Beta-alanine is a popular dietary supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
That's because it is used to enhance exercise performance, as well as to benefit the overall health.
This article will explain everything you need to know about beta-alanine
What is Beta-Alanine?
Beta - alanine is an essential amino acid.
Unlike most other amino acids, it is not used by the body to synthesize proteins.
Instead, along with it produces . It is then stored in skeletal muscle .
Carnosine reduces lactic acid accumulation in muscles during exercise, leading to improved mobility .
This is the molecular structure of beta-alanine:
Summary: Beta-alanine is an essential amino acid. Our bodies use it to produce carnosine, which helps improve physical activity.
How does it work?
In muscle, histidine levels are usually high and beta-alanine levels are often low, which limits the production of carnosine
The addition of beta-alanine showed that it increased muscle carnosine levels by up to 80% .
The mechanism of action of carnosine during exercise is as follows:
- Glucose decay: is the decay form of glucose, this is the main energy source during intense exercise
- Lactate is produced: When you exercise, your muscles will break down glucose into lactic acid. They then convert to lactate - producing hydrogen ions (H +).
- More acidic muscles: Hydrogen icons reduce pH levels in muscles, making them more acidic.
- Exercise makes the body tired: Muscle acidity reduces glucose levels and reduces muscle contraction. This causes fatigue .
- Carnosine cushion: Carnosine acts as a buffer against acid, reducing muscle acid during intense exercise .
Because beta-alanine supplements increase carnosine levels in muscles, they help reduce muscle acid levels during exercise. This causes fatigue.
Summary: Beta-alanine supplements increase carnosine levels, which reduce muscle acid during intense exercise.
How does beta-alanine affect athletic performance and health?
Beta-alanine improves exercise performance. It helps reduce fatigue, increases endurance and performance during intense exercises
Helping more exhausted
Studies have shown that beta-alanine helps increase pre-exhaustion exercise time (TTE).
In other words, it helps you train for a longer time .
A study of cyclists showed that 4-week beta-alanine supplementation increased the total number of completion by 13%. It has increased by 3.2% after 10 weeks .
Similarly, 20 male subjects who took a cycling test to compare pre-exhaustion time increased 13-14% after 4 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation .
Benefits of short exercises
In general, muscle acidosis limits the time to exercise high-intensity exercises.
Therefore, beta-alanine specifically supports achievement during intense exercise and helps short-term exercises lasting from 1 to several minutes.
One study found that six weeks of beta-alanine supplementation increased the time to exhaustion from 1,168 to 1, 387 seconds during intense exercises (HIIT) .
Another study for 18 boaters who supplemented this substance for 7 weeks was 4.3 seconds faster than the placebo group in a 2,000m race for 6 minutes .
Beta-alanine can also slow fatigue by increasing dialysis rate to 13.9% .
For the elderly, it helps strengthen muscles .
In endurance and endurance training, it can increase the level of exercise and reduce fatigue, but there is no clear evidence that beta-alanine improves strength .
Summary: Beta-alanine is most effective in exercises lasting from one to several minutes. It helps reduce fatigue, while increasing exercise ability and muscle endurance.
How it affects body structure
Some evidence suggests that beta-alanine benefits the body.
One study showed that supplementing it for 3 weeks increased muscle mass .
Similarly, a 4-week supplement helped 32 women reduce body weight and fat while increasing muscle .
It is possible that beta-alanine improves the body's composition by increasing the level of exercise and promoting muscle growth.
However, some studies show no significant difference in body composition and weight after administration
Summary: Beta-alanine may help increase the level of exercise. This leads to increased muscle and fat loss, although the evidence is still unclear.
The health benefits of beta-alanine
Beta-alanine increases carnosine levels, and has several health benefits.
Interestingly, some animal and in vitro studies have shown carnosine to have antioxidant, anti-aging and immune boosting properties. However, more research is needed in humans.
The antioxidant benefits of carnosine include neutralizing free radicals and reduced oxidation levels .
Carnosine also prevents changes in the structure and function of proteins in the body. This gives it some anti-aging properties .
Moreover, carnosine increases production . This can help fight aging and improve immune function .
Finally, carnosine increases the quality and function of muscles in the elderly .
Summary: Carnosine has antioxidant, anti-aging and immune enhancement properties. It is also beneficial for muscle function in the elderly.
The main food sources
The main food sources of beta-alanine are red meat, poultry and fish.
It is part of larger compounds, mainly carnosine and anserine, but will escape when they are digested.
Because vegetarians avoid animal meat, they have 50% less carnosine in their muscles than those who eat meat .
Although most people can get sufficient amounts of beta-alanine from the diet, dietary supplements will help increase the level even further.
Summary: Beta-alanine can be obtained from carnosine-rich foods such as meat, poultry and fish.
Dosage and Administration
The recommended dose is 2-5 grams per day .
The increase in carnosine concentrations in muscles ranges from 40-60% often after 4 weeks of use .
Consumption of beta-alanine during meals may increase carnosine levels .
Summary: Normally, you should take between 2-5 grams of beta-alanine every day. Using it with meals will be more effective
Safety and side effects
The most common side effects of beta-alanine are .
This is an unusual feeling often described as "itching, prickling on the skin." It often gets on the face, neck, and back of the hand.
This tingling degree increases in proportion to the dose. It usually occurs at 800 mg or higher, and disappears after 60-90 minutes when taken .
There is no evidence that this paresthesia is harmful .
Another side effect is reduced levels . That's because beta-alanine can compete with taurine to be absorbed in muscle.
In animal studies, beta-alanine has been shown to reduce taurine levels by up to 50%.
Summary: Side effects of beta-alanine include tingling itching and a decrease in taurine levels. Although data is limited, beta-alanine seems to be safe for healthy people
Combined with other sports supplements
Beta-alanine is often combined with other functional foods.
They include bicarbonate, creatine and some functional foods before exercise
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) increases exercise by reducing the level of acid in the blood and muscles .
Many studies have analyzed the combination of beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate.
The results show some benefits from combining these two functional foods, especially during exercise, when muscle acidification inhibits performance
Creatine enhances high-intensity physical activity by increasing the amount of ATP available.
When taken together, creatine and beta-alanine have been shown to be beneficial for physical activity, strength and muscle mass .
Functional foods used before exercise
Functional foods used before exercise often contain several ingredients that have been shown to enhance exercise performance .
Beta-alanine is often added to these supplements with a dose of 2-4 grams.
Some studies have shown an increase in strength, energy and muscle mass after taking functional foods before exercising for at least 4 consecutive weeks .
Summary: Beta-alanine may be more effective when combined with pre-exercise supplements, sodium bicarbonate or creatine
Beta-alanine enhances performance by increasing exercise ability and reducing muscle fatigue.
It also has antioxidant, anti-aging and immune boosting properties.
You can take beta-alanine from foods that contain carnosine or through supplements, with a recommended dose of 2-5 grams per day.
Although it tingles in the skin, beta-alanine is still considered a safe and effective functional food that enhances exercise performance.