Every athlete has felt the effects of acid build-up in their muscles during a workout. That burning sensation usually signals the end of an effort and the need to take time to cool down. This is where Thorne’s NSF Certified for Sport® Beta Alanine-SR kicks in and helps our athletes push through to get the most out of their workout.
“I take beta-alanine throughout the whole season,” says American National Champion Kyle Murphy. “I use it in every race to make sure my muscles keep up with me all the way to the line.”
Beta-alanine supplements allow our pros to get that little bit extra out of their rides. It can be the difference between cracking in the middle of a hard effort and pushing all the way to the line. The boost provided can help our riders make that breakaway kick, dig deep on a big climb, and bring an all-out sprint to the line after a long day in the saddle.
“Athletes who need that extra 10% out of their effort are the ones I see taking Beta Alanine-SR,” says Laura Kunces, Thorne’s Vice President of Medical Strategy. “It enables you to really push for a few more minutes to reach the end of your race, your competition, your workout.”
Olympian Human Powered and Human Powered Health athlete Lily Williams is another believer in the competitive edge brought by beta-alanine. “In a sport where even a one-per cent gain can make a difference, it’s crucial to take advantage of tools like beta-alanine to perform against the best in the world,” she says.
Of course, any athlete would love to eke out another 10% from their workout, but how does this supplement promote this extra energy? When you know the important role beta-alanine plays in your muscles, you’ll wonder why it’s not standard fare in the athletic world.
Carnosine – The Lactic Acid Buffer
Even a professional athlete can be excused for not knowing the role beta-alanine plays in the body. It has always been a difficult nutrient to supplement, making it rare on the pro scene. The relatively complex chemical reaction involved can also make it a little tough to know what it’s doing if you haven’t taken a chemistry class lately.
“Beta-alanine comes on the back end and enables you to sustain work a little longer,” says Joel Totoro, Thorne’s Director of Sports Science. “It combines with another amino acid, histidine, to create carnosine, which kind of gobbles up the hydrogen ions created during intense exercise.”
In this way, carnosine acts as a buffer in the muscle, allowing an athlete to go farther and faster before the lactic acid build-up catches up and forces him or her to call it quits.
“As it buffers lactic acid, it helps me overload on efforts during training,” says Williams, who is using beta-alanine as part of her training regimen for the upcoming Track Cycling World Championships.
Why take beta-alanine?
“Beta-alanine is there to increase the level of carnosine, which enables the body to do work just a little bit longer,” says Totoro. But the sustained effort isn’t the only benefit of a high carnosine level.
Carnosine also plays an important role in muscle contraction, especially under high-intensity conditions. A strong correlation between carnosine concentration and fast-twitch muscles demonstrates how important a steady stream of beta-alanine can be for anyone who needs to put out a short and explosive effort.
Steady supplementation is the key
Beta-alanine supplementation has always been difficult because of its poor absorption rate in the body. Traditional beta-alanine supplements had to be taken every few hours, which required athletes to spend valuable time and energy making sure they were on schedule.
Thorne’s sustained-release formula takes that burden off our riders. The easy-to-use tablet is made without binders or fillers that might cause interference with absorption, and they only need to be taken once or twice daily.
“I like the sustained-release formula because you don’t have to worry about timing or dosage,” says Murphy, who uses the tabs consistently throughout the season.
Next time you’re looking for that “extra 10%” in a high-intensity moment – try beta-alanine for a little-used inside edge.
If you’re looking to get a little more from your workout or to shake off that end-of-effort burn a little faster, then visit Thorne and try out their Beta Alanine-SR tablets at 25% off when you create an account.