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A series of studies examining the effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle metabolism and exercise capacity have been published in the last few years. The results have shown promising effects for athletes involved in high intensity sports and activities. Supplements containing beta-alanine provide a potential method of increasing muscle buffering capacity through enhancement of muscle carnosine levels. Most work has shown that supplementing with beta-alanine leads to significant increases in muscle carnosine content that translate into more efficient muscle energetics and performance. One of the side effects of beta alanine supplementation is paraesthesia, a sensation of tingling, pricking, or numbness on the skin. It has no apparent serious long term problems, but it can be uncomfortable. In order to potentially overcome this effect, researchers recently tested the effects of a time released formula containing beta alanine. Men supplemented with beta alanine in tablet form 2 times per day for 4 weeks. The daily dose was 3.2 grams. A muscle sample was obtained before and after the supplementation period to assess carnosine levels. First, no subjects experienced any side effects including paraesthesia. Second, muscle carnosine levels increased 59% after 4 weeks. These results provide evidence that a controlled release beta alanine supplement is a highly effective product for elevating muscle carnosine without any adverse effects.

Harris RC, Glenys JA, Kim HJ, Kim CK, Price KA, Wise JA. Changes in muscle carnosine of subjects with 4 weeks supplementation with a controlled release formulation of beta-alanine (CarnosynTM), and for 6 weeks post. FASEB J. 2009 23:599.4