Beta-alanine is a very popular supplement in the bodybuilding world. Oh man, i can already feel the tingles. But beta alanine has a wide range of benefits so do not get discouraged. This is one of the most popular supplements out there, but why? Let’s see everything about beta-alanine supplements, benefits, tingling, uses and when to take. If you see a dude at the gym that scratching like crazy, this is likely the cause of it (i hope).
What is beta alanine?
Beta alanine is derived from alanine, it is a non essential amino acid. Beta alanine is useful to form carnosine in the body. Similar to creatine, it’s not the actual supplement that works but what the body does with it. So, what role does carnosine plays in the muscles? Carnosine has been shown to regulate PH balance in the muscles.
And why is this useful you may wonder, well this improves muscle buffer capacity which neutralizes the acids that build up, also known as lactic acid which is the “burn” we feel while doing physical exercise and this can improve the number of reps and sets we do at the gym, but it is also useful for a wide variety of sports.
Beta alanine comes in a lot of pre workout powders so definitely watch out if your pre workout has beta alanine before buying in separately.
Beta Alanine Benefits
- Regulate PH in the muscles
- Improve exercise performance
- Improve muscle endurance, when it comes to the gym, being able to perform more sets and reps
- Gain strength (due to better performance)
- Gain muscle mass (due to better performance)
What do studies say about beta alanine?
Let’s take a look at some studies done on beta-alanine:
This study in the Journal of the international Society of Sports Nutrition studied the effects of beta-alanine on college wrestlers and football players. They gave their subjects 4 grams of beta-alanine per day or a placebo pill. This study is interesting because their training included HIIT and resistance training.
The results of this study are quite surprising. They saw an improvement in performance when it comes to the 300 yd shuttle run when compared to placebo. Wrestlers lost weight, but the ones supplementing on beta alanine increased lean mas by 1.1 lb while the placebo group lost .98 lb. The football group supplementing with beta-alanine also had a 1 lb increase in lean muscle mass when compared to placebo. The duration of this study was 8 weeks. Take into consideration that these athletes where active in a lot of ways. Perhaps beta-alanine gave them a little boost to increase performance and as a by-product an increase in lean mass.
Decent results for a supplement, this was an average and these are college athletes. So do not take this study as definitive for the effects of a supplement. But it seems that beta-alanine can really give you a little boost.
How to take beta alanine
The effective clinical dose of beta alanine is 4-6 grams this is taken daily just like creatine, this is to maintain optimal carnosine levels.
The popular side effect of beta alanine is known as paresthesia, and that is the tingling sensation you get when taking high doses of beta alanine, i get them in my head and hands and it is very annoying, to reduce this side effect you can spare the dose throughout the day. For example 2 grams in the morning and 2 grams in the afternoon. I recommend to not take this supplement in an empty stomach.
So 4-6 grams per day, if you feel a lot of tingles try to take separated doses, if you still have them you can consider stop taking beta alanine. Some people just hate the tingling while others may kind of like it. If you’ve never had the tingles it can be a unique experience for sure! Just don’t get scared or anything. It is a harmless-weird side effect. The more you take at once the more you will feel it!
What can you expect from supplementing with beta alanine?
More overall sets and reps, and better endurance. When you stack beta alanine with creatine this becomes a powerful duo and it gives you a nice boost, but do not expect any magic results from taking beta-alanine or other supplement, you need to have your diet, training and sleep in place before you start with supplements.
It is very rare for people to buy beta-alanine by itself since it is included in a lot of pre-workouts. With this being said, just because its included it doesn’t mean that it has the optimal dose of beta-alanine, or any other ingredient. So take a look at your pre-workout.
My recommended beta alanine: HERE I recommend only CarnoSyn® beta alanine which is a patented form and has exceptional quality.
Is beta alanine beneficial for you?
If you do not have your training program, nutrition and sleep in check i wouldn’t suggest to supplement until you have these 3 things in order. With that being said, if you want a boost in performance, recovery and training volume then beta alanine supplementation is for you. Do not search for magic results from supplements. Not even steroids can do that, you still have to workout and live the lifestyle! Beta-alanine can also be beneficial for people that is involved in sports like soccer or cycling, but i really doubt that people will take beta alanine for the soccer Sunday League.
Yes, this beta-alanine supplement is quite interesting. Make sure that you are aware of the ingredients of your supplements and buy from a high quality-trusted brand. I wouldn’t buy pre-workouts with half of the effective dosage but that is up to you. That is the easier way of taking beta-alanine. You can also buy it in bulk and it will be very cheap. Keep getting those gains! And enjoy the process. Stick around the blog and i hope to see you here again.
Do you supplement with beta alanine? will you try it? does it gives you tingles? Let me know!