If you are a fitness enthusiast hitting the gym regularly or an athlete, chances are you have heard of Beta-alanine. It is a naturally produced amino acid in the body, specifically in the liver, to promote muscle endurance. This amino acid is not one of those essential building blocks of proteins. Beta-alanine can be consumed externally through foods like meat, fish, and poultry. The most common method of intake of this compound is through supplements available in the market. Health and fitness retailers market it as a sports product in the powdered supplement form as an independent product.
How beta-alanine works
Beta-alanine, when consumed, works with another amino acid called histidine in the body to produce carnosine.
1. When you work out, lactic acid starts building up in the muscles and breaks down into hydrogen ions.
2. These ions increase muscle acidity and reduce muscle contraction.
3. When muscles are no longer able to contract, fatigue sets in.
4. The carnosine now buffers these hydrogen ions, helping muscles to contract for a longer duration and delaying fatigue.
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), in its study, concluded that daily consumption of 4-6 grams of beta-alanine for a period of 2-4 weeks significantly enhanced levels of carnosine in the muscles.
What are the benefits of consuming?
The main benefit of taking beta-alanine is increased strength, power, and performance. This is directly related to an increase in performance during high-intensity exercises. Regular consumption for three weeks is responsible for adding some lean muscle to your body. Studies have shown that beta-alanine mitigates stress and muscle fatigue in much older adults. Beta-alanine in higher quantity is much effective when taken along with other health supplements. It is important to note, however, that the enhanced performance is visible only for few minutes.