Beta-alanine: A powerhouse of proteins to charge up your workout

beta alanine energy powder

What is Beta-alanine?

Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid and can also be called non-essential amino acid, which is produced in the body.  It is not used to synthesize protein.  Beta-alanine combines with histidine to form carnosine, which is stored in the skeletal muscles.  Carnosine has the ability to reduce lactic acid accumulation in the muscles during exercise, which leads to improved athletic performance.

The body can produce beta-alanine in three ways.  Beta-alanine can be released during the breakdown of histidine dipeptides, such as carnosine or anserine.  It is formed due to a reaction that converts L-alanine to pyruvate.  Intestinal microbes remove the carbon atom during digestion releasing beta-alanine and CO2 from L-aspartate.

When there are sufficient levels of sodium and chloride available in the body, beta-alanine is transported via beta-alanine and taurine transporter.  Once beta alanine enters a skeletal muscle cell, it binds with the essential amino acid L-histidine to form the dipeptide carnosine.

Mechanism of action

beta alanine energy powderBeta-alanine combines with histidine to form carnosine, which is stored in the skeletal muscles.  In muscles, histidine levels are high and beta-alanine levels are low, which limits the production of carnosine.  Supplementing with beta-alanine elevates carnosine levels in muscles.  The mechanism of carnosine during exercise is as follows:

  • Glucose is broken down: During exercise, glucose is broken down and this process is called glycolysis.  Glucose is the main source of fuel during high-intensity exercise.
  • Lactate is produced: When we exercise, muscles break glucose down into lactic acid.  This lactic acid is converted into lactate, which produces hydrogen ions.
  • Muscles become more acidic: The hydrogen ions reduce the pH level in the muscles and make them more acidic.
  • Fatigue sets in:  Muscle acidity blocks glucose breakdown and reduces the muscles’ ability to contract, which causes fatigue.
  • Carnosine buffer: Carnosine acts as a buffer against the acid, which reduces the acidity in muscles during high-intensity exercise.

Since beta-alanine supplements increase carnosine levels in muscles, they help the muscles reduce their acid levels during exercise which in turn reduces fatigue.

Health Benefits of Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine increases carnosine levels, which have several health benefits.  Carnosine has antioxidant, anti-aging and immune-enhancing properties.  The antioxidant benefits include neutralizing free radicals and reducing oxidative stress.  Carnosine also prevents changes in the structure and function of proteins in the body, which may help in anti-aging.  Another property of carnosine includes its ability to elevate nitric oxide production, which helps against the aging process and improves immune function.

Improves Athletic Performance

beta alanine muscles strong During exercise, muscles build up acids that reduce physical function and increase fatigue.  Beta-alanine is a building block of carnosine, a molecule that helps neutralize these damaging muscle acids.  When beta-alanine is supplemented, it combines with histidine to produce carnosine.  Carnosine helps the muscles reduce their acid levels during exercise which in turn reduces fatigue.  Due to this process, an athlete is able to perform an exercise for a longer period with minimal fatigue.

A review has shown that beta-alanine improves military capability.  Beta-alanine improves the performance of soldiers especially during short bursts of high-intensity combat.  Studies have also shown that improved jumping power, shooting speed, and marksmanship.  Beta-alanine can also increase cognitive performance while under stress.

Increases Muscle Mass

Muscle mass is the physical size of the muscle.  Muscle strength can be accepted as a component of total fitness, which includes endurance, flexibility, power, and speed.  Beta-alanine helps in performance during exercise, and with high-intensity exercise, the fat is burnt and promotes the growth of muscles.  Studies have shown that during high-intensity training, beta-alanine increased oxygen intake and ventilatory threshold.

Delay Fatigue and Reduce Lactic Acid in Muscles

During any muscle activity, glucose is broken down in a process called glycolysis.  Glucose is the main energy source for muscles.  Glucose is broken down into lactic acid, which is converted into lactate.  Lactate produces hydrogen ions.  Hydrogen ions reduce the pH level in the muscles and make them more acidic.  Muscle acidity limits glucose breakdown and reduces the muscles’ ability to contract, which causes fatigue.  Beta-alanine supplements increase carnosine levels in muscles.  Carnosine reduces the acid levels in the muscles and helps in limiting fatigue.  Studies have shown that beta-alanine reduces acid build-up during the high-intensity anaerobic performance, which delayed fatigue.  However, individual improvement widely varies.

