Research on beta-alanine is still very young, but scientists have hit the ground running in order to better understand the latest wonder ingredient and improve upon it. New, more advanced formulas are already being developed to make beta-alanine even more efficient and effective.
Beta-alanine is one of two precursors to carnosine, a dipeptide amino acid concentrated in skeletal muscle (the other is histidine). Carnosine has been shown to increase both muscle strength and performance, ultimately leading to greater gains in muscle mass. It also serves as a pH buffer, staving off lactic acid and allowing you to train at a higher level for longer. Research shows a clear relationship between the amount of beta-alanine consumed and muscle carnosine levels—regular beta-alanine supplementation has been observed to augment muscle carnosine concentration by more than 50%. And the effects aren’t fleeting: Once a muscle’s carnosine concentration has been increased, say, via supplementation, the time it takes to revert to its baseline level is extremely slow, dropping just 2% per week.
Now, the latest research from Switzerland cites a new, more efficient form of beta-alanine in the works. Initial observations of this new slow-release version show reduced urinary loss of the ingredient, meaning that it has a chance to be utilized more efficiently in the body and be better retained within the muscle tissue. And many people notice a tingling sensation after ingesting beta-alanine. This form provides a significant reduction in that sensation.
For the sake of your supplementation, it’s also good to know that beta-alanine is a nitric oxide (NO) potentiator, so while it won’t generate NO on its own, it will amplify its effects and duration, making beta-alanine the perfect companion for NO in a pre-workout stack.
REFERENCE: T. Stellingwerff et al., Amino Acids, E-pub ahead of print, 2012.