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How Beta Alanine Can Benefit Runners

Claire Muszalski
Registered Dietitian6 years ago
View Claire Muszalski's profile

Written by Alex Simpson

Beta Alanine Benefits

If you’re a runner or are involved in other endurance-based activities, you’ll know exactly how tough these activities can be, and will be looking for all of the help you can get. Of course, it’s important that you eat healthily and take your training seriously, but is there anything else you can do? Well, you could get on the supplement train to Gainsville and invest in some beta alanine supplements to really help take things to the next level. Beta alanine is one of the most popular supplements currently available and is utilised by athletes and bodybuilders worldwide, for a number of reasons. Runners and endurance athletes especially have reported very significant improvements in performance and recovery when supplementing with beta alanine, so let’s take a look at exactly how and why this amino acid is so beneficial.

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What Is Beta Alanine?


Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid that actually happens to be the only naturally occurring amino acid currently available. This amino acid is non-proteinogenic, which basically means that it does not play a role in the building of proteins like other amino acids do. However, that isn’t to say that it isn’t beneficial from an athletic standpoint because it most certainly is. Beta alanine has been found to elevate muscle carnosine levels and increase muscular output and endurance levels, especially during high intensities. The primary role of beta alanine within the body is to promote intramuscular carnosine concentrations. Why is this important? All will become clear in due course.

How Can Beta Alanine Benefit Runners?

Improved Aerobic Endurance


You remember how we mentioned carnosine before? Well, now it’s time to look at what’s so special about it in terms of endurance. Carnosine is a peptide located within the muscles. It actually functions as a form of defence against the build up of hydrogen ions when the body is subjected to spells of intense physical exertion. Because of the increase of hydrogen ions within the muscles, Ph levels are subsequently reduced. This results in enzyme function suffering, which in turn means that lactic acid can build up, and the muscles fatigue much quicker. Basically, low PH levels result in muscular fatigue, and Carnosine helps keep PH levels healthy. As beta alanine boosts carnosine levels, this makes it ideal for runners and sprinters.

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Enhanced Muscle Mass


Whilst runners do not set out to build as much muscle mass as they can, having increased levels of muscle mass can be useful, especially for explosive power and speed like that required for sprinting races. Beta alanine has been found to help increase muscle mass levels because it assists with muscular power and endurance. As beta alanine helps to fight fatigue, it means your muscles can work harder, and for longer, making your workouts a great deal more productive. Put simply, beta alanine allows you to do more work whilst training, which will yield greater results.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Claire Muszalski
Registered Dietitian
View Claire Muszalski's profile

Claire is a Registered Dietitian through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and a board-certified Health and Wellness Coach through the International Consortium for Health and Wellness Coaching. She has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Master’s degree in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.

Talking and writing about food and fitness is at the heart of Claire’s ethos as she loves to use her experience to help others meet their health and wellness goals.

Claire is also a certified indoor cycling instructor and loves the mental and physical boost she gets from regular runs and yoga classes. When she’s not keeping fit herself, she’s cheering on her hometown’s sports teams in Pittsburgh, or cooking for her family in the kitchen.

Find out more about Claire’s experience here.