What is it? How can it help me?
Beta-alanine, a naturally-occurring amino acid, makes a compound in your body called carnosine, which controls the buildup of acid in your muscles caused by intense or prolonged exercise.
Because acid buildup is a major factor in causing muscles to fatigue, using beta-alanine can help delay it. This allows you to build more muscle, increase strength, and improve your explosive power.
When do I use it?
Daily consumption, at recommended levels, is the key to using beta-alanine. Use it anytime throughout the day, or as a pre-exercise drink.
How much do I need?
The amount of beta-alanine needed to get the benefit of delayed muscle fatigue—and more intense training—is at least 3.2 g per day. You can get some beta-alanine in your daily diet, but typically only 15% to 20% of what your muscles need to maximally control acid accumulation.
To maximize absorption and tolerance, it’s best to consume beta-alanine in two, 1.6 g servings. A recommended schedule is to take one of the servings 60-90 minutes before your training, and the second serving within two hours of finishing exercise.
More helpful information
Beta-alanine’s ability to safeguard against accumulated hydrogen ions (i.e., acidity) allows you to train harder and longer. Many research studies have demonstrated the benefits of consuming beta-alanine during various types of exercise, including resistance weight training, general exercise, bicycling, and exercise capacity in an aging population.