Beta-alanine has become increasingly popular in recent years as a sports supplement due to its ability to improve athletic performance and endurance.
One of the main benefits of beta-alanine is its ability to increase levels of carnosine in the muscles. Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule that is made up of the amino acids beta-alanine and histidine, and it plays an important role in muscle function.
When muscles are working hard, they produce large amounts of hydrogen ions, which can cause the pH of the muscle tissue to drop. This drop in pH can lead to muscle fatigue and decreased athletic performance. However, carnosine acts as a buffer in the muscles, helping to maintain the pH balance and allowing the muscles to work harder and for longer periods of time.
By increasing levels of carnosine in the muscles, beta-alanine can help to improve athletic performance and delay the onset of muscle fatigue. Studies have shown that supplementing with beta-alanine can increase muscle carnosine levels by up to 80%, leading to improvements in power output, muscular endurance, and overall exercise performance.
In addition to its benefits for athletic performance, beta-alanine may also have other health benefits. Some studies have suggested that beta-alanine may be useful in reducing muscle damage and inflammation after exercise, as well as improving cognitive function and reducing symptoms of anxiety.
There is also some evidence to suggest that beta-alanine may have anti-aging effects. As we age, our muscle mass and strength naturally decline, but research has shown that beta-alanine supplementation may help to slow this decline by improving muscle function and reducing muscle fatigue.
Overall, beta-alanine is a safe and effective sports supplement that can help to improve athletic performance and delay the onset of muscle fatigue. It may also have other health benefits, including reducing muscle damage and inflammation, improving cognitive function, and reducing the effects of aging on muscle mass and strength.
It is important to note that beta-alanine can cause a harmless, but sometimes uncomfortable, side effect known as paresthesia. This is a tingling sensation that is often felt in the face and hands and is caused by the rapid absorption of beta-alanine into the bloodstream. This sensation typically lasts for 15-20 minutes and is not harmful, but some individuals may find it unpleasant.
Overall, beta-alanine is a valuable supplement for anyone looking to improve their athletic performance and endurance, as well as those looking to improve their overall health and well-being. As with any supplement, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before beginning beta-alanine supplementation to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you.
Beta-alanine has most often been used orally by adults in doses of 1.6-6.4 grams daily for up to 12 weeks - clinical dose is 3.2g