If you vegan fitness athlete, you are disciplined and have strong self-control. But it can be hard to control something if you are not aware of it. One hidden concern might be Beta Alanine deficiency.
What is Beta Alanine?
While by nature it is a non-essential amino acid, BA proves to be an important part of any fitness athlete or bodybuilder’s nutrition plan. It’s trademark name is CarnoSyn and it has gained popularity due to its effect on the muscles and performance boost.
Our body can produce Beta Alanine in 3 different ways:
- It is released when histidine dipeptides like anserine or carnosine breaks down.
- It can be formed as secondary byproduct of the conversion of L-alanine to pyruvate.
- Beta Alanine can also be produced when you eat food such as meat, chicken and fish. This happens when the intestinal microbes in your digestive system remove a carbon atom from L-aspartate. This results in the release of COA and Beta Alanine.
But if you are plant powered you don’t have the same food sources of BA. Beta Alanine Deficiency is due to our bodies not being able to produce enough Beta Alanine in our bodies for daily use.
Once it gets inside a skeletal muscle cell, it then binds to the amino acid L-histidine to form dipeptide carnosine. This carnosine is what makes it really special.
What Are the Benefits of Beta Alanine?
In simple terms, whenever we work out, our bodies create hydrogen ions (H+) as a byproduct. This buildup of H+ ions causes our muscle’s pH to lower and become acidic.
Due to the increase in pH, our muscles no longer contract properly and it fails to maintain a certain level of performance needed by fitness athletes. That is the lactic acid burn you feel.
Now, this is where Carnosine comes in. Carnosine works as an intracellular buffer. Carnosine soaks up on all the released H+ ions during exercise causing the muscle pH to stay on a normal level. So you can compete, train, lift for longer with higher intensity.
As a bit of a summary the key benefits of this are:
- An increase in muscular endurance
- An increase in anaerobic running capacity
- Reduction in fatigue rate / time to exhaustion
- Slight fat loss effect
- Slight muscle hypertrophy effect
Where to Your Daily Dose of Beta Alanine?
Carnosine is so tied to a carnivorous diet that the enzyme that produces carnosine gets significantly reduced within a few weeks of going into a vegan diet. As a result, most vegans have much lower carnosine concentrations in their muscles.
As such plant based athletes may need to consider Beta Alanine supplementation in order get the workout extensions & competitive equality. It is best to talk to Strength and Conditioning coach or Nutritionist about what is right for you.
If you would like to try Beta Alanine please consider us as a trusted source for vegan grade Beta Alanine.
More information is on the product page linked below.
- Anserine and carnosine supplementation in the elderly: Effects on cognitive functioning and physical capacity’, published in the Archive of Gerontology and Geriatrics, Sept-Oct. 2014
- Scientific American: Why Does Lactic Acid Build Up in Muscles?; January 2006
- Washington University: pH Buffers in the Blood; Rachel Casiday and Regina Frey Department of Chemistry; September 2008 http://www.carnosyn.com/
- BETA-ALANINE Supplement: Usage, Dosage, Side Effects & Benefits https://examine.com/supplements/beta-alanine/ 1-April 2017