Supplements

Understanding Beta-Alanine

May 31, 2016 — by Matt Theis0

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Supplements

Understanding Beta-Alanine

May 31, 2016 — by Matt Theis0


Beta-Alanine is probably, at this point, the most common pre-workout ingredient.  More products use Beta-Alanine these days than Creatine.  Not because Creatine doesn’t work (of course it does).

It’s just that Creatine is widely used as a standalone supplement these days to ensure adequate dosing.  Beta-Alanine can of course be purchased in bulk form just like Creatine, but it’s also easily to incorporate when formulating pre-workouts, so most brands just toss it in.

That Tingling Sensation Doesn’t Mean It’s Working!

I received an email a couple of weeks ago that troubled me a bit.  Not because there was any sort of product-related problem, but because it was an example of a clear lack of consumer-education, something we take extremely seriously at Momentum Nutrition.  It’s not good enough to simply tell our customers “we have the best product!” .  Everyone says that!  Instead, the focus is always on educating consumers about what makes truly effective, high quality supplements.

Anyway, in this email the customer indicated to me that they thought we put Beta-Alanine in Catalyst in order to create the “pins and needles” feeling, otherwise known as Parasthesia.

This troubled me greatly because Parathesia, the tingly feeling that some people experience when taking Beta-Alanine, is not the mechanism of action underlying Beta-Alanine.  It is merely a harmless side-effect and is not an indication of efficacy.

Unfortunately, this is just one of the many ways supplement companies mess with people’s heads when it comes to formulating pre-workouts.  They put just enough Beta-Alanine to make you feel the tingles, so you think it’s working, but not enough to actually work.

TO PUT IT SIMPLY…

Just because you feel the tingles doesn’t mean you’re getting an effective dose of Beta-Alanine!

So What Does Beta-Alanine Do?

Beta-Alanine is a precursor to Carnosine.  A higher concentration of Carnosine in muscle tissue is associated with greater muscular endurance because Carnosine acts as a Lactic Acid buffer, effectively delaying fatigue in the working muscle.

Beta-Alanine supplementation has been repeatedly shown in study after study to increase muscle Carnosine concentrations and enhance muscular endurance, both in athletes and non-athletes.

It is undeniably a universally effective performance enhancing supplement.  The clinically effective range for DAILY supplementation is roughly 2-6g, with 1.6g/day being the absolute lowest dose to enhance muscular endurance.

Reread the previous paragraph…notice I wrote “DAILY” in all caps, meaning 1.6g of Beta-Alanine will enhance muscular endurance if taken DAILY!

Do you work out every day though?  If so, great!  If you’re pre-workout contains 1.6g per serving than your’re getting an effective dose.  But if you’re like most people, you probably take a couple days off.  After all, we all hate to admit it but rest is just as important as training itself.  Off days suck, but they’re part of any smart lifting schedule.

Okay, so if you’re not taking your pre-workout every day, then that 1.6g of Beta-Alanine is really less because it’s spread out over more days.  You might only be getting 1g/day, not a clinically validated dose.

This is just one of the many examples of how supplement companies can claim they have “clinically dosed” ingredients which allows them to claim the same benefits achieved in these clinical studies.  The thing is, you’re not really getting those benefits.

This happens with so many ingredients, but we don’t have to get into all of that.  You get it.

Back to Momentum Nutrition…

The Stack

LEARN MORE

If you’re looking to boost muscular endurance, increase your strength, and speed up your exercise recovery, The Stack provides everythnig you need!

Catalyst includes 3.2g of Beta-Alanine.  So even if you don’t take it every day, or take less than a full serving when you lift, you’re still getting an effective dose which will undoubtedly increase muscular Carnosine concentrations over time and lead to enhanced muscular endurance which you’ll ACTUALLY NOTICE during you’re workouts…

 

References

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491570/
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18548362
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21847611

Matt Theis

I'm Matt, Founder of Momentum Nutrition and SuppWithThat.com. I've spent the better part of the last decade researching and experimenting in the areas of fitness, nutrition, and supplementation, and this is where I write it all down.