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In our long list of amino acids, few are as prevalent in the supplement industry as beta-alanine. Wherever you look, you can find a multitude of products featuring the amino acid in various forms. Other amino acids are ripe with benefits, and beta-alanine is no different. In fact, it’s so brimming with positive results that it can be found in a majority of pre-workout supplements. Taken before a hard workout, beta-alanine can provide that extra boost and longevity that will ultimately help you build your lean mass and push you to your limits during those intense workouts.
As we push our way through our routine workouts, we each hit thresholds of fatigue in our muscles. This fatigue is caused by the buildup of acid in the muscles, leaving us with a sort of burning sensation after a hard workout. Our bodies fight this fatigue with a substance called carnosine – a dipeptide found in our bodies. During workouts, carnosine acts as a buffer of sorts against the rising tides of fatigue. Of course, the body’s supply of carnosine can’t outlast eventual fatigue, but it certainly helps. This is where beta-alanine comes into play. Beta-alanine is a non-essential beta amino acid that works to increase the level of carnosine in our muscles up to to an additional level of 80%.
What does that mean for our workouts? It means a lot, actually. Taken as a supplement prior to an intense workout, beta-alanine and the additional carnosine it breeds has been found to increase performance – being particularly beneficial in shorter, intense sessions – by a statistically significant amount. As you’re pushing your body to the limits with extreme workouts, beta-alanine will be there for you to cut down the acidity buildup in your muscles. Additionally, beta-alanine is ideal to take for weight training since its effects are greatest during high intensity, anaerobic exercises that continue to build muscle acidity at a quick pace. When combined with creatine (which is typically recommended post workout), beta-alanine is excellent for building lean mass and reducing body fat. Sustaining heightened levels of beta-alanine in your system is the key to maximizing its benefits. You can do this through food, supplementation, or a combination of both.
With all of these exciting results, beta-alanine has well earned its position as a common and popular pre-workout supplement. As such, we offer quite a few products that feature this non-essential amino acid. Found absolutely in our Dust product line (Dust EXTREME DMAA, Dust EXTREME DMHA, and Dust v2), beta-alanine works in tandem with Dust’s other ingredients to provide longevity in the gym, bodily and mental focus, energy, and more. Taken in one scoop 30 minutes prior to an intense workout or in the mornings on non-training days, the Dust product line is sure to give you that boost of energy and longevity that you’re sure to need for your hardcore gym bouts.
Should you wish to supplement your supplementals with natural sources of beta-alanine (remember, however, that it is naturally occurring in your body), don’t fret. There’s plenty of delicious alternatives to intake beta-alanine. Turkey and chicken are loaded with b-alanine, a cup of chicken breast or 3 oz. of turkey can provide you with nearly 2 grams of beta-alanine (the recommended allotment is around 6.5 grams; our DUST EXTREME DMAA, for example, provides 2.5 grams of beta-alanine). Still, just one cup of 3 oz. of the aforementioned meat can take you to nearly a third of your supplemental levels of beta-alanine. When mixed with our products, that’s an easy reach.
Roasted soybeans or soy nuts contain nearly 3 grams of beta-alanine in each serving (about one cup). Should soybeans not appear appetizing, soy flour can provide close to 2 grams of beta-alanine to your diet. This can be used, for example, in making bread by replacing approximately 10-30% of your traditional flour (source). Combine some homemade baked goods with that chicken or turkey, and you’ll be set for a heart pounding workout after lunch. Not only that – but it’ll taste great and provide nutrition, too.
Finally, some good lean beef or a couple servings of fish will provide a decent score of b-alanine. For example, a grilled top loin beef can yield nearly 3 grams of alanine. Other low cholesterol and low fat/saturated fat cuts of lean beef will provide you with another 2-3 grams of beta-alanine. Fish provides a little less alanine, but with the proper fish (like a yellowtail fish), you can ingest about a gram. Of course, all of these foods should be consumed in moderation on a weekly basis – but they’re all easily available and typically tasty when you choose to consume them.
Beta-Alanine is a relatively well-studied supplement and most sources don’t list any long term side effects. They do, however, all reference an acute flushing and tingling sensation when ingesting the amount found in most pre workouts. This sensation starts about 15 minutes after taking it and lasts for up to 60-90 minutes. While some my feel it’s a distraction [Editor’s Note: It feels like bees crawling on my skin], others actually enjoy it.
Beta-alanine can be a game changer in the gym. Research has provided some effective results, especially when utilizing beta-alanine in high intensity workouts. Found in our Dust product line and in plenty of delicious foods, beta-alanine is pretty prevalent. It’s most effective taken as a pre-workout supplement, and, when combined with creatine post-workout, the duo can bust out some excellent lean mass. In addition to muscle building and postponing mid-workout muscle fatigue – allowing you to get those extra pumps in – beta-alanine can help you work toward body fat reduction, too. As you continue to supplement with beta-alanine, you should notice your endurance lengthening, as prolonged use has seen your carnosine levels rise consistently and remain static once topped out. Don’t just go 100% – try 180%.