What is Beta-Alanine and Why It’s Good for High-Intensity Workouts

If you are an athlete or a fitness enthusiast, you may already have known the importance of eating proteins to improve your workout efficiency. This is because proteins contain amino acids as building blocks which play a critical role in enhancing exercise efficiency.

One of the amino acids fronted by experts as effective in enhancing physical performance is beta-alanine. Although beta-alanine occurs naturally in meat-based proteins, athletes engaged in high-intensity training take it as a supplement to improve their physical performance.

What is beta-alanine?

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. This means your body can produce beta-alanine in the liver. However, it is also present in meat products such as beef, poultry, and fish. The amounts of beta-alanine produced by the liver and those ingested through foods are sufficient for the average person.

For athletes and individuals engaging in high-intensity training, taking beta-alanine supplements is always recommended by nutritionists. The supplements boost the amino acid level in the bloodstream, meaning that the body enjoys the full benefits of the amino acid during a workout. You may want to look at this post on beta alanine supplement benefits to get the whole picture.

Benefits of beta-alanine during high-intensity workouts

  1. Delayed muscle fatigue

High levels of lactic acid in the muscle cells during workouts are responsible for muscle fatigue. Beta-alanine promotes the production of carnosine, a dipeptide that is one of the most potent buffers against lactic acid buildup in the muscles.

The more carnosine in the cells, the better the buffering effect and the longer your muscle can endure the training. Clinical studies have shown that beta-alanine supplementation at a dosage of 5g per day is highly effective against fighting muscle fatigue and boost performance.

  1. Promotes gains in strength

Because beta-alanine delays muscle fatigue, it follows that an athlete can work out more before they get exhausted. This will ultimately result in improved strength gains and the development of the desired lean muscles.

When taken before your gym session, beta-alanine can improve your performance, which translates into better utilization of your workout sessions and increased muscle strength.

  1. It optimizes creatine’s efficiency.

Creatine is another supplement that has proved to be effective in boosting performance in high-intensity workouts. Research has shown that beta-alanine supplements significantly improve creatine efficacy and yield better results when taken alongside creatine. 

If you are taking creatine supplements to boost your performance in the gym or the tracks, you may want to consider combining it with beta-alanine supplements to reap all the benefits. However, it is always advisable to consult with your trainer or doctor before starting.

  1. It boosts your VO2 max.

Endurance is key to performance, and your body’s ability to maximize its oxygen utilization is key to improving endurance. VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen the body can utilize during an exercise. The higher the VO2 threshold, the higher the rate of aerobic respiration, which means lesser lactic acid produced and ultimately greater endurance.

According to research, beta-alanine supplementation significantly improves the body’s VO2 max threshold. This means that your body can withstand more time before exhaustion, thereby enhancing its exercise and training capacity.

What is the best time to take beta-alanine?

For maximum benefits, it is recommendable to take your beta-alanine supplements before exercise. Since most of its benefits are achieved during the workout session, having it in your system can significantly improve the body’s endurance during the workout.

It is also essential to understand that the benefits of beta-alanine supplements reach their full potential after it reaches a saturation point in the bloodstream. Therefore, it is crucial to consistently take your supplements according to your nutritionist’s direction to maximize the benefits.