We all have our favorite supps that tend to be the ones that work best for helping us achieve our individual goals. Researchers tend to call this “anecdotal evidence,” or personal, unscientific accounts of a product being effective. Yet generally speaking, the ultimate test for supplement efficacy is years of substantiated published and undisputed evidence proving its benefits, and very few carry this distinction. One that does is beta-alanine.
Recently, the International Society of Sports Nutrition published a position stand about beta-alanine. In this article, 14 of the top supplement scientists from research institutes across the globe chimed in on the research-proven effectiveness of beta-alanine. These scientists collectively reported the following five points regarding beta-alanine as a world-class sports supplement:
1) Beta-alanine supplementation is safe.
2) Four weeks of beta-alanine supplementation (4 to 6 grams per day) significantly boosts concentrations of muscle carnosine, which serve to buffer increases in acidity in exercising muscle.
3) The only substantiated side effect of high-dose beta-alanine supplementation is a tingling sensation in the skin, called paresthesia. Paresthesia can be avoided by dividing your daily dose into three or four smaller doses (no more than 1.6 grams each) and taking them throughout the day. That said, paresthesia associated with beta-alanine supplementation is harmless and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.
4) Daily beta-alanine supplementation (4 to 6 grams per day) for at least two to four weeks improves exercise performance — specifically, increasing training volume and power and delaying fatigue — especially when exertion lasts between one and four minutes.
5) Beta-alanine becomes more effective when stacked with other supplements like creatine. This synergy is not immediately apparent and generally becomes noticeable after four weeks of consistent supplementation.