What is it?
Beta alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that is converted into the chemicals we need to power our muscles and battle the symptoms of fatigue. Since it is classed as non-essential (meaning we produce it without stimulus from our diet), supplementation is not necessarily needed in an average person’s day to day life, but many of those looking to significantly enhance their muscle mass choose to increase their supplies of the acid so that they can safely push their bodies’ limits in order to reach new heights.
Within our bodies, beta alanine is turned into carnosine, the main purpose of which is to help increase muscle development. This means that a good intake of beta alanine can make it easier to not only build upon both mass and strength but also to speed up recovery between sets at the gym. This allows you to take fewer, shorter breaks and to increase the level of intensity in your workouts, improving stamina and resistance over time.
The technicalities of the process involve carnosine essentially soaking up excess acids in the body that can lead to exhaustion in the muscles, and since we can’t supplement carnosine itself directly, beta alanine is the next best thing, as it turns into carnosine once inside our system.
How much should you take?
4 or 5 grams a day is generally considered to be the dose that sees the most success. At this rate however, paraesthesia has been known to occur as a side effect. It’s not something to panic about and is known more commonly as a prickling sensation or ‘pins and needles’. To avoid this, it’s advisable to split the dose into 6 separate portions, taken periodically throughout the day, with at least 2 hours between each helping.