Beta-Alanine

Why is it worthwhile to include beta-alanine (β-alanine) as one of really useful supplements for CrossFit?

We will see in detail how it works, the recommendations for taking it, synergies with other compounds to maximize its usefulness and the doses you should take.

What is beta-alanine?

Beta-alanine is a version of the non-essential amino acid alanine. It can be found at binds to the amino acid histidine to form carnosine which helps to counteract the muscular acidification caused by physical activity, thus reducing fatigue.

The β-alanine, as is the case with creatineis found in meat foods, although in very small doses. Hence, to increase the levels in our organism, supplementation makes sense.

Benefits of beta-alanine supplementation

Increasing beta-alanine intake by supplementation for 2-4 weeks, raises muscle carnosine levels by 60% helping to improve performance in activities of high intensity and short duration.

when to take beta alanine

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Is it allowed in competition?

Beta-alanine is a safe supplement and permitted by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Side effects of beta-alanine

Some people report some itching or tingling sensation in the face and hands.

Although it has no negative impact on health it can be an uncomfortable feeling so it is recommended to start supplementation at the lowest dose and observe. 

How should beta-alanine be taken?

  • 3-6g general
  • Doses spread throughout the day, ideally with meals, as it works in conjunction with insulin which facilitates its entry into the muscle. But it can be taken at any time.
  • Works by saturation
  • For at least 2-4 weeks
  • An initial loading can be performed: for 3-4 weeks with 4-5g/day and follow with a maintenance dose of 2-3g/day.

Combines with creatine

Beta-alanine mainly boosts the glycolytic system, while creatine enhances the phosphagen system. 

For this reason, we combine creatine with beta-alanine appears to provide additional benefits by acting on different pathways.

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Opinions

We have asked in the Discord channel about this supplement and these are some of the opinions:

  • Side effects such as paresthesia (itching) in the face, arms and neck that subsided with training.
  • Some felt more energetic.
  • Others combined with other supplements and could not determine the results of this particular supplement.

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