Beta-alanine is one of the popular amino acid supplements that are used for athletic and exercise performance enhancement.
It reduces muscle fatigue, enhances heart muscles’ fitness, and reduces acid buildup in the muscles.
If you have been searching for a pre or post-workout supplement, it is quite likely that you have come across this type of amino acid supplement. You might have used it too.
These are some of the best options for beta-alanine supplements on the market today…
#1. Transparent Labs Raw Series Beta-Alanine Supplement
This RawSeries Beta-Alanine supplement is one of the purest beta-alanine supplements on the market. It is quite effective, and it’s only made of beta-alanine – no preservatives, no fillers, no sugars, and no flavorings.
The formulation of this beta-alanine supplement ensures an easy intake of the beta-alanine amino acid by the body.
Each serving of the supplement gives you 3g of pure beta-alanine.
The beta-alanine combines with histidine in your muscles and the brain, forming carnosine. Since carnosine production is activated by a drop in the muscular ph levels, hence the blockage of the acid formation and reduced muscle soreness, this supplement works best as a pre-workout supplement.
Each container of this supplement gives you 100 servings, and the amino acid powder mixes well with water.
Expect some tingling or flushing sensation. This side effect is harmless, and it will disappear after some time.
#2. Optimum Nutrition Beta-Alanine Powder
Optimum Nutrition is a brand behind some of the biggest and the best supplements on the market. It offers pre and post-workout solutions, and this beta-alanine supplement is one of their top-rated products.
This beta-alanine powder contains 75 servings, and each serving delivers 1.6g of carnosyn beta-alanine plus 550mg of histidine. These two amino acids will, under the right conditions (presence of lactic acid), combine to form carnosine.
Carnosyn beta-alanine boasts an advanced delivery system, and it delivers more beta-alanine to the muscles than beta-alanine. This delivery of beta-alanine is sustained for longer.
The synthesized carnosine will support the muscle’s intramuscular buffering system, delaying the onset of muscle fatigue. It also enhances muscle endurance.
This amino acid powder contains zero sugar, and it dissolves easily in water and other beverages. The formulation of this fruit-fusion beta-alanine supplement makes it an excellent option for athletes, vegetarians, vegans, and keto dieters.
#3. BulkSupplements.com Beta Alanine
This beta-alanine supplement helps you build lean muscle, and it also increases your muscle recovery.
It’s a pure beta-alanine supplement that increases your workout performance by keeping your muscles working harder for longer. It ensures that your muscles have amino acids for building lean muscle mass.
In combination with histidine in the muscles, it forms carnosine, which acts as a buffer for the lactic acid formed, and the result is delayed muscle soreness and longer muscle performance.
You need your muscles to work harder to grow and for weight loss. This supplement makes that possible.
This beta-alanine supplement also supports the function of the nervous system and brain health.
#4. NOW® Beta-Alanine Capsules
With a recommended dose of 3 capsules either twice or thrice in a day, these beta-alanine capsules are ideal for use along with your hard workouts.
The supplement provides a high level of endurance and delays muscle fatigue, and the best bit is that you can feel these effects almost immediately.
It is safe and free of steroids. It is non-GMO, kosher, vegan, vegetarian, and keto-friendly.
You’ll also be happy to know that all of NOW sports products have undergone comprehensive testing, and they are free of all banned substances. The supplement comes with the Informed-Sport seal for quality assurance. It’s also QMP-quality assured and A-rated.
#5. NOW Sports Nutrition, Beta-Alanine Pure Powder
If you prefer the powdered form of beta-alanine to the capsules seen above, NOW Foods has you covered with their NOW Sports Nutrition beta-alanine powder.
This supplement is designed to enhance your muscle endurance by delaying the onset of muscle fatigue and speeding up the muscle recovery process.
It contains CarnoSyn, the patented and synthetic form of beta-alanine, a compound effective in increasing the levels of carnosine in the muscles, while also allowing your muscles to work harder and for longer periods, especially during intense workouts.
The supplement is safe and made of the highest-quality ingredients. It is Non-GMO, safe for use by vegetarians and vegans, gluten-free, kosher, GMP-assured, and steroid-free.
Thanks to its formulation, this supplement is a great pre-workout fit.
Each serving gives you 2000mg of beta-alanine, which is enough to increase your muscle’s performance and endurance.
The amino acid beta-alanine is important, and its power is felt in the muscles and the brain where it is bound to histidine to form carnosine. Carnosine refers to a dipeptide amino acid which acts as an active buffer for the hydrogen ions in the muscle after strenuous workouts.