Lowers Anxiety

Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe.  Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental health condition that is triggered by a terrifying event.  Beta-alanine is helpful in boosting carnosine and serotonin levels in the brain. Carnosine reduces anxiety.  It increases the anti-anxiety molecule in the brain.  Studies have shown that improvement in anti-anxiety molecules may also decrease PTSD-like behavior.

Anti-Tumor

A tumor is a mass of tissue that is formed by an accumulation of abnormal cells.  Tumor cells grow, even though the body does not need them, and unlike normal old cells, they do not die.  Studies have shown that beta alanine is helpful in reducing this process by limiting the basal and peak OCR (oxygen consumption rate).

Fights Aging

Aging is the normal process of the human body.  Aging can hamper the ability of muscles to contract and expand, which limits ambulation and other daily activities.  Beta-alanine forms the molecule carnosine in muscles.  Carnosine reduces aging-related stress (glycoxidant stress).  This stress damages cells and increases the risk of age-related chronic disease.  Beta-alanine also helps old aged people experience improved exercise capability.

Health Risks of beta alanine

There are some risk factors associated with excess consumption of beta-alanine.  Let us discuss some of the risk factors below:

May Cause Oxidative Stress

A study on hyper-beta-alaninemia (high beta-alanine levels) found that beta-alanine increased free radicals decreased oxygen intake, and triggered mitochondrial death.  Reduction in cell energy coupled with oxidative stress can lead to heart failure.  Chronic beta-alanine supplementation increases reactive oxygen species in the brain (cerebral cortex and cerebellum) and decreased antioxidant activity.

May cause hyper-beta-alaninemia

Hyper-beta-alaninemia is a rare disease that increases levels of beta-alanine.  It can cause brain damage, decreased muscle tone, and breathing problems.  This condition can be fatal and supplements of beta-alanine should be stopped with immediate effect.

May contribute to GABA-Transaminase Deficiency

It is a seizure disorder (epileptic encephalopathy) that causes accelerated growth in babies.  It is associated with increased beta-alanine in the spine.  There is a possibility that GABA-transaminase deficiency and hyper-beta-alaninemia are variants of the same disorder.

Low Beta-alanine Levels May Contribute to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome:  Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that cannot be explained by any underlying medical condition.  Beta-alanine is released into the urine during the period of chronic fatigue syndrome.  This condition can hamper the daily activities of life.

Natural Sources of Beta Alanine

beta alanine foodsA very little beta alanine is derived from the foods we consume.  Most comes in the form of the dipeptides carnosine, anserine or balenine, each of which contributes to raising beta-alanine availability when broken down during digestion.  We can derive these from the animal proteins in our diet.  Pork and beef are considered to be good sources of carnosine, whereas tuna and venison are high food sources of anserine.  Dietary Supplements provide a good amount of beta-alanine.

 Dosage of beta-alanine

Important to know the dosage of beta-alanine, which can improve performance and promote other health benefits.  Clinical studies have shown benefits when beta-alanine is consumed around 2 to 4.8 grams.  Data shows that 4.8 grams are slightly more effective than 2 grams, but there is not much of a difference when the supplement is taken every day.  It is similar to creatine.

Beta-alanine also seems to benefit from a loading phase, which allows for a faster accumulation of carnosine in the muscles, which means a higher dosage allows us to realize the benefits faster.  People doing high-end weight lifting programs may benefit from the upper end of the clinically effective range of beta-alanine.  This is mainly because carnosine stores are depleted during muscle contractions, which means the more we contract our muscles, the more carnosine the body uses.

Possible results expected from beta-alanine supplements

Like all supplements, we cannot expect overnight results.  It should be noted that supplements do not make great physiques, but dedication and proper training does.  Some of the expected results include:

  • A slight increase in the amount of volume in weightlifting workouts.
  • A slight increase in the amount of work, which we will be able to do when super setting exercises.
  • Muscle growth over time that is minimal(not as noticeable as creatine).

Interactions of beta alanine

Beta-alanine and Creatine:  Studies have shown that when these two supplements are combined, it increased lean body mass and decreased body fat more than creatine supplements alone.

