Beta-Alanine (B-A) - ABCbodybuilding

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Old 04-21-2009, 02:22 PM
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Default Beta-Alanine (B-A)

For some time now Beta-Alanine has been touted as the 'super' replacement for creatine, some claim at upto 10x the effects of creatine but without any creatine side effects (stomach issues etc), it has been accepted that the amino acid B-A is involved as a rate-limiting precursor of carnosine but not as a precursor of protein.

One recent study (Smith et al, 2009), found that high intensity interval training (HIIT) was effective and efficient in inducing significant aerobic improvements. The study authors concluded that beta-alanine supplementation may further enhance HIIT training by improving both endurance performance and lean body mass. The dose of beta-alanine in this particular study was 6 g per day for the first 3 weeks, then followed by 3g per day for the following three weeks.

An additional study (Hoffman et al, 2008) found that beta-alanine supplementation increased training volume and reduced subjective feelings of fatigue in college football players. The dosage of beta-alanine in this study was 4.5g per day.

[At high doses, beta-alanine can cause side effects including paraesthesias or a sensation of "pins and needles" in your limbs.]

This then puts forward the question of dosing and what is best

1. 5g pre-workout
2. 5g split pre/post workout
3. 1g 5 times a day

after reading the above snippits i had another idea of combining the above with standard practice for creatine in the form of loading then maintaning the beta-alanine levels in the form of

3 weeks loading phase 8g followed by 3-6 weeks maintanence phase 5g

Last edited by klosey; 04-21-2009 at 02:26 PM.
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Old 04-21-2009, 03:43 PM
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Interesting...

I lift in the evenings, so I've been doing the following method for a while... no idea if it's scientifically relevant or useful though lol:

--Lunch time (12PM) I'll have ~2g B-A with 2-3g creatine
--5:15PM (~30 min pre-workout) I'll have 4-5g B-A with 5g creatine
--5g creatine with the first couple sips of my PWO drink.

Is that too much creatine?
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rootb33r View Post
Interesting...

I lift in the evenings, so I've been doing the following method for a while... no idea if it's scientifically relevant or useful though lol:

--Lunch time (12PM) I'll have ~2g B-A with 2-3g creatine
--5:15PM (~30 min pre-workout) I'll have 4-5g B-A with 5g creatine
--5g creatine with the first couple sips of my PWO drink.

Is that too much creatine?
depends imo many say 5g is enough but depends on if you eat meat, weight, tolerance to creatine, quality of creatine etc
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:02 PM
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I just started supplementing with B-A this past week. I'm going to up my dosage to 3x/day. Currently I've been taking ~4g pre-workout only, I don't think this is enough.
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Old 05-02-2009, 11:20 AM
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there are a few studies that suggest 8g is needed but i'm still awaiting proof that there is no toxic levels for ingestion
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Old 05-04-2009, 10:34 PM
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This is a cool topic, Gabriel and I got invited to write a paper on Beta-Alanine for the Strength and conditioning Journal. Anyway on doses from our research we felt that athletes should consume at least 6.4 grams per day, divided into small 0.8 gram doses throughout day. Dosing should be spaced in a minimum of 3 hour intervals so as to avoid negative flushing effects. It may also be wise to pyramid the dosage, starting from lower (3.2 g*day) during the first week, to moderate (4.8) during the second week, to higher (6.4) the remainder of the supplemental period . The dosing schedule is again based on avoiding the flushing effects of the supplement For example Harris et al. found that a single 3.2 gram bolus of beta-alanine resulted in a flushing sensation characterized by a skin deep *****ly, irritating reaction which radiated from the ears, scalp, upper trunk and finally, the base of the spine. While lower in severity, these symptoms were still present at half the dosage but were only mild and experienced by 25 % of participants at 0.8 gram servings.

In terms of it being more effective than creatine I have heard people say this, but in reality both supplements work through different mechanisms.

Creatine works at least energetically by extending the short term ATP-PC system (0-10 seconds all out work) while beta-alanine works to enhance buffering capacity and thus blunt the fatiguing effects of glycolysis.

But one has to wonder as WillworkforAndro has pointed out, do we as bodybuilders really want an agent that causes a less acidic environment if perhaps that acidity in part underlies the hypertrophy response?
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Old 05-05-2009, 07:27 AM
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But one has to wonder as WillworkforAndro has pointed out, do we as bodybuilders really want an agent that causes a less acidic environment if perhaps that acidity in part underlies the hypertrophy response?

i like the idea prez but..... i have noticed myself the buffer effect can be the difference between lifting a weight 10 times instead of 8 and the doms, if i get them are generally more intense than without BA, maybe the temp buffer actually allows you to destroy the muscle a llitle bit more
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klosey View Post
i like the idea prez but..... i have noticed myself the buffer effect can be the difference between lifting a weight 10 times instead of 8 and the doms, if i get them are generally more intense than without BA, maybe the temp buffer actually allows you to destroy the muscle a llitle bit more
Where exactly in the body does LA cause the response of GH?? Does this occur after the LA has cleared (in the liver or somewhere else?)? If so then it wouldn't make a difference if it clears more out, because you're still producing the same amount, it's just not building up.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:56 PM
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i've hearad that the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscle causes pH levels to drop and The 'muscle burn' is due to the neural ( nerve ) irritation associated with an altered pH ( pH = measurement of acidity, more below ) within the worked / exercised muscle A snippet of what i've found says

The chemical reactions cause muscle fiber shortening = muscle contraction.

The chemical reactions ( glycolysis / Krebs Cycle amongst others ) convert the nutrients into waste byproducts to be dealt with by the excretory systems.
  • nutrients in >> movement & waste byproducts out.
The waste products are normally easily removed from the muscle.
As exercise (more muscle contraction = more chemical reactions ) increases the amount of byproducts produced also increases .. eventually the amount of byproducts produced exceeds the bodies ability to remove them from the muscle group.

Common examples:
  • O2 to CO2
  • The chemical reactions are exothermic .. release heat = sweat!
  • The Krebs Cycle deals with converting ATP >> ADP >> ..
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:29 PM
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Yeh Klosley,

I here you. My thoughts are that in these studies they control for total work, in such cases pH is not as low and lactate is not as high. However if you are able to get 2-3 moe reps then perhaps in the end there will be no difference between supplemented and non supplemented groups.

In terms of where GH is stimulated, while we are not positive on all the metabolites involved we think that there is a direct neural feedback mechanism in the group 3 and 4 affarent fibers sensitive to metabolite buildup (H+. K+, lactate) and also in the blood itself as adding a bi carb buffer in studies has blunted the GH response to training. In the blood it is thought that GHRH binds optimally to the anterior pituitary under more acidic conditions
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