If you’re an athlete or just interested in improving your physical performance, you have likely heard of beta-alanine supplements and their role in boosting athletic performance and decreasing muscular fatigue. But what exactly are they? How do they work? And why should you consider adding them to your pre-workout routine? Here are the potential benefits of beta-alanine for those searching for more out of their workouts and athletic endeavors.
1. Is an Amino Acid With Ergogenic Properties
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that has proven as a powerful ergogenic aid. Ergogenic aids are any performance-enhancing substance not banned by WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) that helps improve a person’s athletic performance and conditioning.
Popular ergogenic aids include caffeine, creatine, nitric oxide, alpha-lipoic acid, and beetroot juice. However, a beta-alanine supplement may be one of the most efficient and well-researched supplements for athletes. Amino acids generally serve as building blocks for protein synthesis; however, beta-alanine is a precursor to carnosine synthesis.
2. Acts as a Carnosine Precursor
Carnosine is a dipeptide amino acid composed of two amino acids: beta-alanine and histidine. The beta-alanine helps synthesize carnosine within muscle cells while also making those muscle cells more resistant to certain types of stressors.
Carnosine, in turn, protects against muscular fatigue by acting as a buffer for hydrogen ions produced during intense exercise, thus allowing athletes to work harder for more extended periods. In addition, research has proven carnosine to have antioxidant properties that may help reduce exercise-induced oxidative damage.
3. Decreases Fatigue and Improves Stretching Power for High-Intensity Athletes
Some research has indicated that beta-alanine can help decrease fatigue during extended bouts of exercise by 24%. Suppose you’re a professional athlete looking to squeeze a few seconds on your sprint times or simply an avid exerciser looking to feel less winded while jogging on that treadmill. In that case, beta-alanine may be right up your alley.
Beta-alanine may also significantly reduce perceived exertion and increase total work output. Thus beta-alanine supplementation could reduce the perception of effort when performing multiple sets of high-intensity cycling, for example.
4. Increases Muscular Output
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid primarily stored in skeletal muscle, where it plays a vital role in forming carnosine. Carnosine’s primary function is to act as a powerful antioxidant. However, one unique characteristic of carnosine is that it can increase muscular power output. It increases muscle mass, which is essential for many athletes who compete in weight classes.
That means that individuals who supplement with beta-alanine can expect increases in their ability to generate force and their rate of force development (RFD). That may also be particularly useful for athletes involved in high-intensity activities like weightlifting or sprinting.
5. Improves Stretching Power for High-Intensity Athletes
During high-intensity athletes, the ability to stretch is a critical element of athletic performance. You can improve your stretching power by training with beta-alanine, non-essential amino acid and precursor to carnosine. Carnosine is an amino acid that enhances muscle contraction and shortens recovery time between sets.
As the carnosine levels increases in muscle fibers and tendons, they gain more eccentric contraction power. That means muscles can lengthen, which improves stretching power essential for explosive movements such as jumping and sprinting. It also allows you to train more because your body recovers faster from intense workouts.
6. Leads to Less Lactic Acid Build Up
When you exercise intensely, your body produces lactic acid, which causes fatigue and muscle soreness. Carnosine in beta-alanine helps buffer against lactic acid buildup by increasing muscle carnosine levels, making it easier for your body to recover from strenuous exercise.
Studies have found that beta-alanine supplementation improved muscle endurance during high-intensity intervals among cyclists and rowers. These results were accompanied by decreased blood lactate levels and increased time to exhaustion. In addition, research shows that beta-alanine can reduce delayed onset muscle soreness after intense workouts.
To sum up, beta-alanine is a scientifically proven supplement backed by decades of research. It can help you perform better and recover more quickly from your workouts. It does all of these things through carnosine loading, which helps boost your natural carnosine levels in muscle cells. Carnosine can improve muscle performance, reduce fatigue and increase strength output. Don’t let your athletic goals come to naught because you don’t have access to effective supplements. Instead, take advantage of what science has given you- beta-alanine, and start experiencing great results today!