Beta-alanine and Sodium Bicarbonate:  When a beta-alanine supplement is combined with another supplement called sodium bicarbonate, it improved performance, perceived exertion, and the total amount of exercise work done.

Beta-alanine and Taurine:  Beta-alanine in high concentration can decrease taurine levels.  However, this is unrealistic since the recommended dose for a beta-alanine supplement is too low to cause taurine depletion.  Taurine supplementation can offset depleted taurine caused by beta-alanine.  The combined use of beta-alanine and taurine supplements helped decrease muscle fatigue.

Final thoughts on beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is considered to be consistent in enhancing the performance of a sports person which is similar to creatine.  It works best for intense exercise lasting one to four minutes but can last closer to 30 seconds during weightlifting.

It also seems to slightly increase muscle growth.  The only common side effect of beta-alanine supplementation is a temporary tingling sensation in the skin about 15 minutes after consumption.  This is caused by beta-alanine’s effect on a specific type of nerve cell in the skin and is entirely harmless.

Research has shown that in commercially available supplementation products, there is a substantial chance of contamination with banned substances and/or different concentrations of ingredients to those listed on the supplement container. Several studies have used commercially available supplements and the purity of these commercial products has not been tested. Care should be taken when supplementing these commercial products to special populations, such as female athletes or elderly individuals.

 

 

 

