B-Alanine: The Miracle Pre-Workout Ingredient?
Beta Alanine is a dietary supplement that is designed to mimic the action of the non-essential amino acid alanine that is produced naturally in the healthy body. For the body to produce proteins it needs amino acids.
The body uses alanine to convert sugar to energy and eliminate toxins from the body. Beta alanine is the manufactured nutritional performance supplement that helps the body produce more energy and eliminate fatigue caused by hardcore weight training.
Synthetic is Boss
This synthetic form of amino acid is more rapidly used by the body that regular alanine, which makes it more of an alpha dog than a beta, but that’s not the point. The benefits of this alphadog beta are numerous. Research indicates that beta alanine may help regulate blood sugar. This means beta alanine isn’t just a supplement for bros but also grandbros.
Elderly and those with illnesses related to kidney function may sometimes benefit from beta alanine in their diet to increase the elimination of nitrogen toxins from the body and increase energy levels.
Because the body is using more energy efficiently, some users of beta alanine may experience a loss of body fat as well. Conversely, an increase in energy levels can allow an individual to exercise longer which can in turn also result in gaining additional lean body weight.
Aids In Both Weight Loss & Gain
Alanine also reduces muscle fatigue, allowing for longer exercise periods without the muscles experiencing negative stress. Beta Alanine is only present in small amounts in muscles and consuming enough food to provide the extra Beta Alanine a performance athlete may need can be difficult.
What Foods Contain B-Alanine?
Alanine is found in foods like meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, corn, gelatin, legumes, whole grains, soy, whey, brewer’s yeast, beans, fish, dairy products, and poultry. Avocado is also alanine rich.
Additional Benefits of Alanine Supplementation
Alanine provides nutrients to connective tissue. Connective tissue is fibrous tissue, cartilage, blood, fat, bone, and bone marrow. Therefore, alanine provides energy to those parts of the body. Alanine can also boost the immune system.
The benefits of using a Beta Alanine product within a performance exercise program can be seenstarting in as little as two weeks. Because the heart is a muscle, Beta Alanine can extend the length of time training can occur without fatigue.
Beta Alanine and Taurine Work in Tandem
Because of the numerous positive studies for performance athletes, many individuals have already added Beta Alanine to his or her training diets to increase the time they can spend training each day.
Some sports nutritionists have recommended that taurine be consumed in equal doses to increase muscle building. The beta alanine and taurine combination can be an important combination for body builders. It may also be that not taking taurine in equal dosages can lead to health problems over time as the balance of both nutrients is optimal. However, no conclusive studies have been done withhuman subjects. The benefits provided by Beta-Alanine can more readily be observed when taken on an empty stomach; however, taking Beta Alanine with food is recommended to prevent side effects.
Reduces Fatigue & Increases Contractions
During extended exercise, the body uses more energy that it is capable of producing. This deficit can cause muscle cramps from the muscles being deprived of nutrients. Using Beta-Alanine during a strenuous exercise program can help the muscles replace the energy they need more quickly and prevent cramps, fatigue, muscle soreness, and potential damage. Beta-Alanine helps with muscle contraction so is can be especially useful for those athletes practicing weightlifting and martial arts.
Beta Alanine, unlike other amino acids, is not used for the production of proteins. Therefore, it can be stored in the body in large quantities and used as needed during exercise. Storage of excess Beta Alanine is not known to cause health issues, but no studies in this area have yet been done.
Alanine A (Ala) is a hydrophobic molecule. A hydrophobic molecule means that the protein molecule formed by alanine does not like water. Water dissolves the particular protein in alanine. Alanine is also ambivalent so it can be either inside or outside the protein molecule. This ambivalence allows the alanine amino acid to travel to the muscles in the body that need nutrition and energy. Alanine is non-polar meaning it does not have positive or negative properties. Alanine has a long carbon strand, which allows it to bond with other carbons.
Alanine & Carnosine Production
Alanine prompts the production of carnosine, anserine, and balenine, which is a muscle buffer helping prevent damage from extensive exercise. Carnosine is an antioxidant and helps reduce the amount of acid that forms in the muscle during exercise.
A “buffer” increases the capacity for the length and endurance of physical activity.
Carnosine removes pollutants from the cells that cut performance. The waste is eliminated through urea after digestion. Unlike many supplements, Beta Alanine has been extensively tested and so far the benefits claimed by the supplement itself and the performance results coincide.
What Is Carnosine Anyways?
Carnosine is made in the body naturally by combining two amino acids [alanine and histidine] together. The supplement carnosine is used for a variety of things; including anti-aging by improving eyesight and fighting wrinkles. Some alternative health uses have been for autism, problems caused by diabetes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, and cataracts.
Carnosine Benefits (Animal Studies)
Carnosine has also been said to help the immune system. Research has shown only that Carnosine has antioxidant properties and can reduce inflammation. For this last reason in particular, many performance athletes add this supplement to their diets. Animal testing has also shown that carnosine helps prevent nerve damage, control blood pressure, and prevent plaque build-up in blood vessels. There have been few human studies with carnosine and the long-term effect of Carnosine is not yet fully known.
