Beta-alanine helps sportspeople, gym enthusiasts, and athletes push beyond their exhaustion threshold. It is a workout supplement with benefits like increased endurance and improved performance in high-intensity exercises. Beta-alanine occurs naturally in the body as a non-essential amino acid for creating carnosine found in the muscles. However, it is not enough to accumulate the much-needed carnosine to improve performance; therefore, it is critical to supplement beta-alanine.
The working mechanism of beta-alanine
Once you take beta-alanine, it combines with histidine to create carnosine, a powerful anti-oxidant and has acid buffering properties. But your muscle carnosine levels are limited to the available beta-alanine in the body. Therefore taking beta-alanine supplements provides plenty of carnosine levels to make a difference in your workout.
During a workout, lactic acid gathers in your muscles and breaks down further into hydrogen ions, increasing the acidity in the muscles. When the acidity increases, the ability of the muscles to contract decreases translating to a reduction in force generation and endurance. More beta-alanine means more carnosine hence the more acid buffering capacity of your muscles, allowing you to work out for longer.
Foods containing beta-alanine
If you consume meat, you can easily obtain beta-alanine from food sources such as chicken, turkey, pork, fish, and beef. But if you are a vegan, the best way to get more beta-alanine for your body is through supplementation. The common sources of beta-alanine are meat because the active metabolite of beta-alanine is carnivores and is stored in the muscles of the animals.
However, you have to consume a lot of meat to obtain the necessary beta-alanine to build up enough carnosine in your muscles. Therefore it is easier to take beta-alanine supplements to make things easier on your stomach and wallet. Also, using a quality supplement for several weeks can ensure you get enough beta-alanine in your system to reap the benefits.
When buying beta-alanine supplements, it is advisable to opt for a brand with drug-tested certification. Carnosyn, the patented form of beta-alanine, is scientifically backed and proven to improve performance in high-intensity exercises. On the other hand, unproven and uncertified performance enhancers may not be 100% drug-free and are dangerous for professional athletes who undergo drug testing.
Clinical studies have shown that 2-6g of beta-alanine daily is the recommended dose to improve endurance and performance in athletes. It is best to take it with a meal or a snack to enhance its benefits. Note that beta-alanine is not time-dependent, and it works upon saturation levels.
Therefore you should supplement with beta-alanine for several weeks to months to see a difference in your performance. Most pre-workout supplements contain beta-alanine, and you should examine the amount and supplement with the additional dose if necessary.
The bottom line
If you want to work out harder, longer, and more intensely, a beta-alanine supplement may be just what you need. It has countless studies to back up its claims, so it is safe to incorporate into your workout diet.