, the ideal seems to be to take a break after 8-12 weeks of use.

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