Supplements easily explained Part 6: Beta Alanine

What is Beta Alanine?

Quite simply, it is one of the two amino acids required to make up carnosine. Carnosine is located throughout the body, but found specifically in skeletal muscle. Research has indicated that carnosine levels are directly correlated to performance, with higher levels producing optimal results. Carnosine has also been demonstrated to act as a buffer within the skeletal muscle. To further elaborate, during high intensity activity, lactic acid production alters the acid base balance within your muscles and can create a burning sensation, ultimately leading to rapid levels of fatigue. Beta Alanine reduces this effect and therefore has the potential to enhance your performance.

Beta Alanine can be purchased as an independent supplement in tablet, capsule and powder form and has been hypothesised to produce the following effects on the body;

  • Increments in muscular hypertrophy.
  • Increments in muscular strength and power.
  • Enhancements in both aerobic and anaerobic output.
  • Delayed muscular fatigue.

The effects highlighted above make this supplement suitable for almost all individuals undertaking physical activity, particularly those performing weight lifting and other strength related activities on a regular basis.

The Advantages of Beta Alanine

Another additional benefit of Beta Alanine is that it is a completely natural ingredient, unlike many other supplements which seem to have ingredient lists which go on forever. They are also padded out with many artificial sweeteners and flavourings, none of which are beneficial to you, apart from creating a nice flavour for your taste buds! Beta Alanine also mixes with relative ease and can be consumed within a regular drink or combined together with other supplements to create a stack. Research has indicated that Beta Alanine combines well with many supplements, including creatine and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) to produce an overall enhanced supplementation effect on the body.

Research has indicated that after as little as 4 weeks, supplementing with Beta Alanine can enhance carnosine levels within your body by as much as 60%. This is further enhanced after 10 weeks with levels rising to as much as 80%. With these enhanced levels and the effects Beta Alanine is known to exert, it is easy to explain the desirable gains of enhanced size, strength, power and ability to exercise for longer periods of time before fatiguing.

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