Maximize the Effects of Beta Alanine


By Dwayne Jackson, PhD
Jun 11, 2013

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Conclusive evidence has shown that beta alanine supplementation increases muscle carnosine levels, leading to increased power production and decreased fatigue while training. The main mechanism by which high muscle carnosine levels improve muscle function and performance is through its ability to buffer skeletal muscle pH (acidity) during high intensity/fatiguing exercise.

Since one of the primary causes of fatigue during exercise is metabolically mediated decreases in pH (or acidosis), then it follows that increased intramuscular carnosine levels would be beneficial to bodybuilders. Based on this, it is obvious why maximizing the effects of beta-alanine on carnosine loading would be advantageous.

Well, the latest research published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows that taking beta-alanine with a meal increases carnosine loading by almost 25%.  The most likely explanation for this dramatic effect is that meal-induced insulin spikes stimulate carnosine loading in skeletal muscle. Regardless of the mechanism, it seems that taking beta-alanine with meals will give you more bang for your buck. Based on past and current studies, we recommend taking 4-6 grams of beta-alanine per day split equally among all of your meals. If you notice a tingling sensation in your skin (i.e., paraesthesia), don’t be alarmed, just make sure to keep each dose under 800 mg until you build a tolerance.   

Reference:
Stegen S, Blancquaert L, Everaert I, Bex T, Taes Y, Calders P, Achten E, Derave W.
Meal and Beta-Alanine Coingestion Enhances Muscle Carnosine Loading. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2013 Mar 5. [Epub ahead of print]

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