Is Beta-Alanine the Best Pre-workout Ingredient for Endurance? What does Beta Alanine do?
You are not normal, at least not by conventional standards. And that’s just the way you like it. It takes a special kind of crazy to want to physically challenge the body with ever-increasing levels of training intensity – day after day, week after week. ‘Normal’ could easy be switched for average and that’s the last thing you wish to be.
Your life to a large degree revolves around continually raising the bar (both literally and figuratively). This is the only way to distinguish your achievements from those of the masses of everyday trainees who are content to wallow in complacency and mediocrity, content with ‘normal’ levels of size and strength. The only way to develop the otherworldly dimensions representative of bodybuilding excellence is to continue to up the ante when it comes to piling on the weight and cranking out more reps and sets.
As we advance beyond the intermediate training stage, where the weights must become heavier and the volume of training is to be increased in line with our burgeoning dimensions, it’s time to find a new level of intensity, one that’ll push us further than ever in our training endeavors. Though there’s a limit to how much work should be done within a specific timeframe, it’s up to you to find that limit and challenge it until you get the results you want.
…find that limit and challenge it until you get the results you want.
There’s always more intensity that can be applied. Drop sets, forced reps, rest-pause and various other intensity methods along with exponential weight increases and more total volume condensed into a shorter period are all ways to increase training intensity. There are many others. However, it’s next to impossible to continue in this fashion without supplemental assistance.
Of all training prerequisites, a comprehensive supplementation strategy is the most research proven and unquestionably effective way to proceed. Solid scientific enquiry backs up the many benefits of the performance compounds so far discussed in this article series. Thus there is to be no training without the addition of each of these compounds either taken separately (a colossal time-consuming task) or as part of a high performance product such as IMPACT IGNITER.
So far we’ve discussed the best of these ingredients. But there are many others. One such compound is helping dedicated lifters to fight fatigue, increase endurance and gain muscle like never before. It’s to be taken pre and post-workout for best results. It’s called beta-alanine and it is mandatory for those who want to take their training intensity further with each grueling workout.
Beta Gains, What does Beta Alanine do?
From BCAAs to Creatine to LCLT: the performance products that’ll take your results further are many and should all be included for best results. There’s another key performance compound that’ll give you the edge when seeking to enter the uncharted territory of increasingly higher levels of intensity: beta-alanine.
A non-essential amino acid renowned for its fatigue fighting properties, beta-alanine has also been shown to greatly improve power and strength, enhance workout intensity and muscular endurance and build copious amounts of Grade-A muscle.9, 11
…beta-alanine has also been shown to greatly improve power and strength, enhance workout intensity and muscular endurance
Containing a massive 3.2g of the highest quality beta-alanine on today’s market, IMPACT IGNITER will enable you to generate maximum intensity for longer periods of time without the usual high rate of perceived exertion that accompanies most bodybuilding-style training sessions. Beta-alanine supplementation is also heavily correlated with increased lean mass gains in that it significantly boosts resistance training output to enhance muscle protein synthesis.11, 13
What’s not to love about beta-alanine and its host of amazing benefits? As many lifters have discovered, beta-alanine can stand between a lackluster workout and a session that produces the real-world results you so ardently desire. Its many benefits, like those of other IMPACT ingredients, are supported by major university, peer-reviewed studies performed with human subjects, making it a legitimate product which provides tangible benefits.4 Let’s take a closer look at the why behind this remarkable compound.
Fight Muscle Fatigue
When the muscles are ready to call it a day there is one molecule that can extend performance beyond normal parameters. A dipeptide (two amino-acids bonded together to form a functional unit), carnosine is regarded as one of the most powerful acid-buffering substances known to man. Produced by the body, it’s stored in cells and released in response to reduced pH (the alkaline/acid scale whereby the lower the pH, the more acidic a solution is).
The problem is we produce only enough carnosine to complete day-to-day activities and to extend performance for short periods. But there is a way to significantly increase carnosine stores so that when lactic acid levels conspire to limit training intensity, it’ll kick in to counter the exercise-induced fatigue.
The best way to increase carnosine is through beta alanine supplementation. A dipeptide, carnosine is composed of two aminos: histidine and, you guessed it, beta alanine. As opposed to the amino alanine, beta-alanine is a non-proteinogenic amino-acid (it’s not reassembled into proteins upon ingestion). Thus its specific purpose is to improve and extend performance.7, 18
The best way to increase carnosine is through beta alanine supplementation.
The more beta alanine we have on board, the more carnosine the body can produce and the longer and harder we can train.2, 3, 6, 7, 14 One study found that when subjects took 800mg of beta-alanine several times throughout the day, carnosine levels were elevated by as much as 66%. Other studies have reported similar findings.3
So, at a fundamental level, beta-alanine extends physical performance by reducing muscle fatigue. Its many performance and size-building benefits come as a result of its profound muscle-fatigue reducing capabilities
As one might deduce, a reduction in lactic acid accumulation not only improves endurance and offsets fatigue but also enhances strength and power. By greatly reducing fatigue, beta-alanine opens the door to greater strength gains. One study showed that by comparison to a control group, a group of lifters was able to demonstrate a 22% increase in the number of squats performed at 70-percent of one-repetition-maximum (1RM) upon taking a beta-alanine supplement for a mere 30 days.9 This group was also assessed to have greater mean power following the supplementation period.
