5 Proven Benefits Of Beta-Alanine That Will Power Your Performance

As an athlete, you're constantly striving to be better. Learn how supplementation with beta-alanine can improve endurance, increase power, delay muscle fatigue.

Athletes are naturally competitive. You’re constantly working to improve your performance, to run faster, jump higher, row harder, lift heavier, crank down more reps, and be stronger. One of the best supplements to help you be more competitive is beta-alanine. A growing body of evidence undeniably suggests that CarnoSyn® beta-alanine can improve muscular endurance, increase peak power, and delay muscle fatigue by inhibiting the build-up of lactic acid. If you want more out of your training, then beta-alanine is what you need.

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What Is Beta-Alanine

Before we get into what beta-alanine is, we need to first understand how beta-alanine works. Unlike any of the 20 amino acids, beta-alanine is a bit of an outlier. Beta-alanine is classified as a beta-amino acid, due to its unique molecular structure. Conventionally, amino acids are bonded to a β carbon, however, beta-amino acids are bonded to an α carbon. Beta-alanine is also naturally produced by the body, which is unusual for a beta-amino acid.

What Does Beta-Alanine Do

Your body uses the food you eat to create energy and power its muscular and biological reactions. Glucose, which is derived from carbohydrates is the first source of muscle fuel and results in lactic acid which increases muscle acidity. This lactic acid build-up eventually causes muscle fatigue and a loss of muscle power. The burning sensation that starts setting in once you get near the top of your rep count - that’s lactic acid. Lactic acid is created from the buildup of hydrogen ions (H+), which causes your muscles’ pH to drop, becoming more acidic.

Beta-alanine combines with the amino acid l-histidine, creating a di-peptide called carnosine. Carnosine has been proven to reduce muscle acidity. If you can buffer lactic acid and delay muscle fatigue you inevitably increase your time to exhaustion, which will result in an increase in training volume and help you maintain a higher level of performance.

Styled Swolverine Beta-Alanine product shot with beta-alanine bottle in front of white wall and sitting on black reflective surface.

5 Beta-Alanine Benefits

Beta-alanine has a range of benefits that have been extensively studied for many years due to the scientific research and stringent quality control conducted by CarnoSyn®.

CarnoSyn® is the only beta-alanine that has successfully obtained NDI and self-affirmed GRAS [generally recognized as safe] status. CarnoSyn®'s growing list of awards and certifications has helped to establish CarnoSyn® as a trusted brand and the only choice for tested, patented, and pure beta-alanine.

When you purchase a beta-alanine supplement make sure it contains the patented ingredient CarnoSyn®

1. Beta-Alanine Can Improve Exercise Performance

Studies have shown that beta-alanine increases carnosine content and improve performance across a wide span of training modalities.

A study published in the journal Amino Acids examined the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on carnosine content amongst competitive cyclists. The results found that by supplementing with 5g of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine per day, study participants increased muscle carnosine content by 58% after 4 weeks and 80% after 10 weeks.1

With more beta-alanine administered to the bloodstream and muscle tissue, workout volume will increase due to a delay in muscle fatigue and increase workout capacity, thus improving overall athletic performance.

2. Beta-Alanine Can Increase Training Volume

In resistance training, volume refers to your overall workload which translates to more sets and reps. The more volume you can complete before meeting your lactic acid threshold, the more gains you’ll stack on. 

A study conducted at the University of Oklahoma examined the effects of beta-alanine and creatine supplementation on physical workload and exercise capacity over a test period of 28 days. The study concluded that beta-alanine supplementation combined with creatine increased volume by 16.9%.2

Therefore, by supplementing with beta-alanine you’ll be able to increase your workout volume. The ability to do more means increased volume, and better results.

3. Beta-Alanine Can Increase Power Output

Power is the rate of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), or energy, used over single or multiple maximal efforts against a submaximal load. Peak power is the greatest output or production of work over a given amount of time. Peak power is a critical metric for endurance athletes and powerlifters performing at 90-100% of maximum heart rate capacity for a short period accounting for a combination of strength, velocity, force, and neuromuscular adaptations.

A research study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology conducted in Ghent, Belgium investigated beta-alanine supplementation on the performance of highly trained elite rowers. The study showed that after 7 weeks of beta-alanine supplementation at 5g per day, beta-alanine improved rowing performance speed by 4.3 seconds over 2000m.3

Another study investigated sprint performance on endurance cyclists. The study showed that over 8 weeks, cyclists saw an average increase of 11.4% in peak power output.4

Related: Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (P.H.U.L.) Workout

4. Beta-Alanine Can Increase Strength

One of the greatest benefits from delayed muscle fatigue is the secondary gains of… gains. Increased time to failure ultimately means increased workout volume. More reps equate to more muscle mass and bigger gains in strength.