These hydrogen ions are released from lactic acid, a by-product of the muscle metabolic process, which involves the breakdown of glycogen into glucose, and glucose into energy. Lactic acid is the reason why your muscles often tire out so fast during long, intense workouts, but supplementation with beta-alanine prevents cramping and muscle tiredness, hence enhanced muscle performance.
#6. Nutricost Beta-Alanine Powder
This bottle of beta-alanine promises as many as 100 servings of pure and high-quality beta-alanine.
Each scoop is 3g, and the bottle has 300g of powdered beta-alanine.
Like the other beta-alanine supplements reviewed above, this product makes a great pre-workout supplement. It combines with histidine to form a dipeptide amino acid, carnosine, which creates a buffered environment where the levels of lactic acid is reduced, enhancing muscle endurance while reducing the onset of muscle fatigue.
If you have been looking for a product that will enhance your mental and physical performance and endurance, making it easier for you to work out for longer without the risk of your muscles taking weeks to recover, then beta-alanine would be the best option for you.
This supplement is gluten-free and non-GMO. It has been tested by a third-party for quality assurance.
#7. XPI Raw Beta-Alanine Powder
Made of premium-quality beta-alanine, this supplement is one of the best on the market if you are looking for a product that will get you out of that workout slump you seem to always hit a few minutes after you start working out.
Essentially, the fatigue and muscle tiredness that you feel minutes into your intense HIIT, resistance, or strength training exercises comes from the accumulation of lactic acid, which causes early-onset muscle fatigue.
Lactic acid accumulation and the presence of taurine in the muscles have damaging effects. The breakdown of muscles might result in muscle soreness and weakness.
Supplementation with beta-alanine prevents these from happening by creating a buffer that reduces the levels of hydrogen ions from lactic acid, preventing/ delaying muscle fatigue.
Beta-alanine further prevents the breakdown of muscle tissue, making it easier for you to achieve your lean muscle gains.
This beta-alanine supplement allows you to achieve all these goals, with only 3g of beta-alanine per serving.
#8. Purisure Beta-Alanine Powder
This 500g beta-alanine supplement offers great value for money, and it comes with a wide range of benefits to keep you going for longer.
It increases your endurance during intense and even low-impact workout. The beta-alanine in this supplement increases the production of carnosine in your muscles, and carnosine (formed from beta-alanine and histidine) works as a buffering agent that ensures optimal muscle function and optimal PH levels, delaying muscle fatigue and increasing your muscle’s endurance in the process.
This supplement will also make it easier for you to train harder and for much longer. Beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to be effective in increasing your muscle’s endurance, especially during resistance training.
The best part is that beta-alanine increases muscle mass. As a result of the increased levels of carnosine in the muscles, beta-alanine affects the muscles’ endurance and allows for bigger muscle gains. When you work harder, the muscle cells are activated, and they grow faster while healing from previous injuries.
Studies show that beta-alanine improves lean mass building while allowing you to perform high-intensity workouts.
It will reduce your recovery time, too, even as it delays muscle fatigue and increases your athletic performance.
Paired with creatine, BCAAs, taurine, glutamine, and citrulline malate, beta-alanine levels up your athletic performance, regardless of the intensity of the workouts.
#9. PrimaForce Beta-Alanine Powder Supplement
This supplement is made of the highest-quality, pure, and lab-tested beta-alanine, which has been tested for safety and efficiency.
The clinically-tested and pharmaceutical-grade beta-alanine supplement reduces muscle fatigue by increasing the levels of the intracellular carnosine, allowing your muscles to keep at it longer.
It also supports and enhances your performance in strength training. The carnosine formed from the interaction of beta-alanine and histidine acts as a buffer to the lactate in the muscles, preventing the onset of muscle fatigue while increasing muscle endurance, especially with intense aerobic exercises like weightlifting.
Beta-alanine in this supplement will also increase your lean muscle gains by preventing muscle damage and encouraging muscle growth in intense workouts.
#10. NutraBio Beta-Alanine
NutriBio prides itself on the production of safe products, and the absence of a proprietary blend in its ingredients list shows that you can trust the brand. This supplement has been tested by third-parties, and it meets the highest standards for quality and purity.
The only ingredient in this supplement is beta-alanine, in the form of CarnoSyn. CarnoSyn is a patented beta-alanine formulation which allows for the slow and sustained release of beta-alanine into the muscle, which means that the muscles have the energy to work harder for a longer period, especially during intense workouts.
You might like this supplement because it is gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, certified Kosher, vegetarian, 3rd party-tested, and it’s made in the USA.
