Friday, April 1, 2011

Is Beta-Alanine the next Creatine?

Beta-Alanine has been the latest buzz at the gym the last few years.  Does it work?  Is it as good as creatine?  Can you use it with creatine?  Is it for strength?  Is it for endurance?  Are there any side effects?  Etc. Etc.

Preliminary studies have been mostly positive.  In several studies, beta-alanine has been shown to improve both strength and endurance by delaying fatigue.  Hoffman et al. (2006) even showed improved strength performance when beta-alanine was used in conjunction with creatine.

More studies are needed but preliminary research shows that 2 to 3 grams per day should increase your workout intensities by delaying the lowering of pH levels in your muscles.  This mechanism allows your muscles to work harder, longer which should improve both strength training workouts and cardiovascular workouts.

On the other hand, there has been one reported side effect.  Most subjects have reported a tingling sensation if they consumed too much.  Most supplement companies advice a limit of 800mg beta-alanine at a time up to 4 times per day.

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