Beta-Alanine Breaks Down Barriers

Although classified as a non-essential amino acid, beta-alanine can be an essential component of any resistance training program. It helps increase muscle carnosine content, which can enhance performance in short duration (1 to 2 minute) bouts of intense exercise. A new study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise appears to have found a longer-term application for increasing performance with beta-alanine.

Scientists had experienced cyclists supplement with beta-alanine or a placebo for 8 weeks before engaging in a simulated 110-minute race. Subjects then participated in a 10-minute time trail which concluded with a 30-second sprint. On average, beta-alanine provided an 11% increase in peak power output along with a 5% boost in mean power.

The Bigger Picture: Glucose and glycogen are broken down for energy during intense training, a process that produces hydrogen ions that can accumulate and bring on fatigue. Beta-alanine enhances the effectiveness of your intramuscular buffering system to counteract this buildup. See how it works for you in the gym or on the trails.
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