Beta Alanine supplement information, benefit, side effects, dosage
June 10 2019 by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Beta Alanine is is a non-essential amino acid. Research in humans is limited but growing. This amino acid helps form carnosine, which plays a major role in normal muscle function during intense exercise. The more beta alanine, the higher carnosine levels in muscles. Beta alanine supplements may be used together with creatine monohydrate supplements.

Beta alanine supplements improves muscle strength in seniors
Beta-alanine improves muscle endurance in the elderly. Jeffrey Stout of the University of Oklahoma assessed the fitness levels of 26 elderly men and women before and after they took beta alanine supplements or placebo pills for 90 days. Jeffrey Stout found a significant percent improvement in the fitness levels of those who took the amino acid supplement, Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 2008.

J Appl Physiology. 2014. β-alanine supplementation enhances human skeletal muscle relaxation speed but not force production capacity. β-alanine supplementation improves human exercise performance. One possible explanation for this is an enhancement of muscle contractile properties, occurring via elevated intramuscular carnosine resulting in improved calcium sensitivity and handling.

How is alanine amino acid sold?
You can buy this amino in the form of capsules, tablets, and powder.

Effect on carnosine level
Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance.
Amino Acids. 2009. School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, Nottingham, UK,
High-intensity exercise results in reduced substrate levels and accumulation of metabolites in the skeletal muscle. The accumulation of these metabolites (e.g. ADP, Pi and H(+)) can have deleterious effects on skeletal muscle function and force generation, thus contributing to fatigue. Clearly this is a challenge to sport and exercise performance and, as such, any intervention capable of reducing the negative impact of these metabolites would be of use. Carnosine (beta-alanyl-L: -histidine) is a cytoplasmic dipeptide found in high concentrations in the skeletal muscle of both vertebrates and non-vertebrates and is formed by bonding histidine and beta-alanine in a reaction catalysed by carnosine synthase. Carnosine has a key role to play in intracellular pH buffering over the physiological pH range, although other physiological roles for carnosine have also been suggested. The concentration of histidine in muscle and plasma is high relative to its K (m) with muscle carnosine synthase, whereas beta-alanine exists in low concentration in muscle and has a higher K (m) with muscle carnosine synthase, which indicates that it is the availability of beta-alanine that is limiting to the synthesis of carnosine in skeletal muscle. Thus, the elevation of muscle carnosine concentrations through the dietary intake of carnosine, or chemically related dipeptides that release beta-alanine on absorption, or supplementation with beta-alanine directly could provide a method of increasing intracellular buffering capacity during exercise, which could provide a means of increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and performance. This paper reviews the available evidence relating to the effects of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine synthesis and the subsequent effects on exercise performance.

Q. Beta alanine has been shown to increase carnosine levels in muscle. It also increases histidine which is a precursor to histamine. Beta alanine has been proven as an effective supplement for sports nutrition. What would you recommend to take with beta alanine to offset the possible increase in histamine levels that would bring on or intensify an allergic reaction? This is a great supplement but I can see it would have unwanted side effects for those who would be affected by histamine increases.
   A. We don't have enough clinical experience with beta alanine supplementation to determine whether those taking beta alanine supplements will have a higher rate of allergic symptoms.

Beta alanine is found in certain bioactive peptides such as carnosine and anserine. Taking a beta alanine supplement can increase carnosine levels in muscle tissue.

The absorption of orally supplied beta-alanine and its effect on muscle carnosine synthesis in human vastus lateralis.
Amino Acids. 2006. School of Sports, Exercise and Health Sciences, University College Chichester, West Sussex, Chichester, UK.
Dietary supplementation with beta-alanine or L-carnosine for 4 weeks resulted in increases in muscle carnosine tissue levels.

Muscle tissue effect
Beta alanine supplement reduces muscle fatigue
Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold.
J Strength Cond Res. 2006. Stout JR, Cramer JT. Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK, USA.
The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of 28 days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the onset of neuromuscular fatigue. Fifty-one young men were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups: placebo, Creatine monohydrate 5.25 g, Beta alanine 1.6 g, or Beta alanine plus creatine monhydrate. The supplement was ingested 4 times per day for 6 consecutive days, then twice per day for 22 days before posttesting. Beta alanine supplementation may delay the onset of neuromuscular fatigue. There appeared to be no additive or unique effects of creatine monohydrate versus beta alanine b-Ala alone.

Beta alanine and creatine improve lean tissue mass
Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes.
Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2006. Dept. of Health and Exercise Science, The College of New Jersey, Ewing, NJ, USA.
The effects of creatine and creatine plus beta-alanine on strength, power, body composition, and endocrine changes were examined during a 10-wk resistance training program in collegiate football players. Thirty-three male subjects were randomly assigned to either a placebo, creatine, or creatine plus beta-alanine group. Changes in lean body mass and percent body fat were greater in the creatine plus beta alanine group compared to creatine or placebo. Significantly greater strength improvements were seen in creatine plus beta alanine group and creatine compared to placebo. Resting testosterone concentrations were elevated in C, however, no other significant endocrine changes were noted. Creatine plus beta-alanine supplementation appeared to have the greatest effect on lean tissue accruement and body fat composition.

J Nutr. 2013. Addition of carbohydrate or alanine to an essential amino acid mixture does not enhance human skeletal muscle protein anabolism.

Athletic performance, results are mixed
Beta-alanine improves sprint performance in endurance cycling.
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2009; Van Thienen R, Van Proeyen K. Department of Biomedical Kinesiology, Research Centre for Exercise and Health, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.
Recent research has shown that chronic dietary beta-alanine supplementation increases muscle carnosine content, which is associated with better performance in short (1-2 min) maximal exercise. Success in endurance competitions often depends on a final sprint. However, whether beta-alanine can be ergogenic in sprint performance at the end of an endurance competition is at present unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effect of 8-wk beta-alanine administration in moderately to well-trained cyclists on sprint performance at the end of a simulated endurance cycling race. Our results show beta alanine supplementation can significantly enhance sprint performance at the end of an exhaustive endurance exercise bout.

Nutr Health. 2017. Six weeks of β-alanine supplementation did not enhance repeated-sprint ability or technical performances in young elite basketball players.

Side effects, safety
No major beta alanine side effects have been mentioned in medical journals when used alone.

β-alanine supplementation within the doses given in research designs thus far, does not seem adversely affect those who are consuming it. Advances in Nutrition, Volume 10, Issue 3, May 2019.

A 26-year-old male at a military treatment facility in Afghanistan came shortly after taking a weight-lifting supplement called Jack3d with a severe headache and was found to have suffered a Dejerine-Roussy variant right thalamic hemorrhagic stroke. Jack3d active ingredients include geranamine, schizandrol A, caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine monohydrate, and L-arginine alpha-ketoglutarate.
   Comments: It is difficult to know which one of the ingredients, or a combination, or perhaps other factors, were involved. Mil Med. 2012.

Interactions, combinations
Can arginine amino acid be taken together with beta alanine amino acid?
   Yes, if the dosages are reasonable, but first take each one by itself.

Source Naturals L-Alanine, 3.53 oz (100 g)
L-Alanine is a crystalline, free-form amino acid. The liver can convert L-alanine into glucose as needed for muscle fuel; when glycogen stores are low, it can convert the glucose into glycogen. Glycogen is a storage form of glucose.*
Suggested Use: 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon daily between meals, or as recommended by your health care professional.
Supplement Facts:
Serving Size 1/2 Teaspoon
Servings Per Container 43
Amount Per Serving
L-Alanine 2.3 grams

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