Trending Topics

hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders?…
understanding addiction
Addiction explained: An obsession that could cost you your life Is addiction a behavioral disorder? Or is it a chronic disease? How does addiction cause…
50 common health conditions
What are the top 50 deadly and widespread diseases? A complete list of the top 50 most common and deadly diseases that plague humanity.…
low carb foods spinach
Low carb vegetables: A complete list of what to pick from during a keto diet Is your plate of veggies making you fat? Are all vegetables created equal? Research reveals…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media?…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking…
boost immunity tips
Step up your defence: 15 proven tips on how to boost your immunity Want to naturally build up a stronger immunity? Tired of frequent colds and runny nose?You…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you…
canola oil cooking
Canola oil: How safe is it to consume this popular cooking oil? Extracted from rapeseeds, Canola oil derives its name from Canadian Oil. Did you know that…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know…
waking up tired
10 reasons why you might be waking up tired Do you feel you are not getting enough sleep? Sleep-deprived and frustrated? Read on discover…
dandelion health benefits
Dandelion: Little parachutes of health and wellness for your whole body Dandelions are not just bright looking blossoms that cheer your mind. These are powerpacked with…
IIFYM diet shopping
If it fits your macros (IIFYM) : A contemporary macro diet regime A diet that lets you eat everything- sounds unbelievable, right? Well, with IIFYM now you…
Kratom drug banned
Kratom: Why is this distant cousin of coffee banned in numerous countries? The name Kratom has often stirred controversies ; this psychoactive drug is both the cure…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many…
stress adverse effects
Fight, flight, or freeze: 8 ways stress can ruin your body Did you know that stress is in-built in our systems? It helped our ancestors respond…
oral hygiene tips
6 shocking consequences of bad oral hygiene (and how to avoid them) Did you know bad breath is not just turning off, but also harms your body…
back pain relief
Don’t choose pain: 10 truths about your back ache (and how to get relief) Back pain is one of the most common ailments in the world. Almost 80% of…
Isagenix diet
Isagenix Diet: Do you really need liquid meal replacements to lose weight? Isagenix Diet - What are liquid meal replacements and why is the world going ga-ga…
Ketosis bad breath
Ketosis: A potentially dangerous side effect of the popular keto diet? Ketosis occurs when you have too low carb intake. Though it means rapid fat loss,…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a…
eating myths debunked
8 ‘healthy eating’ myths you believed until now Is a zero-carb diet really healthy for you? Are organic products worth their cost? Did…
Panera bread steak arugula
Panera Bread: The truth behind this “healthy” restaurant chain What to order and what to avoid when dining at Panera Bread ? Know more…
Jack in the box fast food
Jack In the Box : The perils of surging fast food culture in the USA Jack in the Box - How a culture of fast-food can clog your arteries, weaken…
Fluoride: An indispensible mineral or a potential toxin ? Fluoride, the main ingredient of toothpaste, has shown a great potential as a cleanser. However,…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in…
Whole30 diet fad
Whole30 Diet – Why eliminating certain foods just doesn’t cut it Whole30 Diet: Is this the ‘whole’-y grail of a disease-free body? Read more to find…
lose pregnancy weight
5 most effective ways you can lose those pregnancy pounds! Are you looking for ways to get back into shape? Scared of crash diets? Don't…
MANUKA HONEY child
Manuka Honey Manuka honey is a specific type of honey produced by honey bees that collect nectar…
castor oil hair
Castor oil : A vitamin-rich oil for shiny locks and healthy bowels Castor oil bestows unlimited benefits, whether you use it for your hair or skin. But…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron…
kale
Kale: With more iron than beef, this superfood is the ultimate way to lose weight Checkmate meat-eaters; with kale, vegans now have the ultimate iron-rich superfood as their ally that…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why…
superfoods quinoa probiotics
10 fantastic Superfoods you need to include in your diet from today! What exactly are superfoods and how do they battle diseases? From losing weight to looking…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of…
Healthy pregnancy tips
How to have a healthy pregnancy: Essential tips to remember What to expect when growing a life within you? How important are prenatal vitamins anyway?…
top 5 deadliest cancers
A sneak peek into the top 5 deadliest cancers and the true nature of their origins Did you know that cancer is the 2nd leading cause of deaths globally? Among the…
paleo keto diet
Paleo vs. Keto: Which diet plan is best suited for your body goals? Is eating like a caveman the right way to go? Can you really eat fats…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does…
antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic Resistance: How common diseases become deadly Can a cold kill you? How important is to get a flu shot? Why do…
vital organ diseases
Common diseases that could cripple your vital organs Brain, heart, kidney, lungs, and liver - these vital organs are indeed vital for your…
Creatine: Is this the right peak athletic-performance supplement for you? Creatine is the amino acid that boosts our energy. Did you know creatine supplements can…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity ,…
Nitric oxide: Why is this heart-healthy supplement every sportsman’s first choice? Once considered a vastly toxic substance, nitric oxide is now deemed to be a great…
gallbladder diet tomato
Gallbladder surgery :Tips on post-operative care and diet What to eat post a gallbladder surgery? What are the key things to avoid if…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk…
common mental disorders
Common mental health disorders :The silent stigma surrounding millions More than 300 million sufferers and yet a silent and agonizing stigma; why are people…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean…
low carb diet meal
Low carb diet : Go high on fats and low on carbs for a leaner body! Did you know that sugar is the new fat? Going low on carbs and high…
High Fiber Diet – Fire up your fiber intake for these health benefits! Regular bowels, healthy detox, higher immunity, and guaranteed weight loss - a high fiber diet…
boost brain health
The ultimate tips on how to boost your brain health Would you like to be smarter? Want a sharp memory but bored of doing sudoku?…
health benefits coffee
Dark, hot, & steamy: The remarkable health benefits of drinking coffee Coffee does more than just wake you up. One of the most widely consumed beverages…
matcha tea leaves
Matcha: The unthinkable health benefits of this unique green tea Did you know that a cup of matcha can boost your immunity against toxic diseases?…
Military diet
Military Diet : Why following a highly restrictive diet is a bad idea Is seiging your calorie intake the right way to attack fats? Read more about Military…
BCAAs powder
BCAA: Now get more out of your workouts with this miracle protein BCAAs are counted as one of the best supplements for increasing your physical endurance. Find…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes…
CBD oil safe
Cannabidiol benefits: Evaluating the “highs” of CBD Oil The word cannabis paints a picture of addicts. But did you know that CBD oil,…
green poop causes
Green poop : What are the reasons and how can you correct it Ever sneak a peek down the toilet only to shockingly find green poop? Why does…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy…
cancer facts
8 hard-hitting truths no one tells you about cancer Did you know that 1.5 million new cases of cancer are reported every year? Can…
turmeric skin
We bet you didn’t know that turmeric could be this beneficial! Did you know that turmeric, a humble ingredient found in most Indian kitchens could cure…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing…
Serotonin happiness
Serotonin : What you didn’t know about this “feel-good” chemical Serotonin : Did you know that this "feel-good" hormone could well impact your sleep cycle,…