Beta alanine

Beta alanine is also known as 3-aminopropionic acid, acide 3-aminopropanoique, beta-alanina, beta-alanine ethyl ester, beta-amino acid and non-essential amino acid.

Beta alanine is used for increased athletic performance and exercise capacity. It is also used for building lean muscle mass and improving physical functioning in the elderly.

Safety of beta alanine 


Beta-alanine, when used appropriately and short-term, specifically a commercial product known as CarnoSyn has been used with safety in doses up to 6.4 grams daily for 10 weeks in younger adults, and 2.4 grams daily for 90 days in adults aged 55 years and older.

It is not advised to use beta alanine during pregnancy and lactation. There is insufficient reliable information for use during these times.

Effectiveness of beta alanine

High-intensity anaerobic training and strength training is where beta-alanine has shown to be effective. Acidosis is believed to be main cause of fatigue during intense exercise. It is believed beta-alanine provides a buffer to prevent acidosis by leading to an increase of muscle carnosine.

Carnosine is made in the skeletal muscle from amino acids l-histidine and beta-alanine. What determines how much carnosine is made in the body is the availability of beta-alanine. With more beta-alanine via supplementation we get more carnosine which provides a buffer to prevent acidosis and the subsequent fatigue during intense exercise. This could lead to more reps and less time needed for rest between sets. With increased intensity there can then be a resulting increase in muscle gained per workout.

It was found that CarnoSyn, 3.2-6.4 grams/day for 4-6 weeks increases the ventilator threshold, time to onset of muscle fatigue, time to exhaustion, and total work done in cycling exercises in novice young adult male and female volunteers.

In young men with three or more years of experience with resistance training, the numbers of squat reps were improved and the average power shown during an exercise session increased after using beta-alanine (CarnoSyn) 4.8 grams/day for a total duration of four weeks.

You appear to get the beta-alanine benefit only after supplementation for certain duration of time. It looks like 4 weeks is the littlest amount of time necessary to get benefit.

Also noteworthy, is how many pills you need to take per day to get the minimum 4.8 grams/day. If each pill is 750mg, then you’ll need to swallow about 6 pills per day to meet the requirement.  A bodybuilding book I’ve read suggests that you take a full 6.4 grams/day, this would equal about 9 pills per day at 750mg per pill. That’s a lot of pills if you ask me!

Preliminary clinical research states that the beta-alanine supplement (Carnosyn) 800mg three times daily for 90 days, increases physical performance and delays neuromuscular wear-out in people aged between 55 and 92 years. Preliminary clinical research means the topic hasn’t been researched thoroughly, it can also mean that it hasn’t been confirmed and accepted by the scientific community.

Adverse Reactions

Beta-alanine has in healthy volunteer has caused flushing and paresthesias with higher doses causing more flushing and paresthesias. The parestheias are said to start on the scalp within 20 minutes of the dose, then spreading to the rest of the body and lasting a total duration of an hour. Paresthesias are the sensations of tingling, tickling, prickling, picking or burning of a person’s skin without a long-term effect.


Beta-alanine has long been used for the bodybuilding community for its ability to increase workout intensity. It has been safely used in a dose of 6.4 grams per day for up to 10 weeks. Safety beyond 10 weeks has not been reported but is unlikely to cause harm since it has been around for so long.

It is believed that beta-alanine works by increasing the concentration of carnosine, a buffer for acid buildup in the muscles, preventing muscular fatigue. It can be used in athletes for increased performance as well, as seen in cyclists. You should take beta-alanine for at least 4 weeks before expecting to see any results. Recommended doses are 3.2 to 6.4 grams per day. A recommended brand is CarnoSyn, since that is what was used in the clinical studies.

I think this supplement is beneficial especially if you are working out six to seven times a week or playing a competitive sport. Any little change will make a noticeable difference at that amount of working out. It looks like you will work out more intensely which will allow you to get more out of each workout which then allows you to get more strength and size gains, increased intensity also means more calories burned resulting in a leaner physique. 

The brand I recommend to use and try is CarnoSyn since the clinical trials all support this brand. Carnosyn is the brand to get! 

› Beta-Alanine
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