May 4, 2023

Beta-Alanine: What You Need to Know

Major Team

What is Beta-Alanine?

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that enhances athletic performance by reducing fatigue and increasing endurance. It is not involved in protein synthesis but plays a role in the production of carnosine, a dipeptide that decreases lactic acid accumulation in the muscles during exercise. Beta-alanine is often taken with other supplements, such as sodium bicarbonate and creatine.

What Beta-Alanine Offers You

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that can be taken as a dietary supplement to improve muscular endurance. It is especially beneficial for high-intensity exercises that last between one and ten minutes. Examples of said activities include 400–1500 meter run, 100–400 meter swimming, and more.[1] Taking beta-alanine can help increase the time to exhaustion (TTE), allowing individuals to exercise for longer periods.

Furthermore, beta-alanine is advantageous for older adults, providing them with increased muscle endurance and aiding in reducing errors in protein metabolism, a process associated with aging.[2] Carnosine also seems to have anti-aging properties, making it an appealing supplement for people wishing to retain their health and fitness into their later years.[3]

Interaction with other supplements
  • Sodium Bicarbonate: Beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate are often combined as a supplement for enhanced exercise performance, as it reduces muscles and blood acidity.[1] Research suggests combining these two supplements can significantly improve performance during exercises in which muscles become acidotic.[4] 
  • Creatine: When beta-alanine and creatine are used together, they benefit exercise performance, strength, and lean muscle mass. Creatine, particularly, has been shown to improve the performance of high-intensity exercises by increasing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) availability.[5] 

Are There Any Side Effects?

Taking excessive amounts of beta-alanine may lead to a tingly sensation in your body, especially in the face, neck, and back of the hands. The severity of this sensation rises with dosage amount, being avoidable by taking small amounts — roughly 800 mg at a time.[6] 

Furthermore, excessive beta-alanine consumption may lower the amount of taurine absorbed in the muscles due to beta-alanine actively fighting for absorption.

How Much Beta-Alanine Should You Take?

The typical daily dose of beta-alanine is between 2 and 5 grams.[7] Beta-alanine supplements seem more effective than carnosine itself at replenishing muscle carnosine levels. They can be increased further by taking beta-alanine with a meal. 


1. Saunders, B., Elliott-Sale, K., Artioli, G. G., Swinton, P. A., Dolan, E., Roschel, H., Sale, C., & Gualano, B. (2017). β-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British journal of sports medicine, 51(8), 658–669.

2. Stout, J. R., Graves, B. S., Smith, A. E., Hartman, M. J., Cramer, J. T., Beck, T. W., & Harris, R. C. (2008). The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue in elderly (55-92 Years): a double-blind randomized study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5, 21.

3. McCormack, W. P., Stout, J. R., Emerson, N. S., Scanlon, T. C., Warren, A. M., Wells, A. J., Gonzalez, A. M., Mangine, G. T., Robinson, E. H., 4th, Fragala, M. S., & Hoffman, J. R. (2013). Oral nutritional supplement fortified with beta-alanine improves physical working capacity in older adults: a randomized, placebo-controlled study. Experimental gerontology, 48(9), 933–939.

4. Sale, C., Saunders, B., Hudson, S., Wise, J. A., Harris, R. C., & Sunderland, C. D. (2011). Effect of β-alanine plus sodium bicarbonate on high-intensity cycling capacity. Medicine and science in sports and exercise, 43(10), 1972–1978.

5. Stout, J. R., Cramer, J. T., Mielke, M., O'Kroy, J., Torok, D. J., & Zoeller, R. F. (2006). Effects of twenty-eight days of beta-alanine and creatine monohydrate supplementation on the physical working capacity at neuromuscular fatigue threshold. Journal of strength and conditioning research, 20(4), 928–931.

6. Trexler, E. T., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Hoffman, J. R., Wilborn, C. D., Sale, C., Kreider, R. B., Jäger, R., Earnest, C. P., Bannock, L., Campbell, B., Kalman, D., Ziegenfuss, T. N., & Antonio, J. (2015). International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 30.

7. Stellingwerff, T., Anwander, H., Egger, A., Buehler, T., Kreis, R., Decombaz, J., & Boesch, C. (2012). Effect of two β-alanine dosing protocols on muscle carnosine synthesis and washout. Amino acids, 42(6), 2461–2472.