Beta Alanine

If you try it, let us know what happens.

Which are the aminos in creatine, is arginine not one of them?

Be careful not to over supplement with Arginine because if you have had cold sores before then you may have a break out again.

Supplementing BA with Cr M is not as effective as individual supplementation during different phases.

Yeah, strength gains and also way better “recharging” in between sprints (whatever the distance). I remember when I first used creatine and I was doing 12x60m with walk back recovery and the 12th rep felt almost exactly like the first. BUT I’ve been smart with creatine. The first time I did the loading phase and I gained like 4kg in one week. Now I just take like 3-4 grams a day and I get the same performance benefits but with no weight gain.

I think BA should be used mostly with the lactic session phase of training. And then for the competition phase. But I see no reason why not to use it year-round (say 12 weeks on, 2 weeks off? --but that just came to me as an idea, so I haven’t tried it out yet).

What do you think of arginine and creatine as a pre-training stack? I’ve got some Arginine-Ethyl-Ester and I’ve only used it before bed with not much benefit at all (plus it tastes like shit. Haha.). I usually take 5 grams of creatine before a training session and I find that works quiet nicely. Maybe adding the arginine would help even more? My friend suggested “NO2 Explode”, but I looked at the back of the label and it’s pretty much just creatine and arginine. Thoughts?

I to am interested in the thoughts of whether to cycle it (ie. take a break from using it), or, do you have to keep consistantly using it, for it to reach it’s maximum benefit?

FYI guys and girls. I found this article on T-Nation and kind of answered my own questions…I have added only relevant points from this interview to answer the question I was asking…

Beta-alanine: The Next Creatine
An Interview with Dr. Jeff Stout

TC: I understand that some of the athletes in your studies came back to you several weeks after the conclusion of the study and wanted to get back on beta-alanine because their workouts now “suck” in comparison?

JS: Ha! Yes, that’s true of every study on beta-alanine I’ve done thus far. Athletes came back 6 weeks later begging me for more beta-alanine because their training “sucked!” without beta-alanine.

Just to make sure, I did the same and stopped taking beta-alanine 6 weeks ago. My subjects were right, my workouts “suck” without it!

TC: So you do need to “load” it, like creatine?

JS: Well, research so far suggest that maximal increases in carnosine happen within 4 weeks with about 6 g per day, or 40 to 60 mg per kg of body weight. After that, I think you could cut the dose in half to maintain your elevated carnosine levels.

TC: So strength athletes and endurance athletes could benefit equally?

JS: Yes, finally a supplement that can enhance performance in ALL athletes! Can you think of a single sport that doesn’t try to deal with delaying fatigue during training or competition? I can’t.

TC: Do the effects diminish over time? Does it have to be cycled?

JS: While the research isn’t there yet, it appears anecdotally, that if you stop supplementing, your carnosine levels will return to baseline in about 6 weeks. I would suggest taking a maintenance dose (2 to 3 g per day) to keep carnosine levels up. I see no need to cycle.



Carnosine (β-alanyl-L-histidine) is present in high concentrations in human skeletal muscle. The ingestion of β-alanine, the rate-limiting precursor of carnosine, has been shown to elevate the muscle carnosine content. We aimed to investigate, using proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (proton MRS), whether oral supplementation with β-alanine during 4 wk would elevate the calf muscle carnosine content and affect exercise performance in 400-m sprint-trained competitive athletes. Fifteen male athletes participated in a placebo-controlled, double-blind study and were supplemented orally for 4 wk with either 4.8 g/day β-alanine or placebo. Muscle carnosine concentration was quantified in soleus and gastrocnemius by proton MRS. Performance was evaluated by isokinetic testing during five bouts of 30 maximal voluntary knee extensions, by endurance during isometric contraction at 45% maximal voluntary contraction, and by the indoor 400-m running time. β-Alanine supplementation significantly increased the carnosine content in both the soleus (+47%) and gastrocnemius (+37%). In placebo, carnosine remained stable in soleus, while a small and significant increase of +16% occurred in gastrocnemius. Dynamic knee extension torque during the fourth and fifth bout was significantly improved with β-alanine but not with placebo. Isometric endurance and 400-m race time were not affected by treatment. In conclusion, 1) proton MRS can be used to noninvasively quantify human muscle carnosine content; 2) muscle carnosine is increased by oral β-alanine supplementation in sprint-trained athletes; 3) carnosine loading slightly but significantly attenuated fatigue in repeated bouts of exhaustive dynamic contractions; and 4) the increase in muscle carnosine did not improve isometric endurance or 400-m race time.

