Need your muscles to last longer? Then you need to flush out all of the wasteful acids in them.
This is exactly what beta alanine, an amino acid in several pre workout supplements like Myokem Nitramine, does for you.
It’s safe, non-toxic, and if you’re serious about getting in the long, quality workouts that it takes to make real changes, using beta alanine is a no brainer.
How it works
Beta alanine is actually not the amino acid that exerts its effects on your muscles. Instead, it is turned into carnosine, which is an acid-buffering antioxidant in your body.
With more beta alanine, you get more carnosine. With more carnosine, your muscles can remove more acids (such as lactic acid) when the pH drops and your muscular environment becomes acidic. It behaves like an antioxidant, but its effects go much further in terms of removing acid on top of free radicals.
Why not just take carnosine?
At this point, you might be wondering why we don’t just cut to the chase and take carnosine itself. Beta alanine has simply proven to be more effective when taking the same dose. It is the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of carnosine, and without beta alanine, less gets used anyway.
How to take it
Most successful studies have been used in the 2g – 5g dosage. It doesn’t really matter when you take it, but it makes sense to get at least some of your dosage in pre workout.
Each scoop of Nitramine has 1.6g, so you will be able to get results immediately. But once you are to the point of one heaping scoop, you’ll be able to see even better effects.
Beta alanine is also cheap to purchase on its own, and you could take one scoop of Nitramine pre workout, and then get another 1.5-2g of beta alanine at any other point in the day to keep it active in your muscles.
In the supplement world, beta alanine first started appearing in pre workout supplements, and that is where it has primarily remained.
However, the research below it is so successful that serious endurance athletes should really consider taking multiple servings throughout the day, even on off-days or when not using a pre workout with beta alanine.
The key research
There are nearly a dozen well-performed studies on humans, and the consensus is that you’ll get a 2.5% boost in muscular endurance, especially when performing from 1 to 4 minutes.
However, there has been success in even longer-lasting events — basically, beta alanine has worked in nearly every sport tested, such as:
- Weight lifting / resistance training
- Cycling (studies on both males and females)[9,10]
- Overall exercise
Put simply, if you’re an athlete of any kind, there’s absolutely no reason not to be using beta alanine.
Is beta alanine for women?
Yes – the above (and below) studies discussed worked on both men and women.
Our muscles’ waste disposal environments behave largely the same, and more importantly, there is no effect on testosterone, growth hormone, or cortisol.
Will it build muscle?
What’s interesting from the research is that in three of the longer-term studies on beta alanine, lean muscle mass went up. This isn’t to say that “beta alanine builds muscle”, because directly, it does not.
However, working out harder and lifting longer does build more muscle – especially when you eat right. So the indirect effects are clearly there, and they were strong enough in the three studies that measured for muscle growth the be statistically significant.[6,13,14]
Where it doesn’t work
However, much of the same research showed that there was no effect on power, so it might do much for solo powerlifting events that don’t require endurance (the other ingredients in Nitramine will help there, though).
VO2 max was unaffected as well, but that’s okay because this is for muscular endurance, not breathing. There are also other ingredients in Nitramine that we’ve found to boost breathing capacity.
What are the side effects?
Beta alanine has been shown to be extremely safe and non-toxic – no toxicity was found in any of the studies cited.
However, the skin tingles are a sensation that some people feel from beta alanine. This tingling sensation is known as paresthesia, and some may not like it, but it’s harmless.
Not everyone feels it, and not everyone minds it. In fact, many of us love it – if we feel our skin tingling a bit, that’s our way of knowing that the pre workout is in our system, and it’s time to get moving!
But there is a fraction of users who both feel it and seriously don’t like it.
If you don’t like the skin tingles
There are a few solutions for the tingle haters:
- Take smaller doses throughout the day.
This might not be possible if you want to take one large dose of pre workout, but one half of a scoop of Nitramine would avoid paresthesia for nearly everyone (800mg beta alanine)
- Just deal with it, knowing that it’s not dangerous
- Wimp out and don’t use the product (not recommended – Nitramine is just too good)
Where to buy beta alanine separately for the second dosage
I’m a one-scoop user of Nitramine, which means I stand to benefit from a bit of extra beta alanine taken on the opposite end of the day.
If this describes you, then you can look at the beta alanine page on PricePlow, where you can compare prices on raw / bulk beta alanine pills and powders. The powders will almost always be a better deal.