Beta-alanine is not a new supplement to the sports and fitness industry, and most people know what it feels like. That said, not as many people know what Beta-alanine does in the body. For this reason, below is a description of how this all-important supplement contributes to your CrossFit workout fitness.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential beta amino acid which has quickly become invaluable in performance, nutrition, and bodybuilding. Due to the claims that it raises carnosine levels in the body muscles and enhances the amount of work you can undertake at high intensities, it has grown to become a shining star in CrossFit workout.
Insofar as Beta alanine gives you real performance benefits, it is important to understand its unique chemical properties. According to research, this supplement has a unique relationship with taurine which you should carefully consider.
Understanding Beta Alanine
Also referred to as 3-aminopropionic acid, Beta-alanine occurs naturally and is one of the components forming vitamin B5, anserine, and carnosine. Regarding structure, this supplement is a cross between GABA and L-glycine neurotransmitters. Probably, this is the reason why athletes using it claim to experience some caffeine-like experience.
The body has three ways in which it can produce Beta-alanine with CrossFit workout. One of them is the breakdown of anserine or carnosine; the other is through its formation as a secondary byproduct of a chemical reaction converting L-alanine to pyruvate while the last one is its formation during digestion where the microbes present in the intestinal chambers remove a carbon atom from L-aspartate thereby releasing carbon dioxide and Beta-alanine.
When you consume this supplement in your CrossFit diet, it passes straight from the bloodstream and into your skeletal muscle through what is known as a Beta-alanine and taurine transporter. The transportation depends on the availability of sodium and chloride. When it gets into the skeletal muscle cell, Beta-alanine binds with L-histidine to result in the carnosine dipeptide.
What Beta Alanine Does
The ability of the Beta-alanine to raise the level of carnosine concertation in the muscles is what defines its function. The studies done have confirmed that in about four weeks of Beta-alanine supplementation, carnosine concentration can go up by about 58% and in 10 weeks, the concentration levels can go up to 80%.
Carnosine is a potent antioxidant and therefore gives your muscles the first line of defense against any buildup and accumulation of hydrogen ions when performing high-intensity exercises. When hydrogen ions build up, they lower the pH in your muscle cells, and this negatively affects the function of the various enzymes as well as the muscle excitation-contraction coupling events which are important for continued high-intensity output. A drop in muscle Ph is often associated with muscle fatigue.
Some of the known sources of Beta-alanine include foods such as pork, tuna, and venison. Since the body doesn’t produce enough of this non-essential amino acid, it is highly recommended that you supplement. You can take it as a pre-workout supplement to help you power through your CrossFit training routine.