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Effect Of Beta-Alanine On Exercise Performance

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Beta-alanine is a widely used dietary supplement among sportspeople and individuals passionate about fitness. Its popularity stems from its proven ability to improve performance and contribute to overall well-being. This blog provides a comprehensive overview of beta alanine, covering all the essential information you should be aware of.

What Is BETA-ALANINE?

Beta alanine falls under the category of non-essential amino acids. In contrast to the majority of amino acids, its role does not involve protein synthesis within the body. Rather, when combined with histidine, it gives rise to carnosine, a substance stored in your skeletal muscles. Carnosine functions to minimize the buildup of lactic acid during physical exertion, thereby contributing to enhanced athletic capabilities.

How BETA-ALANINE Works?

In your muscle tissues, histidine typically exists at elevated levels, while beta-alanine concentrations remain relatively low. Therefore, this natural balance constrains the synthesis of carnosine. Beta alanine supplementations tends to raise muscle carnosine levels approximately about 80%.

beta-alanine

The mechanism of carnosine during exercise unfolds as follows:

  1. Glycolysis breakdown glucose which serves as the primary source of energy during high intensity workouts. 
  2. As you engage in exercise, glucose is metabolized into lactic acid, subsequently converted to lactate, which yields hydrogen ions (H+).
  3. The influx of hydrogen ions triggers a decline in muscle pH, leading to increased acidity.
  4. Muscle acidity hampers glucose breakdown and diminishes the contractile capacity of muscles, which causes fatigue. 
  5. Carnosine functions as a buffer against the increased acidic levels, mitigating the acidic conditions within muscles during bouts of intense physical activity.

Food Sources Of BETA-ALANINE:

Even though beta alanine is classified as a non-essential amino acid, it is present in certain dietary sources, mainly in meat and poultry. Foods abundant in beta alanine are beef, pork, chicken breast, and various fish varieties.

Individuals following vegetarian or vegan diets might have low levels of beta alanine as it is predominantly present in animal-derived protein sources.

Also Read: Health Benefits Of Salmon Fish

Benefits Of BETA-ALANINE On Exercise Performance

Athletes engaged in activities such as running, cycling, and rock climbing, particularly those focused on endurance, could find beta alanine valuable before starting workouts or competitions.

beta-alanine

Below, we outline several benefits that may emerge from beta alanine supplementation:

1. Delays Fatigue:

One favorable aspect of beta-alanine is its impact on “time to exhaustion” (TTE), signifying the duration an individual can sustain an activity before succumbing to fatigue. This span, whether brief or prolonged, hinges on various factors, such as sleep patterns, overall fitness, and diet.

Regardless of these variables, beta alanine could potentially augment TTE by increasing carnosine reserves and mitigating lactic acid’s detrimental impact on muscles. 

2. Improves Performance

Muscle acidosis, which results from the breakdown of glucose into lactic acid, constrains the length of time individuals can engage in high-intensity physical activity.

This effect is noticeable in endurance-based activities and short-duration exercises like High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or CrossFit.

3. Improves Muscle Endurance

Beta alanine offer added benefits for individuals aged 55 and beyond, as increased muscle endurance can positively impact quality of life beyond training years. Beta alanine supplementation contribute to decreased fall risks and improved independent living capabilities among older adults. 

beta alanine muscle endurance

4. Increases Lean Muscle Mass:

Beta-alanine increases lean muscle mass by elevating training volume and the promoting muscle synthesis. Therefore, by combining beta alanine with a protein powder and a pre-workout can facilitate you to achieve your goal.  

5. Antioxidant And Anti-Aging Agent:

While your motivation for using a workout supplement might not be to appear younger, considering potential anti-aging effects of beta alanine could be intriguing. The key factor here is carnosine, formed by combining beta alanine with histidine.

Research suggests that carnosine acts as an antioxidant by neutralizing free radicals, thereby supporting the immune system and counteracting oxidative stress effects. 

Furthermore, carnosine may elevate nitric oxide production, enhancing the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to cells throughout the body. This increased nutrient and oxygen supply contribute to healthier skin and delaying the aging process. 

Dosage And Side-Effects Of BETA-ALANINE:

Excess intake of beta alanine can lead to a sensation known as paresthesia, characterized by tingling. While this is not harmful but a few individuals might find the experience uncomfortable. Additionally, an excess intake can also reduce taurine levels. This occurs because beta alanine and taurine competes with each other for the absorption within muscle tissues. 

side effects of beta alanine

Research has explored various doses of beta alanine, spanning from 3.2 to 6.4 grams daily. To prevent the occurrence of paranesthesia, it is advisable to take 0.8 to 1.6 grams of beta-alanine every 3 to 4 hours.

Moreover, slow-release formulations are accessible, allowing the utilization of higher doses without the risk of paresthesia. Despite the frequent addition of beta alanine in pre-workout, the timing of intake does not impact its efficacy.

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Fariha Batool
Fariha Batoolhttps://sportsmen.pk
Dr. Fariha Batool is a certified dietitian with 3 years of experience. Her mission is to re-shape the nutritional habits and behaviors of our next generation to optimize their long-term health and reduce the likelihood of obesity, cancer and chronic diseases.

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