What is beta-alanine?
Beta-alanine refers to the naturally-occurring amino acid found in the brain and the muscles. Beta-alanine combines with the amino acid histidine in the muscles, where they form the amino acid carnosine, which is effective in the reduction of acid buildup in the muscles during workouts.
While there is a bit of debate regarding the effectiveness of beta-alanine and carnosine in reducing muscle fatigue, several studies show that beta-alanine is one of the most important components in supplements for anyone leading an active lifestyle.
Beta-alanine has been shown to be especially effective during anaerobic exercises, which is pretty much all the intense and rigorous exercises that lead to the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles.
Whether you are actively taking part in a high-interval training exercise or sprinting, beta-alanine helps delay the onset of muscle fatigue and also shortens the recovery period.
Do you need beta-alanine supplements?
The beta-alanine supplements might be a good option for you if you need to push yourself harder at the gym or running trails every day, but there are people who need it more than others.
Naturally, women and individuals on the vegetarian diet have lower levels of beta-alanine/ carnosine in their muscles than men, meaning that the supplement would be more beneficial to women and vegetarians.
But at a certain age, supplementation with beta-alanine becomes an important thing for men and women because the body’s natural levels of carnosine will reduce with age, hence the need for beta-alanine supplementation for maximum athletic performance.
How does Beta-Alanine Improve Muscle Function and Performance?
As mentioned above, beta-alanine binds with the amino acid histidine in the muscles and the brain, forming carnosine. By increasing the levels of carnosine in the brain and muscles, beta-alanine allows you to work harder at the gym because the muscles have an increased ability to resist the buildup of lactic acid.
Secondly, beta-alanine acts as an effective inhibitory neurotransmitter and neuromodulator. It will inhibit the uptake of taurine, an amino acid that causes oxidative stress, and subsequent cellular damage. In this position, beta-alanine indirectly prevents the breakdown of muscles after workouts.
Mechanism of Action
Here’s how beta-alanine works:
When working out, your muscles need fuel to keep working, and they will breakdown glucose for energy production. One of the by-products of glucose breakdown (glycolysis) in the muscles in the production of lactic acid, hence an increased level of muscle acidity.
The production of lactic acid causes a drop in ph levels through the production of hydrogen ions (H+), and the muscle’s ability to utilize any additional glucose decreases. Muscle contraction diminishes too in the process, which is felt as muscle fatigue. This is where beta-alanine and carnosine come in.
Carnosine acts as a buffer for the acid, and it lowers the buildup of lactic acid, giving your muscles more time to work. The reduced acid levels also allow the muscles to perform more effectively.
Main benefits of beta-alanine
- Improved athletic performance in short and long-lasting high-intensity workouts – beta-alanine has been shown to increase the time it takes before you are exhausted, even when taking part in some of the most intense workouts.
- It’s helpful in short but intense exercises too – Beta-alanine might be a good option for individuals who are into HIIT workouts. While muscle acidosis often limits how long you last during a high-intensity exercise, beta-alanine counters acidosis, allowing you to complete your high-intensity short workouts without worrying about feeling depleted
- It delays muscle fatigue by reducing the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. The carnosine buffer does the magic here and ensures that the acidity levels are not too high, allowing your muscles to contract appropriately for longer.
- It improves body composition – Studies suggest that supplementation with beta-alanine would improve your body’s composition by increasing your lean muscle mass. The reason posited for this is that beta-alanine increases your training volume and also promotes your muscle growth.
Why does it cause tingling?
Keep in mind, however, that supplementation with beta-alanine comes with one unwanted side effect – tingling. This is a harmless side effect, though.
The tingling sensation from beta-alanine is also called paresthesia. It is the result of the action of beta-alanine. After intake, beta-alanine causes the dilation of blood vessels, which allows for increased blood flow and oxygen, reaching the muscles. The tingling sensation is temporary, and it signals the increase in blood flow to your muscles.
Beta-alanine is known as the pre-workout supplement that leaves you feeling tingly, prickly, or you could get a skin-crawling sensation. In other cases, the sensation feels like burning on your nose, ears, or lips.
Although these are some of the side effects expected after intake of beta-alanine, that is not all that this amino acid can do.
A non-essential amino acid, beta-alanine is, in fact, one of the most popular pre-workout supplement ingredients because of its ability to improve your athletic performance and strength.
The effects of beta-alanine result from its interaction with histidine in the brain and muscles where they form carnosine, which inhibits the negative effects of lactate, hence improved muscle performance, endurance, strength, and recovery. The supplements above all provide these benefits.