I’m wondering how #4 was evaluated- or actually when. If #3 is true, it should lead to improvement over the 400m race time if a consolidation period, when work is reduced, is factored in.

the full free text is available here for anybody who wants to read the study

The protocol for the testing was as follows

Isokinetic and isometric muscle fatigue protocol. An isokinetic and isometric test was performed on a Biodex isokinetic dynamometer (System 3, Biodex Medical Systems) to evaluate the contractile performance of the knee extensors. The dynamometry was preceded by a standardized warm-up consisting of an ascent and descent of a stairs (11-m altitude) and two 50-m runs at moderate pace. The isokinetic test was performed on the right leg. This consisted of 5 x 30 maximal voluntary isokinetic knee extensions at a constant angular velocity of 180°/s. Each contraction was initiated from a position of 90° knee flexion and was continued to the point of full knee extension. After each extension, the lower leg was passively returned to the start position at 90°/s (~1.5 s for full cycle). Each bout of 30 contractions was separated by a 1-min recovery period. Subjects were encouraged during the first three contractions to make sure that they were contracting maximally from the start of each bout. Subjects received visual feedback of their produced peak torque. Peak torque during each contraction (1–30) was measured and used to calculate the average peak torque during each bout of exercise. Subsequently, the isometric test was performed on the left leg. The knee angle was fixed at 45°, and the maximal static voluntary contraction (MVC) torque was determined. The highest torque of three 3-s attempts, separated by 30 s of rest, was considered as MVC. Subjects were then asked to contract isometrically with their knee extensors at a target torque of 45% of MVC for as long as possible to determine isometric endurance.

400-m race. The time to complete 400-m running was evaluated in an indoor 300-m flat athletics track (Flanders Sports Arena, Ghent, Belgium). Time was recorded by an infrared light-based electronic device at the start and finish (400 m). Subjects were asked to warm up, according to their personal routine during ~45 min. Following warm-up and 2–3 min before the start, a capillary blood sample was obtained from a finger tip and analyzed for lactate with Lactate PRO test strips (Arkray, Kyoto, Japan). Also at 90 and 180 s following finish, blood lactate was measured. The maximal lactate accumulation was considered as the higher of the two postsprint lactate values.

I’d note that some more recent work suggests that beta-alanine has no additional benefit if the trainee is doing high intensity interval work. Presumably, the effects simply aren’t additive and there is a limit to how much you can top up the sytem.

I think it might be useful in an early GPP phase before the athlete has started doing much SE work to improve buffering and allow better work capacity when such work is brought in.


I found with a 300m H to have benefit. He dropped about 1 second from taking it compared to not taking it.

Was the improvement mainly near the end of the distance, better maintenance of speed/etc?

At the end. His feelings were that he felt strong at the finish at a time when acid builds up, he felt nothing. Having once did this, the next race he went out harder with the same result, feeling nothing at all, which was the race he went 41.3 coming off a mid 42s most of the season. He was consistent with his times all year which is important. I had a few 400m runners who would run a 54 one race, and a 57 the next. Couldn’t tell if the BA helped or hurt them, too inconsistent to know.

I can give a large handful of cases who have benefited from beta alanine (400/400h). It either really works or has a spectacular placebo effect.

Any with short sprinters 60-100m?

We’ll see if it works with me.
Will try it for buildup (6weeks) to nationals.
If it shaves of 1s from my pb it would be very…nice.

I do have to admit i use some bicarbonate before racing. Its a terrible taste and gives headaches after the race but it works for me.

can you compare sodiumbicarbonate with beta alanine?

Is beta alanine better? As I read combining it with creatine is working very well. Hope this can work for me also.
Just Creatine isnt working for me because i get cramps and feel tight when using for longer than 10 days.

I used 2g BA 3x/day, morning, lunch, and hour before race

I also used L-arginine, 3g 1 hour befere race. I went with lower dosage of arginine for fear of having the “runs” before the run! Didn’t have any issues, but better safe than sorry.

I use beta alanine religiously in season, and as a short sprinter who was forced to run the 4x4 I definitely saw improvements in the 400.

For sprinting, creatine is great on paper… not so good in practice.

Beta alanine is certainly better than bicarb especially in that it doesn’t taste terrible or give headaches/stomachaches.

am not sure it has worked for me! didn’t notice any difference!

beta alanine is half of the carnosine molecule which is found predominately in type 2 fibers and the brain. It is a powerful antioxidant and local muscle buffer. The main benefit will be more of a strength endurance in that it will help you through your training. It also takes some time to build it up. It is not a pre-meet gonna make you fast thang.

Oh Yeah the studied dose is about 3.5 grams daily. Of course if you are a shot putter you may need a bit more.