A complete guide to Beta-Alanine
Theoretically, you get more 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 learn more about this supplement, you need to know more about Carnosine as well, as Beta-Alanine's role and the mechanism by which it works is through increasing Carnosine levels.
Carnosine is an amino acid that, by attenuating the increase in acidity in the muscles, allows them to exercise for longer, especially in short/medium duration and medium/high intensity activities, such as hypertrophy training.
In practice, by increasing the Carnosine reserves, we get, for example, another one or two 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 a Carnosine supplement?
Yes, it is possible to increase Carnosine levels by supplementing the amino acid itself.
But…it's not the most effective way.
Muscle cells cannot effectively absorb Carnosine, therefore, Carnosine which is a “combination” of Beta-Alanine and L-Histidine, is transformed into these two precursors to get inside the muscle cells, and be synthesized into Carnosine inside of the muscle.
The most effective way to increase Carnosine levels within muscle (where we need it) is by supplementing Beta-Alanine, which upon entering muscle cells is synthesized into…Carnosine!
And oral supplementation with Beta-Alanine is really effective in this task.
Benefits of Beta-Alanine
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 many contexts, but not all.
You greatest benefits they occur mainly in moderate/intense intensity activities, with a duration of between 60 to 240 seconds.
In other words, 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 reps per set, or if you're a fan of superseries, Beta-Alanine can help.
O HIIT training is another example where this add-in works.
Beta-Alanine can reduce fatigue, and also the perception of fatigue, that is, it acts not only on a muscular level but also on a mental level in a positive way. (1)
Studies and Beta Alanine
The comparison was made between the training HIIT with and without Beta Alanine for 6 weeks.
Both groups lowered the percentage of fat body, but the group that used Beta-Alanine also had an increase in muscle mass.(2)
It was also concluded that supplementation with Beta-Alanine plus 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)
A difference of 22% in the total number of repetitions, favorable to the group that used Beta Alanine.
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 take one or two more reps in your sets, especially if you use higher reps.
Less than eight reps is probably not worth using this supplement, although there may be advantages, apparently not significant, or so scientific studies say!
Where to buy Beta-Alanine?
You can easily find Beta-Alanine supplements at any supplement store, but as usual, Myprotein combines quality at a good price and is available on here the Beta-Alanine of this brand.
How to take Beta-Alanine?
The dosage should be at least 2g a day, and it can go up to 5g a day.
One of the side effects of Beta-Alanine is a tingling sensation in the body, and if you've ever used a pre-workout supplement with Beta-Alanine, you probably already know about this effect.
Calm down…this only happens in a few people, and usually in high doses.
Furthermore, this effect has no negative consequences, it is harmless.
The ideal if you have this effect, is to divide the dose of Beta-Alanine into several doses throughout the day.
This supplement should preferably be taken with meals as it is most effective this way.
Ideally, it should not be combined with Taurine, as they can “disturb” absorption.
Oh, and you don't necessarily need to use Beta-Alanine pre-workout, as 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.
[toggle title="References" state="close" ](1) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17194255