Beta-alanine: Overview, Uses and Risks
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is a naturally occurring beta-amino acid. It can be produced by the body. It is produced by certain microbes present in the gut and liver.
It is not required to take beta-alanine supplements for its production.
Amino acids are commonly known as the building blocks of proteins, but not in this case. Beta-alanine does not synthesize proteins.
Beta-alanine, along with histidine, produces dipeptide carnosine, which is stored in skeletal muscles of the body.
Beta-Alanine Uses and benefits
1. Beta-Alanine Enhances Athletic Performance
One of the most primary functions of beta-alanine is to improve athletic performance and for lean muscle build.
Beta-alanine in whatever form (natural or supplement) aids in increasing the carnosine levels in the body, which further helps in reducing acid levels of muscles during exercise. Resultantly, fatigue level gets decreased during workouts.
Beta-alanine increases the resistance of the body towards muscle fatigue. It also enhances the time to exhaustion (TTE). Resultantly, performance gets increased significantly in high-intensity workouts like 2000m rowing, 4km cycle races, and 100/200m swimming races.
2. Beta-Alanine supplement Reduces Muscle Fatigue
Beta-alanine also offers tremendous benefits in HIIT training. Beta-alanine reduces the accumulation of hydrogen ions which in turn aids in higher physiological adaptations like high exercise capacity and low muscle fatigue.
Resultantly, people doing high interval training can show better commitment towards their workout goals for longer periods of time, having an immense amount of energy.
Many scientific studies have been conducted to test this theory. Beta-alanine, along with amino acids, is known to have amazing benefits on improving performance during high-intensity workouts. It also enhances lean body mass.
3. Beta-Alanine supplement Improves Muscle Endurance
Beta-alanine has been a focus of research due to its benefits for bodybuilding.
Weight lifting is one of the forms of anaerobic exercise. Research suggests that beta-alanine helps in improving reps and sets count during resistance training sessions by increasing the levels of carnosine in muscles.
4. Beta-Alanine for Anti-Ageing
Studies indicate that beta-alanine helps in treating muscle tiredness and promoting endurance by enhancing the levels of carnosine in older adults.
Some test-tube and animal studies indicate that carnosine contains anti-ageing, immune-enhancing, and antioxidant properties.
Beta-Alanine Side Effects
High doses of beta-alanine can cause an unusual sensation (tingling of the skin) called paraesthesia. It typically occurs in areas like the neck, face, and back of hands.
- As for dosage increases, this tingling sensation may also increase. It can be reduced by lowering the amount of dose to 800mg.
- Paraesthesia is not considered as harmful as per evidence.
- Another side effect of beta-alanine is the decline in the levels of taurine. It occurs because beta-alanine can compete with taurine in your muscles for absorption.