The non essential amino acid, beta alanine, has limited ergogenic properties. The synthesis of carnosine relies on beta alanine on it’s rate-limiting substrate, as 40% of skeletal muscle buffering capacity of H+ production is provided by carnosine during intense anaerobic activity (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p.240). Therefore, it is hypothesized that an increase in beta alanine consumption would increase skeletal muscle carnosine, improving muscle buffering capacity and anaerobic performance (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p.240). Beta alanine has not shown to increase maximal strength or aerobic power, although anaerobic threshold does improve with supplementation and may increase the ability to perform endurance activities at higher intensities (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p.240).
A collection of literature has shown that typical beta alanine ingestion ranges from 2.4 to 6.4g per day. Trexler, et al. (2015) discussed the dosages of “4 to 6 grams per day showing an increase in muscle carnosine concentrations by 64% after a 4 week supplementation protocol, while a 10-week protocol increased muscle carnosine concentrations by 80%. This is sometimes consumed all at once, or divided into two to four smaller doses (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 241).
Tingling, pricking, or numbing of the skin, known as paresthesia caused by a high and acute single dose, is the only reported adverse side effect of consuming beta alanine. The paresthesia typically disappears within an hour of ingestion, and can be avoided by consuming two to four smaller doses (Haff, & Triplett, 2016, p. 241).
Haff, G., & Triplett, N. T. (2016). Essentials of strength training and conditioning. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
Trexler, E. T., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Hoffman, J. R., Wilborn, C. D., Sale, C., Kreider, R. B., Jäger, R., Earnest, C. P., Bannock, L., Campbell, B., Kalman, D., Ziegenfuss, T. N., & Antonio, J. (2015). International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y