Increase High Intensity Endurance
A significant reduction in fatigue enhances performance across multiple dimensions. As well as boosting strength to pile on the mass, beta-alanine has also been shown to greatly extend endurance in prolonged high-intensity activities.2, 4, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18 Researchers found that muscle endurance (specifically that related to high intensity anaerobic exercises like weightlifting, jumping and sprinting) was increased upon beta-alanine supplementation.10 Intervals of one to four minutes long are, in particular, beneficially impacted by beta-alanine ingestion.
While both sexes appreciate observing and, in some cases enjoy building large amounts of muscle, contemporary epidemiological data shows that the motivations underpinning the muscle-building mission for many men is more broad than a simple desire to impress one’s gym peers. In fact, it’s been asserted that the act of muscle-building is hard-wired into the DNA of the male species.15 Strong muscles are not only adaptively beneficial for survival purposes but may also serve to attract the opposite sex. Ask most guys why they build muscle and I’m sure many would back up this belief. And of all the compounds so far discussed in this series, the many benefits to be derived from each all add up to more muscle. Whatever your reason is for adding more muscle, you’ll be building more of it with beta-alanine. And you could find yourself pumping more than a heavy bar in a sweaty gym environment.
Whatever your reason is for adding more muscle, you’ll be building more of it with beta-alanine.
Performance and mental health improvements (among a host of other key benefits) are great, but muscle is where it’s at for most dedicated gym dwellers. And beta-alanine delivers on the muscle-building front.1, 11
Though as a non-proteinogenic amino, beta-alanine does not directly build muscle the same way other aminos do, it will allow massive improvements in the quality and quantity of training performed.
One study specifically assessed the muscle building benefits of beta-alanine and found a significant improvement in muscle among a group of non-athletes over eight-weeks of supplementation compared to a control group – yet another reason to add beta-alanine to your supplemental repertoire.1
It’s not enough to want to blast through all previous barriers to training success. You must be willing, and more importantly able to push further than ever before. While desire and dedication are necessary training attributes, ability supersedes them both.
As discussed, there are limits to the amount of intensity we can apply to each rep and each set. There is a point where the muscles will simply refuse to continue no matter how devoted we are to our muscle-building mission. There is a point where even the mind power of a Schwarzenegger and the determination of a Platz will deliver only so much intensity.
This is where pre-workout beta-alanine assists us to get those extra reps with energy to spare. But that’s not all. Taken post-workout as part of a comprehensive formulation such as CVOL, Beta Alanine can also assist the uptake and utilization of probably the most important natural performance compound known to man: creatine.
Studies have shown that by taking a creatine/beta alanine combo, superior gains in lean muscle, reduced body fat and increase strength and power can be more readily achieved than when taking just creatine by itself. 5, 8, 16
It’s the same story with other performance compounds, the best of which have been discussed in this article series: once you take beta-alanine, you’ll never train without it again so remarkable are its performance benefits. So, taken both pre and post-workout, beta-alanine will take your progress to new heights. And you’ll never be mistaken for being normal.
- Abady, H. M., et al. The effect of eight weeks of β-alanine supplementation and pyramid resistance training on carnosine and IL-8 in non-athlete men. European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2014, 4(1):404-409
- Artioli, G. G., Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010 Jun;42(6):1162-73.
- Culbertson, J. Y., et al. Effects of Beta-Alanine on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance: A Review of the Current Literature. Nutrients. 2010 Jan; 2(1): 75–98.
- com. Beta-alanine. [Online] https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/ retrieved on 9.11.17
- Hoffman, J., et al. Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006 Aug;16(4):430-46.
- Harris R. C., et al. The absorption of orally supplied Â§-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis. Amino Acids, March 2006.
- Hill C.A., et al. Influence of b- alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity, Amino Acids, 2006
- Hill C. A., et al. The effect of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on muscle composition and exercise performance. (Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine Annual conference, 2005, Nashville)
- Hoffman, J. et al. Beta-alanine and the hormonal response to exercise. Int J Sports Med. 2008 Dec;29(12):952-8.
- Hobson, R. N., et al. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul; 43(1): 25–37.
- Kresta, J. Y., et al. Effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine supplementation on muscle carnosine, body composition and exercise performance in recreationally active females. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition201411:55
- Kim H.J., The effect of a supplement containing ÃŸ-alanine on muscle carnosine synthesis and exercise capacity, during 12 wk combined endurance and weight training. Inter. Soc. Sports Nutr. 3(1): S9, 2006
- Kern, B. D., et al. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on performance and body composition in collegiate wrestlers and football players. J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jul;25(7):1804-15
- Smith, A. E., et al. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 11;6:5.
- Sullivan , M. Lift More Weights, Get More Mates: UCLA Research Shows Muscular Men Have More Flings, Partners, Affairs [Online] http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/Lift-More-Weights-Get-More-Mates-8069?RelNum=8069 retrieved on 9.11.17
- Stout J.R., et al. Effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold J Strength Cond Res (in press), 2006
- Stout J. R., et al. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation on the onset of neuromuscular fatigue and ventilatory threshold in women. Amino Acids. Nov 30, 2006
- Suzuki Y., et al. The effect of sprint training on skeletal muscle carnosine in humans. Intl J Sport Health Sci 2: 105-110. 2004