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Thread: Beta-Alanine

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    Beta-Alanine

    If you're like the rest of us who try to squeeze 28 hours into a 24-hour day, being fatigued at about the time you hit the gym seems almost routine. That, of course, was before a class of pre-workout formulas came on the market, which almost instantaneously amped up your workouts. The government banned two popular ingredients—first ephedra, then dimethylamylamine—but there was still trusty old caffeine to do the job.

    But what other ingredients are on that pre-workout label—the ones not in a cup of coffee? Checking the fine print, you might read beta-alanine. You may have seen this supplement's name before, but it's worth knowing that there's now a volume of research on it that's boosting its popularity as a bodybuilding supplement.

    Here's what you should know.

    BETA-ALANINE 101
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    Beta-alanine is an amino acid found within skeletal muscle. When combined with histidine, it forms the dipeptide carnosine. Beta-alanine is a type of amino acid that isn't involved in synthesizing proteins (i.e., building muscle). Rather, it is responsible for increasing the buffering capabilities of the body.

    It's not available in abundance in the foods we consume, but the body can create its own beta-alanine. There are three primary ways to produce beta-alanine: the breakdown of carnosine, the conversion of L-alanine to pyruvate, or through digestion. However, the most notable method of increasing beta-alanine is through supplementation. It's a bit complicated and involves boring metabolic pathways, but once it enters into a muscle cell, it binds with L-histidine to form carnosine.

    Only, there's a hitch. The amount of carnosine that can be formed is dependent on the amount of beta-alanine—not histidine—within the cell. Only when the body has excess beta-alanine (via supplementation) does it yield elevated muscle carnosine levels. Hence, the main rationale to supplementing with beta-alanine is to increase the concentrations of carnosine in muscle tissue.

    HOW IT WORKS
    Carnosine increases muscle function and performance mainly through its ability to reduce acidity in muscles during prolonged high-intensity exercise. Carnosine is highly prevalent in skeletal muscle, primarily fast-twitch muscle fibers. During high-intensity exercise, certain metabolites accumulate that cause fatigue (e.g. hydrogen ions). As the concentration of hydrogen ions increases, pH drops and reduces muscle function and power output. Eventually, your body goes kaput.

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    AS THE CONCENTRATION OF HYDROGEN IONS INCREASES, PH DROPS AND REDUCES MUSCLE FUNCTION AND POWER OUTPUT.
    BETA-ALANINE SUPPLEMENTATION AND PERFORMANCE
    Carnosine serves as a buffer to hydrogen ions, reducing their accumulation and delaying fatigue. Compared to creatine, however, beta-alanine does not seem to improve maximal strength.1,2,3Although aerobic power is not improved, there is some data to suggest that anaerobic threshold is improved with beta-alanine supplementation.4,5According to research, beta-alanine helps to enhance performance under three conditions:

    Single bouts of high-intensity exercise lasting 1-4 minutes
    Multiple bouts of high-intensity training with short rest periods (think HIIT)
    Single bouts of high-intensity training in the presence of fatigue.
    Specifically, it has been shown that 28 days of beta-alanine supplementation at a dosage of 4-6.4 ****s per day increases carnosine levels in muscle by approximately 60 percent.6 Compared to creatine, where muscles can maximize storage capacity following a seven-day loading protocol, the upper limit to carnosine is unknown. In the previously mentioned study, the authors noted that some subjects continued to increase carnosine levels following 10 weeks of supplementation.

    PERFORMANCE BENEFITS WITH BETA-ALANINE SUPPLEMENTATION
    Beta-alanine supplementation does not appear to have a strong effect on endurance performance. While there are a couple instances of increased aerobic capacity following supplementation, it appears that the exercise pro****s used in conjunction with the supplementation protocol were most likely responsible for the improvements.7,8

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    On the other hand, strong evidence suggests that beta-alanine effects anaerobic performance, including power output and fatigue threshold. In a classic study by Hoffman et al., college football players ingested 4.5 ****s of beta-alanine or placebo for 30 days.2 Beta-alanine supplementation began 3 weeks before preseason training camp and continued for an additional nine days during camp. Anaerobic performance, training volume, and ratings of soreness and fatigue were assessed pre- and post-intervention. At the end of the 30-day investigative period, only the beta-alanine group showed a trend toward lower fatigue rates during the anaerobic performance test.

    Additionally, greater training volumes were reported during all resistance training sessions for the beta-alanine group. Furthermore, feelings of fatigue were lower for the beta-alanine group versus placebo group. In another study by Hoffman and colleagues, significant changes in lean body mass, percent body fat, and strength were seen in college football players when beta-alanine and creatine supplementation were given during a 10-week resistance training pro****.1

    Beta-alanine has also been reported to improve sport-specific measures. Soccer players who consumed 3.2 ****s of beta-alanine per day for 12 weeks during a competitive soccer season significantly improved their performance by 34.3 percent during an intermittent running test, compared to a -7.6 percent change in those consuming a placebo.9 Similarly, researchers out of the U.K. presented evidence that just four weeks of beta-alanine (1.5 g, four times per day) increased the punch force and punch frequency of amateur boxers, as compared to a placebo.10

    TIMING AND CONSUMPTION
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    BETA-ALANINE SUPPLEMENTATION IS NOT TIMING-DEPENDENT, MEANING YOU DON'T HAVE TO TAKE IT RIGHT BEFORE OR RIGHT AFTER YOUR WORKOUT.
    Beta-alanine supplementation is not timing-dependent, meaning you don't have to take it right before or right after your workout. Most pre-workouts will contain some amount of beta-alanine—just make sure to include a few more servings throughout the day to reach 3-4 ****s. Stick to this dosing plan for at least 28 days to maximize your carnosine stores.

    At this point, it is difficult to suggest more specific guidelines with respect to dose duration, mainly due to the lack of human performance studies that impose longer study durations beyond 10 weeks. It is unclear if muscle carnosine concentrations continue to increase or drop over time, or if a ceiling effect is achieved. Further study is needed to better answer these questions and how these affect performance measures.

    POTENTIAL SIDE EFFECTS
    The only known side effect of beta-alanine supplementation is paresthesia, a prickly sensation mainly limited to the face and hands. Doses greater than about 800 mg have generally been reported to result in moderate to severe paresthesia lasting 60-90 minutes.

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    Thanks for the info.


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    Not a problem bro. If even a few people look at it an take the timeo read I than its worth it to me to post it up

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    I think I'll be picking some up.


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    Becarful with it if an when you take it though bros. Lol I made myself sick taking the shit. Thought I could handle more than I actually could an got fuckin straight sick, flushed, an pukey feeling. Stomach was tore up an felt weak as fuck almost on the verge of passing out. Upon takin this stuff guys make sure as hell you stick your ass to the very smallest dose recommended on the bottle to see how your going to handle it first. Don't end up getting sick like I did. After I got sick, I was like fuck this shit an gave I the hell away to someone else. It'll make your head an body tingle like a mother fucker also lol smfdh

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    Yeah I heard about the tingling. I've probably taken it in some pre workout in the past.


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