The limited human studies have shown however that Carnosine can improve mood, and help nervous system functions. The use of Carnosine has also been reported to disturb sleep, however more studies on human patients are necessary to truly understand the positive and negative impacts of this chemical.
Dosage, Production & Side Effects
Because there has not been a lot of testing, the dosage for Carnosine is not yet known, and there are no recommendations to include Carnosine supplements in your diet if you are a performance athlete. Testing to date has not shown any significant side effects from the use of Carnosine. To increase your levels of Carnosine you can eat more beef and fish, as these are two primary foods containing Carnosine.
Beta Alanine & Anserine
Beta Alanine can also be found in combination with Anserine, which is a combined amino acid of Alanine and Histine. This amino acid is found in humans in the skeletal muscles and the brain. Anserine is formed during the digestion process in the body.
Beta Alanine & Balenine
Balenine is also found in the muscles combined with Alanine. This amino acid provides nutrients to muscles by joining with Alanine. Balenine is a byproduct of Alanine that occurs during the digestion process so you don’t need to be supplementing this individually.
Alanine’s Effects on the Body
Alanine supplements are safe for most individuals. Too much alanine in the body can cause the body to produce excess nitrogen. The body eliminates this excess through urea. This can result in a chemical imbalance so care must be taken in adding more of this nutrient than can be correctly processed by the body.
Alanine also contributes to the proper function of nerves. Anyone with a medical condition should seek the advice of his or her physician prior to taking alanine. Vegans and those who are taking part in a dialysis treatment are at risk for a deficit of alanine in the body and consumption of beta alanine can be beneficial. At this time, there are no known negative interactions with other nutritional supplements, food, laboratory tests, herbs, or foods. This supplement is still undergoing more extensive testing and has neither been approved nor disapproved by the FDA.
Recommended Dosage Amounts For Maximum Gainz
3.2 to 6.4 grams a day is recommended for performance athletes. This large a dose causes side effects so must be divided into smaller doses throughout the day, taken at least 2 hours apart to reduce side effects. What side effects you may ask? Dosages of more than 800mg at a time can cause flushing and a feeling of pins and needles although this amount can vary from individual to individual.
Significant doses of beta alanine have been reported to cause a tingling or prickling sensation on the body. This simply the result of alanine binding with nerve receptors under the skin. The official term for this sensation is “parathesia”. This side effect usually kicks in 5-10 minutes after ingestion and can last anywhere from 1-2 hours depending on body type and dosage.
Don’t worry, the prickling sensation associated with beta alanine supplementation is completely normal and nothing to worry about. If you can’t stand it slowly reduce your dosage amount and ingest it with other things like water, gatorade, taurine, to help dilute the potency. Most pre-workout makers try to get alanine dosage so that it still contributes to your gains without making you uncomfortably tingly. That said, some people enjoy the sensation, so maybe just try taking it in stride.
Test dosage levels individually to find the correct amount you feel comfortable ingesting at a time. The body more easily absorbs Beta Alanine when administered in powder form as opposed to pills, which is why it’s commonly found in top-shelf pre-workouts.
Should You Stack Alanine With Other Supplements?
The body makes alanine, so in most cases (average individuals), additional alanine in the form of a supplement is not necessary provided the person is eating a balanced diet.
Athletes and other high-performance individuals’ however use up nutrients that are made by the body at a higher rate than normal, and they may benefit from the additional nutrients a supplement provides.
If an individual is deficient in Vitamin B-6, they may benefit from additional alanine in the form of a supplement. Individuals who are hypoglycemic can also benefit from additional alanine in his or her diet. Alanine helps regulate blood sugar.
Best Supplements Containing Beta Alanine for 2017
- NOW Foods Beta Alanine Powder
- Optimum Nutrition Beta Alanine Powder
- Beta-Cret 2.0 by Promera Sports
- Myonox by Carnosyn
- Beta-Alanine by Nutriforce Sports
- N.O.-Xplode Caffeine Free by BSN
- Uplift by NLA a product for women
- Beta-Alanine Power by Optimum Nutrition
- Beta-Ala9 by Universal Nutrition
- AmiN.O. Energy by Optimun Nutrition
- Beta-Alanine by Al Sports
- Alanine by Primaforce
These are just some products that contain Beta-Alanine. Because the FDA does not regulate Beta Alanine, consumers should take care when choosing a supplement manufacturer as allergens and contamination can occur in production. PAY FOR THAT QUALITY!
Beta alanine is available and known in other forms among which include: 3-aminopropanoic acid, 3-aminopropionic Acid, Acide 3-aminopropanoïque, Acide 3-aminopropionique, Acide Aminé Non Essentiel, Acide Bêta-Aminé, b-Ala, B-alanine, B-aminopropionic Acid, Beta-alanina, Bêta-Alanine, Beta-alanine Ethyl Ester, Beta-amino Acid, and Non-essential Amino Acid
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