You may have heard lately about athletes using beta-alanine for better performance. So the question is, what exactly is beta-alanine, and how can it fit into a sporty lifestyle? Get the top 5 facts here, in addition to a full definition of BA, as it’s also known.
What is beta-alanine?
Are you familiar with amino acids? They’re often called the “building blocks of life,” and for good reason. They come together to create proteins or complex molecules that are essential for life. For example, some play crucial roles in tissue repair and nutrient absorption.
In total, there are 20 different types of amino acids that are necessary for the body to function properly. One of them is beta-alanine.
Specifically, BA is a non-essential amino acid. In other words, it is synthesized in the body so we do not need to get it from our diets.
Having said that, supplements can benefit your overall health. In fact, many people use them to boost athletic performance.
5 facts about beta-alanine:
There’s a reason why beta-alanine supplements such as c4 preworkout are so popular. Here are some things that you might not have known about the amino acid:
1. It produces carnosine
Beta-alanine is an integral component of carnosine, a protein that is present in skeletal muscles.
What does it do? It prevents lactic acid from accumulating while you exercise. As a result, you’ll be able to perform better.
Moreover, carnosine can also prevent certain conditions, such as cataracts and diabetes.
2. Beta-alanine can keep your body from tiring out
Beta-alanine has the ability to combat muscle fatigue during exercise. That is, it increases time to exhaustion.
Put simply, BA lets you exercise for longer periods of time than you might otherwise. In one study, those who took supplements increased their cycling performance by 13%.
3. It can increase muscle mass
Beta-alanine has another effect on muscles too. Specifically, it can promote muscle growth.
This statement is supported by a University of Oklahoma study that found BA increased muscle mass after 3 weeks of training. Given the research, it’s not surprising that many people take this supplement to increase muscle mass.
4. It’s present in many different foods
Beta-alanine occurs in a number of foods, including:
For example, a 3-ounce serving of yellowtail contains more than 1 gram of beta-alanine.
Due to the fact that it’s present in meat products, vegetarians and vegans tend to have lower levels of carnosine in the body than those who consume meat regularly. In cases like that, supplementation might be a good option.
5. Side effects from beta-alanine supplements are rare
Beta-alanine supplements are generally safe, as long as you take them accordingly. The recommended dose of BA is 2 to 5 grams daily.
Excessive amounts can lead to tingling of the skin in the neck and face. As far as we know, however, these sensations are not harmful in any way.
Boosting your athletic performance
Hopefully, that gives you a better idea of what beta-alanine does in the body. Now you know what kind of effects does BA can have, as well as some of its roles. As you can see, you can get it from both your diet and supplements!
Have you ever taken beta-alanine? What was your experience like? Speak up in the comments section!