Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino-acid that is produced in the liver. It is also a compound that is found in some food, such as poultry. In recent years, professional athletes and fitness enthusiasts have started to use it as an ergogenic aid. The reason is because beta-alanine plays a major role in the buffering system. This system is in charge of maintaining our body’s PH. It does not directly affect the body’s PH, but it has a big impact on another component called carnosine, which acts as a major buffer. Thus, Beta-alanine helps prevent the muscle from getting too acidic due to hydrogen and lactate accumulation. This results in delayed fatigue and greater work capacity. High intensity exercise is a type of exercise that produces muscle acidosis the quickest, so beta-alanine is recommended for those athletes or individuals who are looking to delay their fatigue during High Intensity workouts. Greater work capacity translates into better results. Studies show that beta-alanine supplementation can give you up to 10 extra minutes of work when exercising at high intensities. The longer we are able to work, the more physiological adaptations we are able to induce.
A worthwhile consideration is, research has also shown that beta-alanine is only significantly effective when exercise is longer than one minute. Contrary to old beliefs, beta-alanine would not benefit individuals who are looking to improve performance/work capacity on activities, or sports that require efforts that are less than 60 seconds long. This supplement has proven to be safe in correct doses (4-6g a day) and to have even greater results on vegetarians, vegans, and older people. Results are usually seen within 2-4 weeks of supplementation. Beta-alanine along with creatine are amongst the most popular and safest supplements out there. Both components naturally occur in our bodies, which says a lot when comparing to other supplements which have components our bodies are not familiar with.
So there you go! These are the only two supplements (beta-alanine and creatine) I feel 100% confident recommending to clients. They are safe and really easy to purchase. I particularly would recommend beta-alanine to 400m+ runners, swimmers, cyclists, etc, or to individuals who like to perform high intensity exercise on a regular basis. Though it is not necessary to see results, it is a good option if you are looking into taking your performance to the next level.
If you have any questions about beta-alanine or creatine supplementation, don’t hesitate to reach out. I would be happy to answer any questions.
Author: Dani Ruiz