What is Beta-Alanine?
Ahhh, beta-alanine, just saying it gives you the tingles. Actually, taking it gives you tingles. Also called paresthesia, it is the tingling, prickling or fleeting numbness you feel on your skin. Don’t worry, it’s harmless.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid made by your amazing body. But if you are deficient, or want more, it’s difficult to obtain from diet. As such, many supplement to gain more.
When supplementing, as we discussed before, many amino acids are more powerful when paired with other amino acids or minerals because of the new compound they form or the process their synergistic pairing ignites.
Beta-Alanine + Histidine= Carnosine
When beta-alanine is taken with histidine it is converted into Carnosine. Carnosine is a lactic-acid buffer. After carnosine is created, it is stored in cells to respond to changes in pH levels in the muscles.
Build-up of acid in the muscles can diminish endurance and stamina, and make recovery more painful.
You’ve heard it before when you tell someone you’re sore after working out-“oh, it’s the build-up of lactic acid.” Carnosine blocks the process of glycolysis which is responsible for the production of that pain-causing lactic acid.
Beta-Alanine Promotes Concentrated Carnosine Storage
Having carnosine stored in the muscle to respond to acidic situations during high-intensity exercise like weightlifting can improve endurance, pH levels and overall recovery and results.
While carnosine is the byproduct of the pairing of the amino acids histidine and beta-alanine, it should not be replaced by taking carnosine alone.
The muscle cannot consume carnosine directly when supplemented because it is broken down in the gastrointestinal tract and wasted. Beta-alanine is consumed directly by the muscle when taken. When paired with histidine it then creates the carnosine , effectively bypassing the destructive digestion process.
Get the Right Beta-Alanine Supplement to Get Results
It is recommended to take 2-5 grams of beta-alanine per day to reap the benefits. If you are not a fan of the tingling skin, taking small amounts throughout the day is a great approach, especially because the benefits of beta-alanine are not time-sensitive. The most important step you can take to reap the benefits of beta-alanine is picking a supplement that combines it with histidine so you can produce carnosine and results.