Back when we were young, our physical ed., teachers would always stress the importance of having a good exercise routine in our day to day lives. They point out that exercise will make our bones and muscles strong. It will keep our agility up to speed and keep our hearts healthy.
No amount of vitamin, as they say, can replace good old fashioned physical workout. But nobody said that we can’t take supplements to amplify our performances in especially in exercising. In addition to that sometimes supplementing brings out the best in us during those high-intensity workouts. One such supplement is beta-alanine more popularly used by athletes and fitness buffs.
Getting to Know Beta-alanine
Beta-alanine is part of what experts call non-essential amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of life they have several functions but beta-alanine is different. It being a non-essential amino acid means that the body doesn’t have to outsource it from the food you eat but your body can create it from other amino acids within your body itself. It is a modified type of an amino acid called alanine. Beta-alanine coupled with L-histidine, which is one of the nine essential amino acids or induced orally, will produce carnosine.
Carnosine is a substance that reduces the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles as you exercise. As you move around a lot just like in exercising, your muscles contract and when they contract more acid accumulates in them. It also maintains a stable PH level as when it regulates the acid in the muscles.
You know the feeling of wanting to vomit and your lungs feel like you just inhaled citrusy lemon juice, that is lactic acid starting to build up as you do physically demanding activities that push your body to its limits.
When lactic acid build up is too much, it can hamper the contraction of the muscles. This may disable you from further exercise. That’s why it’s a boon when you think of how beta-alanine can help reduce lactic acid formation in the body during physical activities, especially the high-intensity ones. You can automatically raise your repetitions as some people who have taken the beta-alanine report. Thus, in the end, enhancing the performance of your muscles.
Carnosine vs Beta-alanine
Now, most of you might be asking why not just take carnosine instead of beta-alanine? Well, the answer is simple. You can’t supplement with carnosine because when taken orally the body can’t absorb carnosine but rather breaks it down into beta-alanine and then histidine. After which, it then uses beta-alanine to then produce carnosine. Way too complicated right? That’s why the easiest route to take is to supplement with beta-alanine then let the body naturally use it to produce the much-desired carnosine.
Benefits of Beta-alanine Supplements
With all that talk about beta-alanine, I am pretty sure you were bound to ask what else can I gain from using this particular supplement. Here are some of the uses of beta-alanine that might just interest you.
Stamina and endurance
One of perhaps the most noticeable benefit gained from taking beta-alanine supplements is that your stamina and endurance is greatly improved. There are numerous studies conducted that people who are fitness enthusiasts. I mean people who really work out a lot and train have tried using beta-alanine. And, they have seen great improvements in their stamina and endurance. This is especially noticed when people undergo exercises that lasts usually from 60-240 seconds. It’s a must, I say for those looking to be able to stay on course a little bit longer than just spaz out before the 240 marker ends.
Naturally, if you can train for longer periods of time than before then it ultimately can mean that you can expect of course muscle growth. There is no doubt of course that when you train more you get to build your bulk. It’s the natural way to go and it is all because of beta-alanine.
Increase in strength
With a leaner stature and more muscle mass, you best expect that somehow with your bulky muscles you have an increase in strength.
Reduce lactic acid build up and muscle fatigue
As mentioned earlier, beta-alanine reduces the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles that usually impedes athletes and people who exercise a lot since it is used by the body to produce carnosine. It will inadvertently also help delay muscle fatigue in some cases.
Some studies done on rodents, which were given beta-alanine, show that their levels of anxiety steadily and gradually became lower. However the same cannot still be said for people since human testings yet are not allowed in some countries.
Risks of Using Beta-alanine
Even if there are benefits gained from using beta-alanine as a supplement there will still be some risks to using it. For first time users, it usually comes like a tingling feeling in the neck and arms. This tingling feeling is actually called paresthesia. It may also be like itching and burning feeling in your scalp or ears. These are the mild risks but the greater the dose you intake the greater the risk of developing an allergic reaction to it. Risks also include cardiac arrest.
Of course, not everyone will have the same reaction to beta-alanine. That is why there is a recommended dose for consumption.
Proper Dose of Beta-alanine
As said earlier beta-alanine must be taken in moderate doses to avoid aggravating the risks that come with using it. Experts recommend taking from around 3.2-6.4 grams per day. This should be divided into 800-1600 mg doses all throughout the day. It is necessary to distribute the doses throughout the day for the body to grow accustomed to it.
Beta-alanine should be taken as a pre-workout supplement since the desired goal is to increase stamina and endurance for better performance in order to achieve greater muscle mass. The time when you take it has no bearing in the effect the dose, however, plays a huge role.