Whether you’re a professional athlete or fitness enthusiast or want to improve your health, exercise, combined with the correct supplementation, can help you achieve your goals.
Disclaimer: When we say supplementation, we’re not talking about steroids!
Beta-alanine is the go-to ingredient that assists the body in boosting energy, focus, strength, power, endurance, and recovery.
We will discuss the specific role of beta-alanine in performance enhancement and whether it can be used daily.
What is Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid naturally produced in the body. However, unlike other amino acids, it doesn’t directly synthesize proteins.
Instead, it works with histidine to produce carnosine, a protein stored in skeletal muscles.
How Does It Work
Beta-alanine binds with histidine in the brain and muscles and helps create carnosine. This protein buffers lactic acid buildup, reducing the acidity in your muscles and improving muscle functionality during the exercise.
During exercise, carnosine comes into action through the following sequential process:
- Enzymes break down glucose (a simple sugar), which the body uses as energy during exercise. This process is called glycolysis.
- Glycolysis releases lactate, resulting in the production of hydrogen ions.
- The pH level in the muscles is decreased, resulting in a more acidic environment for the muscle tissues.
- Muscle acidity makes it difficult for the body to break down glucose, affecting muscle contraction.
- Carnosine helps reduce acidity in the muscles, improving glucose breakdown and preventing fatigue.
Beta-Alanine Benefits for Athletes
Beta-alanine is an ideal supplement for boosting performance and endurance during high-intensity workouts.
The beta-alanine benefits include but are not limited to the following:
- Increased gains (muscle mass and strength)
- Improved overall performance
- Enhanced recovery
DID YOU KNOW that beta-alanine can also
- Aid healthy aging
- Improve immune response
- Reduce neurological symptoms such as depression
- Improve vascular function (aka the circulatory system, which is made up of arteries and veins carrying oxygen-rich blood throughout the body)
- Fight cancer cells
Is It Good To Take Beta-Alanine Every Day?
Yes, a daily dose of beta-alanine can help athletes improve their workout performance.
However, the dosage must be appropriately adjusted for whether you are initiating a loading phase and other training goals.
The loading phase for beta-alanine can be 6.4 grams for four weeks or 3.2 grams for eight weeks. This should help boost carnosine levels for effective fatigue prevention during workouts.
Once the loading phase is over, you can reduce the daily dosage to 1.2 grams. This should help maintain the ideal carnosine levels in the body.
You can divide a daily amount into three or four even dosages at different times of the day.
Taking your dosages with meals is usually ideal as it can improve uptake and help prevent side effects.
You can also take beta-alanine as a pre-workout supplement to maintain carnosine levels.
Are There Any Negative Effects Of Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine side effects are typically associated with higher dosages and are usually not severe. The potential complications of beta-alanine supplementation include:
- Skin rashes
- Paresthesia, which is a condition characterized by a tingling sensation on the skin.
Additionally, some beta-alanine supplements have been found to interact with medications for heart disease and erectile dysfunction.
If you are on these medications, be sure to discuss your beta-alanine supplementation with your doctor before starting it.
What Happens When You Stop Taking Beta-Alanine?
The primary role of beta-alanine is to help the body maintain optimum carnosine levels to prevent fatigue. If you stop taking beta-alanine, it can cause carnosine levels to drop, reducing the body’s resistance to fatigue.
To prevent this from happening, it is best to maintain a daily dose of two grams and occasionally initiate a loading phase to make sure that you never run out of the required carnosine levels.
Beta-alanine is safe to consume daily, thanks to its effectiveness and minor side effects.
However, its dosage must be adjusted according to the training requirements.
Remember, choosing only high-quality beta-alanine supplements is important for the best results.