Beta-alanine is a supplement that has been showing improvement in the performance of athletes of high intensity and low duration sports, such as bodybuilding, and acts by reducing the perception of muscle fatigue in the athlete.
Mechanism of Action of Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine acts as an intracellular buffer, preventing excess H+ ions within the muscle (which generate acidity) while performing high-intensity exercises. Thus, it increases the levels of carnosine, which act directly in the decrease of blood acidosis and consequently, decreases fatigue.
Does Beta-Alanine Improve Body Composition?
According to recent studies, the supplement in question does not have the effect of increasing muscle mass. This conclusion was made by a meta-analysis entitled “Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on body composition: a GRADE-assessed systematic review and meta-analysis“, andm that analyzed 20 studies, all lasting more than 3 months. However, the meta-analysis mentions that none of the data analyzed examined the effect of beta-alanine when aligned with appropriate nutritional and sports strategies. That is, beta-alanine, despite having the effects already mentioned above with regard to sports performance, does not affect, by itself, the changes in body composition.
Beta-alanine has been shown to be extremely efficient when it comes to sports performance, specifically regarding high-intensity exercises.
In addition, it is worth mentioning that, although the study analyzed does not present direct results of the supplement in the improvement of body composition, when combined with a dietary prescription, which aims to gain muscle mass and the regular practice of physical exercise, the use of the supplement can potentiate the improvement of body composition. So, there is an increase in physical performance, in addition to the complete scenario is in favor of gaining muscle mass.
Reading suggestions: WHAT IS THE IMPACT OF BETA-ALANINE SUPPLEMENTATION ON PERFORMANCE?
Article: Ashtary-Larky D, Bagheri R, Ghanavati M, Asbaghi O, Wong A, Stout JR, Suzuki K. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on body composition: a GRADE-assessed systematic review and meta-analysis. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2022 May 31;19(1):196-218. doi: 0.1080/15502783.2022.2079384. PMID: 35813845; PMCID: PMC9261744.