If you are an endurance athlete, whether a runner, cyclist, or sprinter, you are well aware of how intense these activities can be. Of course, eating healthy, hydrating, and staying committed to your training can significantly improve your performance, but it may not be enough. You are constantly looking to improve your endurance during training to achieve more remarkable performance.
Well, supplements come in handy to help you boost your performance and take yourself to the next level. Beta-alanine is a proven workout supplement that improves endurance and time to exhaustion in endurance activities or high-intensity workouts.
Bodybuilders and athletes utilize beta-alanine supplements for various reasons and have reported significant changes in their performance after supplementing with beta-alanine. If you are wondering why runners supplement with beta-alanine, here is why.
How beta-alanine works
Beta-alanine is actually a non-essential amino acid that naturally occurs in the body, so you don’t need to necessarily get it from the meals. However, it occurs in limited levels. Together with another amino acid known as histidine, it is responsible for producing carnosine stored in your muscles. Carnosine plays a critical role during high-intensity training because it serves as a buffer against lactic acid accumulation, the main cause of fatigue during exercise.
The more the carnosine levels in your muscles, the more the time to exhaustion, allowing you to enjoy extended periods of a workout without getting fatigued. Therefore that is why runners supplement with beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine supplementation improves aerobic endurance.
So what is remarkable about beta-alanine in terms of aerobic endurance? Well, beta-alanine results in the production of carnosine which delays muscle fatigue. When running, lactic acid and hydrogen ions build up pretty quickly due to the high-intensity activity.
An increase in hydrogen ions in the muscles reduces the muscle PH, which leads to muscle acidosis. That is why you experience a burning sensation in your muscles before fatigue. In other words, low PH levels result in muscular fatigue. The role of carnosine is to keep your muscles healthy by buffering against acidity. Since beta-alanine boosts carnosine levels, it is beneficial for runners and sprinters.
Beta-alanine supplementation results in increased muscle mass
Even though increasing muscle mass is not the goal for many runners, improved muscle mass is beneficial, especially for the speed and explosive power required for sprinting races. Increased muscle mass is one of the benefits of beta-alanine supplementation.
Beta-alanine helps improve endurance and muscular power leading to a longer time to exhaustion. As carnosine fights exhaustion, you are able to work harder without getting tired, making the most use of your workout. In other words, beta-alanine supplementation allows you to be more productive when working out, producing greater results in terms of increased muscle mass and performance.
The bottom line
Runners supplement with beta-alanine because it increases the muscle carnosine levels, which serves as a buffer against muscle acidosis, the primary cause of fatigue during high-intensity training. The more the carnosine levels, the more the endurance is, resulting in better performance.