What IS beta alanine?
Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid. This means that it’s produced by our body (in the liver) and it isn’t therefore essential to include it in our diet. However, weight lifters and body builders can, and do, benefit from taking it in supplement form to top up the levels naturally present in their bodies. It’s also naturally present in high protein foods such as meat and fish.
How does beta alanine work?
Most amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which helps give us a lean body. However, beta alanine does not help towards building protein, instead, along with histidine it is converted into carnosine which the body uses to increase stamina, improve strength and help build muscle. So, for more stamina, strength and muscle building, more beta alanine and therefore more carnosine is advantageous.
As we exercise, lactic acid builds up in our muscles, causing the pH to lower, in turn causing fatigue and the eventual end of our workout. Carnosine helps eliminate lactic acid and other by-products of intense physical exercise, and regulates the pH of the muscles allowing us to work out for longer. It also helps reduce post exercise recovery time, allowing for more rewarding workouts in quicker succession. (more…)