What is Beta Alanine?

what is beta alanine

One of the most important health supplements that you can take if you’re trying to boost muscle gains is beta alanine.  What is beta alanine? Beta alanine will help you gain muscle by leveraging carnosine in a war against the lactic acid that builds in your muscles when you work out [1].  That annoying burn that you feel is the lactic acid being released into your muscle tissue.  When there is enough there, your muscles will give up and you’ll be forced to stop working out.

Beta Alanine raises the level of carnosine in the body which will suppress the build up of lactic acid, resulting in a longer and more intense workout.  These longer and more intense workouts will inevitably result in extra muscle gains.  If you can push your body further, you will see greater rewards.  Secondarily, beta alanine will help in the recovery process as well.  It’s particularly effective when you mix it with protein to help your muscles recover so that soreness can be avoided post-workout.

Proof in the Pudding

There are other benefits of this non-essential amino acid.  Scientists have not been able to find any negative effects in the human body when the level of beta alanine, and transitively carnosine, are elevated to higher than natural levels.  Since this is the case, the minds of modern medicine have been experimenting with new ways to use beta alanine in various disease and viral treatments.

One study explains the use of beta alanine when treating the elderly.  As we age, the levels of carnosine in our body are virtually non-existent, resulting in premature fatigue and muscle loss.  In this study from 2012, beta alanine was found to make aging patients reduce the rate that muscle was lost.  As the trial continued, muscle was actually gained, even in the eldest of patients [2]!

There are various other studies that show the improvements that beta alanine supplementation can make in people with degenerative muscle diseases.  Medicine has come a long way over the past few years and technology is furthering the revolutionary advancements, extending the lives of humans everywhere, and assisting in the assurance that children will grow up with parents.  As such, it is likely that we’ll soon be able to leverage beta alanine in new age medicines to rid people of the weakness that chemo therapy can bring, the fatigue that AIDS patients struggle with, or the complete lack of stamina that comes with almost all other diseases [3].

More To Learn

In the health and fitness world, we use beta alanine to get that physique we are craving.  Doses vary depending on what you’re trying to accomplish.  You will know when you’ve hit the limit for your body.  You will feel the tingling sensation throughout your head and extremities, as we’ve discussed in the past.  This is a good sign as it shows that your body is absorbing the beta alanine and is turning it in to carnosine so that you can get the most of your upcoming workout.  Don’t worry, we already created an in-depth beta alanine guide for our readers to follow along with for a few weeks to really get an answer to the question: what is beta alanine?  Now get out there and get pumping that iron.


  1. Eric T. Trexler,# Abbie E. Smith-Ryan,corresponding author# Jeffrey R. Stout, Jay R. Hoffman, Colin D. Wilborn, Craig Sale, Richard B. Kreider, Ralf Jäger, Conrad P. Earnest, Laurent Bannock, Bill Campbell, Douglas Kalman, Tim N. Ziegenfuss, and Jose Antonio
    International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine
    J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015; 12: 30. Published online 2015 Jul 15. doi: 10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y
  2. Serena del Favero,1 Hamilton Roschel,1 Marina Y. Solis,1 Ana P. Hayashi,1 Guilherme G. Artioli,1 Maria Concepción Otaduy,2 Fabiana B. Benatti,1 Roger C. Harris,3 John A. Wise,4 Cláudia C. Leite,2 Rosa M. Pereira,5 Ana L. de Sá-Pinto,5 Antonio Herbert Lancha-Junior,1 and Bruno Gualanocorresponding author1
    Beta-alanine (Carnosyn™) supplementation in elderly subjects (60–80 years): effects on muscle carnosine content and physical capacity
    Amino Acids. 2012 Jul; 43(1): 49–56. Published online 2011 Dec 6. doi: 10.1007/s00726-011-1190-x
  3. Roger A Vaughan,corresponding author1,2,3 Nicholas P Gannon,2 Randi Garcia-Smith,2 Yamhilette Licon-Munoz,2 Miguel A Barberena,2 Marco Bisoffi,2,4,5 and Kristina A Trujillocorresponding author2,4
    β-alanine suppresses malignant breast epithelial cell aggressiveness through alterations in metabolism and cellular acidity in vitro
    Mol Cancer. 2014; 13: 14.
    Published online 2014 Jan 24. doi: 10.1186/1476-4598-13-14
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