The most underrated supplement you SHOULD be taking
Imagine if you could delay muscle fatigue during a high intensity workout while maintaining a high level of performance even past the point of exhaustion? Well, that’s what Beta-Alanine has shown to do in numerous clinical studies.
What is it?
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally in the body. It aids in the production of carnosine, a compound that plays a role in muscle endurance in high-intensity exercise. Higher levels of carnosine may allow your muscles to perform for a longer period of time before they become fatigued because it buffers the lactic acid that causes the muscles to “burn.” If you can fight muscle fatigue, then you can maintain close to the same high level of performance from start to finish, and for longer. Therefore, when supplementing with Beta-Alanine, the body is able to produce more carnosine and counteract the development of lactic acid, promoting better performance.
A study from the journal Exercise Physiology studied the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on a 10k run time trial. After supplementing with 5g of beta-alanine for 23 days, each of the subjects time to complete the 10k was decreased significantly (Santana). Not only did studies prove beta-alanine helpful in aerobic sports, it also helped with strength endurance as well.
In another study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, 5g again was given to 12 individual males over the course of 4 weeks along with a strict strength training protocol performed both before and after each supplemental period. After the 4 weeks of supplementation there was a 22% increase in the number of squats the men could perform at their 70% max (Hoffman). If that doesn’t convince you, another study by the University of Oklahoma evaluated the effects beta-alanine has on HIIT training endurance performance and aerobic metabolism in college-aged men. Results showed that after 3 weeks, VO2 MAX thresholds (the amount of oxygen the body can use during exercise and the ultimate test of aerobic fitness) improved by 110% and by 115% after 6 weeks (Smith).
Beta-alanine is a bit different than most other supplements since it requires a loading phase, meaning you must take it for a few weeks to see any performance results. Research shows that you need at least 5g of beta-alanine per day for up to four weeks before you start seeing an improvement in exercise performance. Studies have also shown that a larger doses >5g per day will promote more results over the same period of time.
If you are looking to improve your performance, beta-alanine can help you get there.
The International Olympic Committee listed beta-alanine as one of the supplements that can directly improve sports performance. At SAA, our Beverly supplements Up-Lift and our Creatine both contain beta-alanine. Everyone at some point in their training cycle would very likely benefit from beta-alanine.
Santana JO, de Freitas MC, Dos Santos DM, Rossi FE, Lira FS, Rosa-Neto JC, Caperuto EC. Beta-Alanine Supplementation Improved 10-km Running Time Trial in Physically Active Adults. Front Physiol. 2018 Aug 8
Hoffman J, Ratamess NA, Ross R, Kang J, Magrelli J, Neese K, Faigenbaum AD, Wise JA. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2008
Smith, Abbie E et al. “Effects of beta-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition vol. 6 5. 11 Feb. 2009