Dear EuropaMan,
Our Box is famous for putting together some tough WODs. I’ve heard beta-alanine can help increase the amount of work athletes can perform at high intensity levels. Your thoughts?
– Bart J., Box Owner

Dear Bart,
True or false: Lactic acid buildup causes muscle fatigue. The answer is false. When your body fizzles out during an intense training session, you can blame the buildup of hydrogen ions and a lower muscular pH range. This balance change happens during exercise in order to power your muscle movements. So how can beta-alanine help? Let’s find out.

What is beta-alanine?

As one of the non-essential amino acids, beta-alanine can be made by the body. It can also be consumed in beef, chicken, and fish. But for individuals who regularly endure intense exercise, it can be difficult to get the required dose of beta-alanine through diet alone. When consumed as a dietary supplement, beta-alanine passes from the bloodstream into the skeletal muscle cell. This is where it binds with other essential amino acids to produce carnosine.

The carnosine and beta-alanine connection:

Before we get to why beta-alanine is important, you need to understand the function that carnosine has in the body. Carnosine is a buffer for the acidity that your body produces. If you want to delay muscle fatigue, start by delaying acid production. The amount of carnosine your body pumps out is directly linked to the amount of beta-alanine available. Without an ample amount of beta-alanine available, the body’s supply of carnosine will be limited.

Why not go straight to the source?

I know what you’re thinking. Why not take a carnosine supplement instead? Why not skip the beta buffer? The problem with going straight to the source and ingesting carnosine is that when carnosine enters the body, it is broken down in the digestive system. Carnosine doesn’t have what it takes to make it into the muscle without being damaged first. That means if you want to see an increase in your intramuscular carnosine levels, you need beta-alanine supplementation. It’s as simple as that.

How does beta-alanine help you train at a higher intensity?

  • Improves recovery between sets and intervals
  • Maximizes your strength and muscle development
  • Increases endurance and fights fatigue

Yours in Good Health,

P.S. Got a question regarding your business or the industry? Email [email protected].