Beta alanine benefits – When it comes to performance supplements, there are so many to choose from.
Som many, that most of them are actually not necessary, and in many cases, not even effective.
Many supplements and supplement brands in the sports and performance arena advertise amazing benefits to your pre, intra or post-workout state.
The thing is, just as the name implies, supplements are there to supplement!
That means with a normal, balanced and healthy diet, the need for many of these marketed performance boosters is bypassed.
There are, however, a few PESs, or performance-enhancing supplements whose efficacy warrants regular use.
Supplements such as creatine have proven to be effective ways to boost muscular performance output beyond what is naturally available through a good diet.
Another such supplement, and the focus of this article, is beta alanine benefits.
What Is Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine is a conditionally essential amino acid.
That means, your body needs it but takes care of production endogenously for its own sustenance.
However, if conditions become such that your body’s demand cant cope with normal supply or that normal supply takes a dip, you will want to look into supplements.
One such condition and the one we’ll be discussing is during periods of intense physical activity, especially those that test muscular endurance.
That’s because beta-alanine helps boost endurance by counteracting the effects of lactic acid build up in the muscles.
Lactic acid is the result of metabolic energy production, and as your body cycles through its fuel sources to produce ATP for muscle work, one of the byproducts is lactic acid.
When lactic acid builds up to a certain level in the blood, depending on individual tolerance, its removal from the blood is overtaken by the rate of influx.
This state, where more lactic acid is produced than that which is removed is called the lactic acid threshold and is the set point for an individual’s muscular endurance.
Beta-alanine steps in and helps produce carnosine, a protein that acts as a buffer against the cumulative effects of lactic acid build-up.
This has the potential to allow individuals to train or compete longer or at a more consistent level.
Beta-alanine naturally occurs in animal proteins such as meat and fish.
So with such profound beta alanine benefits, is there any risks or side effects to taking beta-alanine as a supplement?
Potential Side Effects Of Beta-Alanine
One very common side effect of beta-alanine is an intense tingling or itching in the skin caused by higher than normal doses of the amino acid.
And by normal we mean compared to what your body is naturally exposed to, either through food or internal production.
Supplemental sources are often in the category of above-normal doses.
This sensation is known as paraesthesia, and usually affects the neck, face, and extremities such as hands and feet.
This tingle or itch is simply an irritation and poses no recorded health risks. Either way, it’s still not fun when it gets intense.
Follow dosing instructions carefully when it comes to beta-alanine use in order to avoid potential paraesthesia.
Also, as a general rule of thumb, children and pregnant women should probably avoid using such active chemicals in these supplemental doses, even though beta-alanine is natural and generally well tolerated.
What Are The Other Beta Alanine Benefits?
The pH buffer, endurance-boosting effect of carnosine is not the only potential benefit you will gain from beta-alanine.
Evidence indicates that carnosine, the dipeptide containing beta-alanine and histidine scavenges for free radicals, unstable molecules that damage cell membranes, causing oxidative stress.
The reduction in oxidative stress has been shown to slow down the onset of signs and symptoms of aging.
Evidence suggests that beta-alanine helps produce nitric oxide in the arteries.
This chemical has the beneficial effect of promoting vasodilation, a widening of the blood vessels.
By doing so, blood pressure is reduced, and the risk of heart complications associated with chronic hypertension are decreased.
Immune System Benefits.
The antioxidant potency of beta-alanine also produces an anti-inflammatory effect, in this way, it has an immune-boosting effect.
Chronic inflammation is a big hindrance to a healthy immune system, so by keeping your cells healthy, and your metabolism at an optimum level, as well as acting as a buffer against low pH levels, beta-alanine is a potential disease protective agent beta alanine benefits.
Beta-alanine is a great supplement, its effectiveness in maximizing exercise output are well documented.
It is generally well tolerated by most people and side effects only go as far as a mild non-damaging irritation in some instances.
Beta-alanine stacks well with other performance-enhancing supplements such as sodium bicarbonate, which acts as an acid buffer, and creatine, which boosts the efficiency of ATP energy production.