Beta Alanine may be the best muscle building supplement to use during your workouts. Beta Alanine has the ability to buffer lactic acid buildup so that the PH level in your muscle stays in a range where the muscle can continue working. What does this mean? It means you can crank out a few extra reps and push your muscles harder.
The greatest thing about Beta Alanine is that it's so effective. Many supplements a person can take aren't very bio-available, meaning that the body doesn't absorb and utilize them very well. But Beta Alanine is the exact opposite. Studies have shown that supplementing with Beta Alanine can raise Carnosine levels in muscle tissue by up to 65%. That's incredible, especially if you know anything about supplements. I've never studied another supplement that has that much effect inside the body. And the greatest thing about Beta Alanine is that it's a natural amino acid, and doesn't come with a wide range of side effects like a lot of other muscle enhancing drugs.
Benefits of Beta-Alanine:
Boosts explosive muscular strength and power output
Increases lean muscle mass
Boosts muscular anaerobic endurance
Increases aerobic endurance
Increases exercise capacity so you can train harder and longer
How Does Beta-Alanine Work?
The support of high caliber researchers speaks volumes about the efficacy of beta-alanine and the science itself is even more impressive. Much of beta-alanine’s effects are realized by boosting the synthesis of carnosine, a dipeptide (two amino acids) intracellular (inside the cell) buffer. To understand how beta-alanine works, you must first understand its connection to carnosine. It is by boosting carnosine levels that beta-alanine exerts its performance benefits.
History and Background of Carnosine
The Russian scientist Gulewitsch was the first to identify carnosine in 1900. Eleven years later, he would discover and identify its constituent amino acids, beta-alanine and histidine. Seven years later, Barger and Tutin and Baumann and Ingvaldsen confirmed Gulewitsch’s findings. However, it wasn’t until 1938 that the first research on carnosine and its effects on muscle buffering were published.
Carnosine is found in both type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers, though in significantly higher concentrations in type 2 fibers (the fibers we primarily use in high intensity strength workouts and which are most responsive to growth). Before we discuss how carnosine works, you must first have a general understanding of what is physiologically occurring during exercise. Specifically, what is negatively affecting muscular pH, making us weaker and causing fatigue? Hydrogen Ions are Released During Exercise, Causing Performance to Plummet.
When we exercise, especially when it’s high intensity exercise, our bodies accumulate a large amount of hydrogen ions (H+), causing our muscles’ pH to drop (become more acidic). This process is occurring whether you feel a burn or not.
The breakdown of ATP and the subsequent rise in H+ concentrations occur in all of our energy systems but H+ buildup is most prevalent in an energy system called glycolysis, which also produces lactic acid. At physiological pH, lactic acid dissociates H+ and is the primary source of released H+ ions during exercise, causing pH to drop. It is the released H+ from lactic acid that causes muscular performance problems, not the leftover lactate ions as many incorrectly believe. While lactic acid is the primary source of released H+, it is not the only source. H+ ions are also being released at a rapid rate when you break down the high energy compound ATP during exercise. With the presence of many sources during energy production releasing H+, pH quickly drops as does muscular performance, slowing progress and lean muscle gains.