Beta-alanine is a non essential amino acid that increases energy, supports muscular endurance and improves your endurance during a workout - if you're looking to up your cycling capacity or improve your sprint performance, this stuff will be ideal for you!
This naturally occurring amino acid works by encouraging carnosine production in the muscle tissue, which delays the build-up of acidity and enables you to push yourself harder for longer. Beta-alanine goes well with creatine monohydrate as a pre-workout supplement - together, they are capable of increasing muscle growth, muscle strength, power output and speed.
Whether you're involved in resistance training, endurance exercise or if you simply want to up your training volume, beta-alanine is a must-have to help you achieve amazing results. Check out our huge range of beta-alanine supplements here at Sportsfuel!
What's the purpose of beta-alanine?
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring non essential amino acid. This means the body produces it without you having to get it from food. The sole purpose of beta-alanine is its ability to boost carnosine levels when combined with histidine (another naturally occurring amino) to increase your physical performance.
Carnosine is particularly used in the fast-twitch muscle fibres (the little guys in charge of fast, explosive movements) so this stuff is super-important for athletes that use short bursts of energy and are mostly anaerobic focused (physical activities that don't rely on oxygen for fuel).
Carnosine is stored in your muscle tissue, and reduces the accumulation of lactic acid when exercising - you know that feeling when your muscles are overworked and tired and they begin to burn and cramp-up?
A reduction in lactic acid leads to reduced muscle fatigue, increased endurance and boosted exercise performance, especially when doing high-intensity exercise and sports such as sprinting and stair-climbing.
If you're looking for an increased time-to-exhaustion (so you can work out harder, for longer) this is one of the best amino acids to add to your strength training program.
When should I take beta-alanine?
We recommend adults take beta-alanine daily for best results - consistency is key with most amino acids!
Beta-alanine powder is flavourless and ideally taken right before a workout in the gym or before a sports game, due to its stimulant response. However, if you already take a pre-workout supplement regularly, you might want to check the ingredients, as many pre-workouts already contain beta-alanine.
A lot of people describe beta-alanine as having a caffeine-like effect. We recommend sticking to the recommended serving size and refrain from taking it later on in the day, as it may interfere with your sleeping pattern.
Why does beta-alanine make you tingle?
That itchy, tingling sensation is called paraesthesia.
Paresthesia is commonly described as feeling like 'pins and needles' usually in the neck, arms or scalp and is a typical side-effect when taking beta-alanine. This reaction is completely normal, however, it can bother some people more than others.
Scientists don't have a definitive reason as to why this reaction occurs, however, one theory states that this particular amino acid can fire-up nerve endings which creates that slight tingly feeling, without causing any actual pain, of course.
This reaction usually lessens the longer you take beta-alanine (we recommend taking it with food to lessen the severity or take a half a serving size initially and gradually build your tolerance).
You can rest assured, beta-alanine powder has been researched and proven safe and even at a higher dose has no risk and will not cause harm to the body. However, we recommend speaking to your health care professional if you have any concerns.
Does Beta-Alanine make you gain weight?
There is some evidence that proves beta-alanine powder can help you build muscle mass as it enables you to increase exercise capacity and physical performance, for longer periods, without acid build-up interfering with your endurance.
This, in turn, should enable you to push yourself further in your gym sessions - lift heavier, smash out more reps and build lean muscle mass overall.
However, this supplement isn't taken specifically for weight gain and we suggest checking out some of our mass gainer protein if that's what you're after!
Does Beta-Alanine help you lose weight?
While B alanine isn't usually taken specifically for fat-loss, this supplement can assist you in your fat-loss journey when combined with an appropriate diet and fitness regime as it helps to increase your exercise capacity.
Beta-alanine supplementation enables you to work out for longer periods and improves your overall endurance, which theoretically will cause you to burn more calories whilst exercising, and over some time, will help you lose weight and encourage muscle growth.