What is Beta Alanine?

voomnutrition Admin

Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid but unlike most amino acids Beta-Alanine is not involved in protein synthesis. Beta-Alanine, helps to produce carnosine that is stored in the muscles and reduces the build up of lactic acid during high intensity exercise (Harris et al. 2006). This leads to enhanced performance (Saunders et al., 2017).

Levels of Beta-Alanine in your muscles are usually low and therefore the production of lactic acid buffering carnosine is limited. Taking onboard Beta-Alanine elevates levels in the muscles and therefore increases the production of carnosine (e.g. Harris et al. 2006)

During high intensity exercise glucose is rapidly broken down via Glycolysis to produce energy quickly but the downside is the production of lactic acid. Your body then breaks the lactic acid down to lactate that produces hydrogen ions increasing the acidity of the muscles reducing their pH level. Increased muscle acidity starts to block further breakdown of glucose resulting in fatigue (Powers & Jackson 2008). Carnosine buffers the acidic build-up associated with high-intensity exercise and as Beta-Alanine increases Carnosine it helps to reduce fatigue (Harris et al. 2006).

Muscle acidosis typically limits performance during high-intensity exercise and for that reason beta-alanine specifically helps reduce fatigue during short-duration exercise lasting one to several minutes (e.g. Hill et al. 2007; Sale et al. 2010). However, there is also evidence that beta-alanine helps to increase the time to exhaustion during endurance events (Santana et al., 2018). It has also been shown to improve sprint performance at the end of an endurance cycling race (Van Thienen et al. 2009) meaning if you take a Beta Blast Pocket Rocket towards the end of your event, you’re likely to see improvement in your finish speed!
With each Beta Blast Pocket Rocket containing 2g of Beta-Alanine, just two bars meet the generally accepted daily dose of 2–5 grams. Consuming a bar directly before training will give you the perfect lactic acid buffering boost you need to power through your workout or event.

Be aware that Beta-Alanine can cause a tingling sensation in the skin, this is totally normal and Beta-alanine is considered to be a safe and effective supplement to boost exercise performance.

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Harris RC, Tallon MJ, Dunnett M, Boobis L, Coakley J, Kim HJ, Fallowfield JL, Hill CA, Sale C, Wise JA. The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids. 2006 May; 30(3):279-89.

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;9:1105.
Saunders B, Elliott-Sale K, Artioli GG, Swinton PA, Dolan E, Roschel H, Sale C, Gualano B. Beta-Alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance:  A systematic review and meta-analysis.  British Journal of Sports Med. 2017 Apr; 51(8):658-669.

Powers SK, Jackson MJ (2008) Exercise-induced oxidative stress: cellular mechanisms and impact on muscle force production. Physiol Rev 88:1243–1276
Hill CA, Harris RC, Kim HJ, Harris BD, Sale C, Boobis LH, Kim CK, Wise JA. Influence of beta-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity. Amino Acids. 2007;32:225–233
Sale C, Saunders B, Harris RC. Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance. Amino Acids. 2010;39:321–333.
Van Thienen R, Van Proeyen K, Vanden Eynde B, Puype J, Lefere T, Hespel P. Beta-alanine improves sprint performance in endurance cycling. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009;41:898–903.