A study published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine administered 5g of beta-alanine to 12 fit male individuals over 4 weeks. A strict strength training protocol consisting of 6 sets, with 12 reps at 70% max squat with 90-second rest, was performed before and after each supplemental period. Those that supp’ed up experienced a 22% increase in total repetitions of squats compared to the placebo group.5

5. Beta-Alanine Can Increase Endurance

It’s a known fact that the biggest benefit of beta-alanine is the ability to maximize exercise endurance. Endurance is measured through maximum oxygen uptake more commonly referred to as VO2 MAX and how it’s used during high-intensity training protocols. Better oxygen uptake means better aerobic performance and muscular endurance.

A study published in the journal Exercise Physiology investigated the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on a 10km running time trial. Sixteen subjects were randomized into a double-blind placebo-controlled trial. For 23 days, the subjects ingested 5g of beta-alanine or a placebo. The running protocol was performed three times per week. The results showed that time to completion of the 10km running time trial decreased significantly with those that supplemented with beta-alanine. If you want to improve your endurance, beta-alanine at 5g per day, can help you get there.6

Swolverine athlete scooping beta-alanine into shaker bottle.

How to Take Beta-Alanine

Best Time To Take Beta-Alanine 

If you want to effectively optimize your training, then take your beta-alanine before exercise. Beta-alanine works by increasing carnosine content over time. This will help decrease lactic acid buildup in your muscle tissue, alleviating the loss of power and muscle fatigue as your muscles get more saturated with carnosine. 

To see maximum performance gains, it’s crucial to load beta-alanine over 4-weeks, at 5g per day.

Beta-alanine does produce what’s called paresthesia, also referred to as the tingles. Some find this uncomfortable when first starting their supplement protocol, and others absolutely love it. Over time, however, your body will acclimate and become less sensitive.

Supplement With A Higher Dose

Studies have shown that if you double the dose and increase your daily intake from 3.2g to 6.4g per day, your performance can significantly increase. A higher dose will create more muscle carnosine retention within the muscle tissue, which will further fuel endurance, delay the onset of muscle fatigue, and enhance peak performance.

Use Beta-Alanine As A Stand-Alone Ingredient

Beta-Alanine can greatly improve your workout performance, but not if you’re under dosing it. Most pre-workout formulas underdose beta-alanine and don’t give you enough to be truly effective. Not only that, but manufacturers will use generic beta-alanine because it’s a cheaper ingredient as compared to CarnoSyn®. The clinical research indicates that you need to load a minimum of 3.2g per day over 28 days to have an ergogenic benefit, such as building more muscle mass and improving exercise capacity.

Stack Your Beta-Alanine With Other Proven Ingredients

If you want better performance, better endurance, and bigger gains, stack your beta-alanine with other proven ingredients. Supplementing with CarnoSyn® beta-alanine as a stand-alone, unflavored ingredient, also makes it simple to stack with other products. If you need a bigger pump and want more strength, stack it with pure, unflavored citrulline malate or creatine for more explosive power.

Beta-Alanine Benefits: Takeaway

Most of us have similar goals when it comes to workout performance. We want to be able to push past thresholds, hit new personal records, and look good while we’re doing it. Beta-alanine is perhaps one of the most well-researched and studied sports performance supplements on the market, with a handful of evidence-based ergogenic benefits.

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References
  1. 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 Feb;32(2):225-33. doi: 10.1007/s00726-006-0364-4. Epub 2006 Jul 28. PMID: 16868650.
  2. Stout JR, Cramer JT, Mielke M, O'Kroy J, Torok DJ, Zoeller RF. Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold. J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Nov;20(4):928-31. doi: 10.1519/R-19655.1. PMID: 17194255.
  3. Baguet A, Bourgois J, Vanhee L, Achten E, Derave W. Important role of muscle carnosine in rowing performance. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2010 Oct;109(4):1096-101. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00141.2010. Epub 2010 Jul 29. PMID: 20671038.
  4. Stout JR, Cramer JT, Mielke M, O'Kroy J, Torok DJ, Zoeller RF. Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold. J Strength Cond Res. 2006 Nov;20(4):928-31. doi: 10.1519/R-19655.1. PMID: 17194255.
  5. Hoffman J, Ratamess NA, Ross R, Kang J, Magrelli J, Neese K, Faigenbaum AD, Wise JA. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;29(12):952-8. doi: 10.1055/s-2008-1038678. Epub 2008 Jun 11. PMID: 18548362.
  6. Santana, Jeferson O et al. “Beta-Alanine Supplementation Improved 10-km Running Time Trial in Physically Active Adults.” Frontiers in physiology vol. 9 1105. 8 Aug. 2018, doi:10.3389/fphys.2018.01105