Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid, which means our bodies can produce it naturally. However, it is also possible to obtain it through our diet, especially by consuming red meat and poultry. But why should we care about this particular amino acid? What makes it so special?
Well, beta-alanine has an interesting feature: it is one of the amino acids that the body is made of CarnosineIt is a molecule that, when present in sufficient quantities in our muscles, can help delay muscle fatigue during exercise. In other words, beta alanine can help us exercise longer and with greater intensity. This is why it has become a popular supplement among athletes and bodybuilders.
Beta-alanine is also a component of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which is essential for proper metabolism of nutrients.
- Beta-alanine is an amino acid that can improve athletic performance by increasing the concentration of carnosine in the muscles, which helps delay muscle fatigue.
- It also has the ability to build muscle indirectly, by allowing longer and more intense workouts;
- The most common side effect of beta alanine supplements is a tingling or tingling sensation on the skin, which is usually temporary.
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Benefits of beta alanine
Improving athletic performance
One of the main benefits of beta alanine is its ability to improve athletic performance. Indeed, several studies(1) Supplementation has shown that it can increase carnosine concentrations in muscles, which may help delay the onset of muscle fatigue during exercise. This means you'll likely be able to do more reps during strength training sessions, run longer or swim faster.
Delay muscle fatigue
When we exert ourselves muscularly, our body produces lactic acid, which can cause a burning sensation in our muscles and ultimately make us tired. Here comes the role of beta alanine. As I mentioned earlier, beta-alanine increases the concentration of carnosine in our muscles. Carnosine acts as a neutral buffer, neutralizing lactic acid and thus delaying muscle fatigue.
Possibility of building muscle
It is important to note that beta alanine is not a muscle building supplement per se. It won't help you gain muscle in the same way as creatine or protein. However, by allowing you to train longer and with greater intensity, beta alanine can indirectly help you increase your muscle mass. After all, the more reps you can do, the more you stimulate your muscles, which can lead to greater muscle growth in the long term.
Potential role in anti-aging
Beta alanine may also play an anti-aging role(2). In fact, carnosine, of which beta-alanine is a component, has antioxidant properties. Antioxidants help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can speed up the aging process. Additionally, some research suggests that carnosine may help prevent glycation(3)It is a process that can contribute to aging and various chronic diseases.
Cognitive functions during periods of fatigue
Finally, preliminary data suggests that beta-alanine may help improve cognitive function, especially in cases of fatigue. study(4) showed that participants who took beta-alanine supplements performed better on a working memory test after being exposed to physical fatigue. However, more research is needed to confirm these findings.
How does beta alanine work?
Now that we've talked about the benefits of beta alanine, you're probably wondering how exactly it works. As I mentioned earlier, beta-alanine is one of the amino acids that make up carnosine, a molecule that helps delay muscle fatigue during exercise.
When we take beta alanine supplements, our body uses it to produce more carnosine. The more carnosine in our muscles, the more we are able to isolate the lactic acid that builds up when we exercise.
How is carnosine made?
Carnosine is a dipeptide molecule, consisting of two amino acids linked together. These two amino acids are beta-alanine and histidine. Carnosine is manufactured in our bodies by an enzyme called Carnosine enzyme.
Carnosine is synthesized primarily in our muscles and brain, which are where carnosine is most abundant. Here's how it works:
- First, beta-alanine and histidine are transported to muscle or brain cells. This is done through specific amino acid transporters found in the membrane of our cells.
- Once inside the cell, beta-alanine and histidine are linked together by the enzyme carnosine synthetase to form carnosine.
- Carnosine is then stored in our cells until needed. For example, during intense exercise, carnosine is released to help store the lactic acid that builds up in our muscles.
Side effects of beta alanine
As with any supplement, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects of beta alanine. The most common side effect is Tingling sensation or Tingling on the skin, known as paresthesias. This feeling is usually benign and goes away on its own after a few minutes.
Beta Alanine Supplements
This amino acid is generally consumed pre-workout, i.e. before training. If taken in isolation, the recommended dose of beta alanine is usually 2 to 5 grams per day. It is best to divide this dose into several small doses throughout the day, as this can help reduce the possibility of a tingling sensation in the skin.
Food sources of beta alanine
Beta Alanine is a natural amino acid that can be obtained from our diet. The main dietary sources of beta-alanine are protein-rich foods, in particular:
- Red meat: Beef, lamb, and pork are good sources of beta-alanine.
- Poultry: chicken and turkey;
- Fish: especially oily fish such as salmon and tuna.
- Seafood: Shrimp, crab, and lobster also contain beta alanine.
It is important to note that the amount of beta-alanine you get from these foods can vary depending on their protein content and how they are prepared.
What to remember
Beta alanine is an interesting supplement that may provide a variety of benefits to athletes. Whether you are looking to improve your athletic performance, delay muscle fatigue, improve cognitive function, or even slow the aging process, beta-alanine may be a supplement to consider.
Beta Alanine | amino acid | Performance booster