. Effect of beta-alanine supplementation



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Beta-alanine is a non-proteogenic amino acid endogenously produced in the liver. Beta alanine’s production occurs due to the degradation process of uracil (Giannini et al. 2009). In the process, complete degradation of the beta-alanine occurs in the liver cells, with a given amount converted to carbon dioxide. Once the production process of Beta-Alanine in the liver is complete, the beta-alanine is taken up by several tissues, including the skeletal muscles (Giannini et al. 2009). Other alternative names for Beta-alanine include 3-amino propionic acid,3-Aminopropanoic acid, bAla, β-amino propionic acid and ω-amino propionic acid, respectively. Thus the paper covers what beta-alanine does, research that entails beta-alanine, as well as the dosage strategies of beta-alanine.

What does beta-alanine do?

Ingestion of beta-alanine is seen to elevate the muscle carnosine content. Carnosine is highly present in the human skeletal muscles (Derave et al., 2007). Several studies suggest that muscle carnosine content acts as a determining factor in isometric exercise performance and high dynamic. Hence, the beta-alanine acts through the elevation of carnasine synthesis in the muscles, which buffers the H+ accumulation in the event of highly intense exercise ventures. As a result, therefore the quality of exercise is greatly improved.

Carnosine, a dipeptide, is an incredibly efficient hydrogen ion buffer over the physiological Ph range (Stout et al. 2008). In the skeletal muscles, carnosine plays a significant role in the maintenance of the intracellular PH essential for the normal functioning of the muscles in the process of highly intense exercise. Whereas the dipeptide is common in both type one and two muscles, its concentration is most rampant in type two muscles. Thus, beta-alanine supplementation improves highly intense exercise through increased muscle carnosine content, enhancing intercellular proton buffering. Equally, the intramuscular Ph is maintained through the buffering of excess proteins in the muscles through the use of carnosine. Muscle buffering as well as hydrogen ion accumulation mitigation is found to be highly beneficial in exercise activities. Equally, beta-alanine supplements help reduce fatigue during exercise activities(Derave et al., 2007).The delay in fatigue results from the increase in buffering of the hydrogen ions in the training process

.Beta-alanine equally helps in muscle endurance for older adults. Research has shown that in the locally available supplement products, there are chances of contamination. Hence, supplements may contain substances that are likely to interfere with the uptake of the target compound. Beta-alanine causes the side effect of paraesthesia in some individuals (Hobson et al., 2012). Paraesthesia refers to a condition where there are abnormal sensations which are pricking and tingling which are primarily caused by pressure or damage of the peripheral nerves. Equally, studies have depicted ergogenic effects if beta-alanine is used together with creatine supplementation. Creatine supplements are typically used to help in increasing high-intensity exercise performances. Additionally, another side effect of beta-alanine is the decrease in the levels of taurine since beta-alanine competes against taurine for absorption in the muscles.

Research on Beta-alanine

Initial studies on the beta-alanine synthesis of carnosine which aids in the increase of muscle activity, were conducted. The research was carried out in 1900 by Gulewitsch and Amiradzhibi (Sale et.al 2010). Krimberg, later on, classified the research in the year 1906. Thus in humans, the levels of carnosine synthesis in skeletal muscles tend to be limited by the availability of beta-alanine in the diet. Equally, Suzuki et al. 2002 conducted a study where there was an examination of the relationship between skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performances (Sale et al., 2010). The authors concluded that muscle carnosine concentration played a crucial role in high-intensity performance exercises based on the research studies. Some of the experiments carried out in the included field as well as lab experiments.

Dosage Strategies

The consumption of beta-alanine supplements is usually recommended to be done five specific times. The first stage should be before exercise, during exercise, after workout, during meal times and before sleeping. The recommended dosing protocols for beta-alanine are fixed irrespective of an individual’s body weight. Based on Stegen et al., as cited by Naderi et al. (2016), it was confirmed that 3-6 g/d of beta-alanine for a period of four to ten weeks was the appropriate dosage. Stegen et al. equally ensure that the intake of beta-alanine during meals enhanced carnosine content as opposed to intake between meals (Naderi 2016). Increased dosage of beta-alanine is likely to result in severe side effects such as tingling; thus, dosages should range from 3 to 6 g/d since any amount beyond that is harmful to one’s body. Beta-alanine is commonly administered orally.


In conclusion, beta-alanine helps boost carnosine, which in turn helps in the enhancement of skeletal muscles. Thus administration of beta-alanine is seen to foster a very great significance among users since the side effects of beta-alanine are negligible.






Giannini, A. G., Gualano, B., Smith, A., Stout, J., & Herbert, L. A. (2009). The Role of beta-alanine Supplementation on Muscle Carnosine and Exercise Performance. Medicine and science in sports and exercise.

Derave, W., Ozdemir, M. S., Harris, R. C., Pottier, A., Reyngoudt, H., Koppo, K., … & Achten, E. (2007). β-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters. Journal of applied physiology, 103(5), 1736-1743.

Stout, J. R., Graves, B. S., Smith, A. E., Hartman, M. J., Cramer, J. T., Beck, T. W., & Harris, R. C. (2008). The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue in elderly (55–92 years): a double-blind, randomized study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5(1), 1-6.

Hobson, R., Saunders, B., Ball, G., Harris, R., & Sale, C. (2012). Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids, 43(1), 25-37.

Sale, C., Saunders, B., & Harris, R. C. (2010). Effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine concentrations and exercise performance. Amino acids, 39(2), 321-333.

Naderi, A., De Oliveira, E. P., Ziegenfuss, T. N., & Willems, M. E. (2016). Timing, optimal dose and intake duration of dietary supplements with evidence-based use in sports nutrition. Journal of exercise nutrition & biochemistry, 20(4),


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