Does Your Fitness Routine Need Beta-Alanine?

Exercise is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety and improve sleep, and everyday natural supplements, like beta-alanine, can enhance the benefits of your daily workouts. However, does that mean that beta-alanine is compatible with your specific fitness routine? Let’s take a look. 

What is Beta-Alanine?


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What is beta-alanine? Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that isn’t used in your body to synthesize protein. However, beta-alanine will use histidine, an essential amino acid, to produce carnosine, which is found in the muscles, brain, heart, bones, and many other parts of the body.

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The main purpose of carnosine during exercise is to reduce lactic acid accumulation, which can improve athletic performance. Contrary to popular belief, lactic acid is an important fuel source and is entirely aerobic. It doesn’t cause muscle pain or a burning sensation after exercise.

How Does Carnosine Work?

Carnosine breaks down into glucose during exercise. If your body runs out of this fuel source, it starts using lactic acid, which makes your muscles more acidic. Since acidity blocks glucose breakdown, it causes fatigue. Carnosine then acts as a buffer against the acid during exercise.

Do you Need to Supplement Beta-Alanine?

Supplements with beta-alanine

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Studies show that beta-alanine can elevate carnosine levels in the muscles by 80%, which reduces muscle fatigue. However, alanine deficiency of any kind is incredibly rare because our bodies produce it naturally, meaning you’d likely be low in histidine if you’re low on carnosine.

If you work out casually, you’ll see little benefit with beta-alanine supplementation. It’s also not necessary to take this amino acid to quicken recovery, as it doesn’t repair your muscle tissue. 

At the same time, there’s no downside to taking excess beta-alanine either, as your body is well-equipped to remove what it doesn’t need. The only significant side-effect of this amino acid is paresthesia, a harmless tingling sensation that goes away in 10 minutes or may not occur at all.

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What Fitness Routines Benefit From Beta-Alanine?

fitness routines that benefit from beta-alanine

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Exercise as a whole increases your energy throughout the day, but when you add beta-alanine to your fitness routine, you’ll notice a larger reduction in fatigue and an increase in endurance.

Short-Duration Fitness Routines

Some studies show that exercise routines that last for less than 10 minutes can benefit from beta-alanine. A survey of 18 rowers who supplemented this amino acid for seven weeks found they were 4.3 seconds faster than the placebo group in an over 6 minutes, 2,000-meter race.

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High-Intensity Fitness Routines

High-intensity interval training can really get your body moving, providing a wide range of health benefits. But if you add a bit of alanine to the mix, you can increase your time to exhaustion (TTE) by 3 to 14%. This shows that beta-alanine helps you exercise for longer periods of time.

Low-Energy Fitness Routines

Unless you’re one of those people who loves to exercise, you’ve probably struggled to make it to the gym every now and then. Beta-alanine, while not specifically used for improved energy, can give you that extra boost you need to get out the door and complete your fitness routine. 

Some Longer Fitness Routines

While there’s no consistent evidence that beta-alanine improves strength, it can increase training volume and decrease fatigue during longer workouts. However, keep in mind that beta-alanine is more effective for shorter routines, as it’s better at producing short energy bursts.

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Non-Fitness Routine Benefits

Supplementing beta-alanine has several health benefits because it includes immune-enhancing properties. Carnosine may be used as an anti-aging device as it neutralizes free radicals and reduces oxidative stress. It can also increase muscle function and quality in adults and seniors.