Beta-Alanine has been gaining a lot of attention in the world of bodybuilding over the past few years. In an industry where the latest supplement fad always seems to be around the corner, Beta-Alanine has been winning sustained praise from all quarters.
What is it exactly?
Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that is found naturally. This amino acid does not take place in the synthesis of major proteins or enzymatic reactions and therefore termed as nonessential. In the world of bodybuilding. However, it has certain characters that make it uniquely suited to boost muscle gain and reduce recovery times.
What does it do?
Beta-Alanine is the limiting precursor to the formation of Carnosine in our muscles. There is enough scientific evidence to show that when bodybuilders are given the correct dose of beta-alanine, the body’s production of carnosine increases.
Carnosine is an extremely potent anti-oxidant and provides a real and tangible performance boost when its levels are high in the body. It prevents the build-up of acidic ions in our bodies and thereby fights muscle fatigue.
The next question you may have is why don’t people simply take Carnosine instead of Beta-Alanine? Well, that has to do with how Carnosine is digested in the body when taken orally. It is broken down into constituents, including Beta-Alanine, and thus only a small fraction is available in the form of Carnosine. All things considered; Beta-Alanine is the most effective form of dosage that a person can take to enhance Carnosine formation.
Does it have any side effects?
The advantage of using something that is completely natural inadequate doses means that there are very few side effects reported. A small percentage of people have reported a feeling described as tingling, also called acute paresthesia when they begin to take Beta-Alanine, however it does not last for long and the body soon adapts to it.
The key is to take only the recommended dosage of Beta-Alanine. Since its effects are cumulative over time, starting out at lower doses and allowing your body the time to adjust is a good idea.
It does come with a standard warning that enough data does not exist for use in pregnant and lactating women and so should be avoided.
What are the Sources of Beta Alanine?
Beta Alanine is broken down from Carnosine, Anserine and Balenine that are ingested during meal intake.
Animal proteins like Pork and Beef are good sources of Beta-Alanine and so you derive a small amount from these foods. If you are a vegetarian, then there is a likelihood of your body having much less concentration of Carnosine than in NonVegetarians. In fact, research has shown that a change of diet to a Vegetarian one can drastically affect the amount of Carnosine in the body over just a few weeks.
How does it help maximize performance?
Beta-Alanine has been remarkably consistent across testing in producing statistically and tangible benefits in randomized controlled trials. Dosage as little as 6 grams per day has been shown effective in boosting endurance, peak power, and strength of athletes.
The effects of Beta-Alanine are most pronounced when being used alongside high-intensity and high-frequency workouts. It is less effective if the muscular activity being measured lasts for less than 60 seconds.
Even when compared to Creatine, Beta-Alanine has been proven to be effective in a much higher percentage of people. It is recommended to choose a high-intensity workout like Cross Fit or intense bouts of boxing to maximize your gains from Beta-Alanine.
When should it be taken for maximum impact?
It is recommended to take Beta-Alanine before your workout; however, the time of supplementation is not as important as the regularity of it. Carnosine has a long half-life inside muscle tissue and thus continues to build up over time with Beta-Alanine supplementation. Therefore, the benefits are there to be seen irrespective of when it is taken.
Should it be combined with anything else?
Beta-Alanine should be combined with Taurine as it helps prevent any complications that might occur with Beta-Alanine supplementation. Taurine is an effective antioxidant and an effective supplement in its own right as well.
How much of it should be taken and for how long?
Most of the literature is based on studies that have lasted for around 12 weeks and so 4-9 weeks of supplementation followed by an equal amount of break is recommended. This cycle is ideal to get the most benefit out of your supplementation program while avoiding any side effects. 4-8 grams per day divided into 6 doses per day is adequate to provide the anticipated benefits.
Beta-Alanine supplementation provides users with real benefits and almost no side effects. It is a proven method to boost gains in muscle mass, strength, and athletic performance.