Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that has been suggested to have potential benefits for muscle gain and athletic performance. Beta-alanine is commonly found in protein-rich foods such as poultry, beef, and fish, and can also be consumed in supplement form.
One of the primary benefits of beta-alanine for muscle gain is its ability to increase muscle carnosine levels. Carnosine is a dipeptide that helps to buffer acid in the muscles during high-intensity exercise, which can delay fatigue and allow for longer and more intense training sessions. By increasing carnosine levels, beta-alanine supplementation may improve exercise performance and lead to greater muscle gains over time.
Several studies have suggested that beta-alanine supplementation may be particularly effective for increasing muscle mass in conjunction with resistance training. For example, a 2010 study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism found that individuals who took beta-alanine supplements for 10 weeks while following a resistance training program gained significantly more lean body mass and had greater improvements in maximal strength than those who took a placebo.
In addition to its potential effects on muscle gain and exercise performance, beta-alanine has also been suggested to have other health benefits, including antioxidant and anti-aging effects. However, more research is needed to fully understand these potential benefits.
While beta-alanine is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, it can cause a harmless tingling sensation known as paresthesia in some individuals. It is important to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.