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What is it?

Beta-alanine, a precursor to carnosine, is a supplement indicated for athletes and practitioners of physical activities who seek to improve performance and decrease muscle fatigue. It has been shown to be effective in increasing muscle carnosine levels when chronically supplemented, and can reduce acidosis during high intensity exercises.

What is beta-alanine for?

It is ideal for improving the performance of athletes in events that would be limited by acid-base disorders, especially those associated with high rates of anaerobic glycolysis. High intensity exercises tend to result in lower RATES of ATP, creatine phosphate stocks, and metabolites such as hydrogen and lactate ions, which increase the perception of fatigue and limit the athlete’s sports performance. A strategy to contain excess H+ ions is precisely beta-alanine supplementation.

How does beta-alanine work?

Increased beta-alanine in the blood elevates carnosine levels, which in turn has a blood buffering function in exercises that tend to lead to acid-base imbalance, such as high-intensity, reducing the athlete’s perception of neuromuscular fatigue. There are also studies that show beta-alanine as an ergogenic resource, increasing athletic performance. It is important to remember that current studies show that beta-alanine has little or no impact on body composition, muscle strength, muscle endurance, or running performance.

When do you need to supplement?

Individuals who wish to improve their performance, especially in high-intensity and short-term exercises (60-240 seconds) may benefit from beta-alanine supplementation in order to reduce muscle fatigue. It is important to note that one of the side effects of supplementation may be paraesthesia, i.e., tingling sensation or numbness.


Reading suggestion: What is the impact of beta-alanine supplementation on performance?

Article: Quesnele JJ, Laframboise MA, Wong JJ, Kim P, Wells GD. The effects of beta-alanine supplementation on performance: A systematic review of the literature. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014;24(1):14-27

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