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Nutrition for Women

3 High-Performance Benefits of Beta-Alanine

Discover how this unassuming amino acid can help you train like an absolute savage.

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Anyone who has competed in a sport knows that feeling — that growing burn within your muscles that becomes more and more inhibiting as you push your limits, eventually causing you to slow down or even stop in order to recover. But there is a supplement that can make brutal workouts feel easier and that can give you the power and stamina to break your personal records and improve your race times — beta-alanine.

amino acids for athletes

Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that, when combined with histidine, creates a molecule called carnosine. During intense exercise, carnosine can buffer the acids produced within the muscles that truncate performance, ultimately allowing athletes to go harder for longer. However, supplementing with pure carnosine is not effective because it’s quickly broken down in the gut and does not effectively boost the circulating levels of carnosine in the bloodstream. The body manufacturers plenty of histidine, though, so the only real limiting factor for creating more carnosine is the availability of beta-alanine.

Athletes supplementing with beta-alanine have demonstrated dramatically increased blood levels of carnosine, which in turn means a litany of high-performance benefits. Here are a few to consider:

Enhanced Endurance

Studies have shown that beta-alanine can prolong the time it takes to reach exhaustion in endurance athletes and allows them to increase the amount of work completed within a given time. This means more staying power when the going gets tough and potentially faster race times.

Heightened HIIT

Carnosine’s ability to buffer acid makes it the perfect foil for high-intensity interval training and sprinting. For instance, a study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise showed that beta-alanine supplementation significantly improved cyclists’ sprint performance at the end of a long, exhaustive ride. As any competitive athlete knows, that little kick at the end of a race could make or break your placing, so any edge you can get is important.

Improved Body Composition

The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition reported that college athletes who took beta-alanine over an eight-week period added more lean muscle than those who took a placebo. Makes sense: The quicker the acids and other waste products of exercise are shuttled out of your muscles, the more reps you can get and the faster you can recover between sets. This means more potential muscle added during training and more fat burned both during and after exercise.

Take a Test Drive

Beta-alanine is often found in preworkout formulas and does have a stimulatory effect, but it need not be consumed immediately before training to be effective. The recommended dose is 3 to 6 grams per day for as long as you desire its acid-buffering effects.

Beta Max

CarnoSyn is a form of beta-alanine with two-dozen global patents and more than 55 clinical studies — conducted on athletes like Nicole Stout — that prove its effectiveness. To learn more about beta-alanine and to review the list of CarnoSyn-verified brand partners, visit