Beta-Alanine: What’s the Proper Dosage?

Most athletes are familiar with the many benefits of dosing with beta-alanine, but what’s the proper dosage? Before learning how to achieve the optimal levels to suit your goals and boost your workouts, let’s do a quick refresh on beta-alanine.

What is Beta-Alanine?

Beta-alanine is a non-proteogenic amino acid that’s naturally produced in the body, and also found in foods such as certain meat and fish. It combines with the amino acid histidine to form a dipeptide called carnosine. Over time, carnosine acts as a buffer to help delay the onset of lactic acid and muscle fatigue and failure, while building endurance and improving recovery. The body’s natural production and most diets, however, do not have enough beta-alanine needed to improve athletic performance.

Proper Dosing (and Stacking) of Beta-Alanine

First, you should opt for a supplement that contains a fully tested, branded ingredient, such as CarnoSyn®, as opposed to generic beta-alanine. The fact is, with generic beta-alanine, there’s no real way of knowing if it is safe and effective–or that you’re getting the proper dose. Only CarnoSyn® is proven to improve athletic performance. In a 10-week study on high-intensity cyclists, supplementation with CarnoSyn® led to an overall 80% muscle carnosine increase. This was after an initial 58.8% increase at 4 weeks, followed by improved capacity and increased muscle carnosine thereafter.[1]

When it comes to proper dosing, a minimum of 90 grams over a period of 28 days is ideal. To amplify muscle performance, 179 grams over a 28-day period is recommended. These dosing regimens range on average from 3.2 to 6.4 grams per day. The higher the dose, the higher the carnosine retention, resulting in enhanced peak performance.

For athletes who choose to take the maximum dose, it doesn’t have to be taken all at once. Many athletes do what’s called stacking. This can be done via a pre-workout or post-workout, a standalone product in a single dose or multiple doses, or as a combination of pre/post formulations and standalone products.

What is a Loading Period?

Many athletes choose to obtain optimum beta-alanine intake by employing a “loading” phase or loading period into their workout regimen. A loading period is required to experience the benefits of supplementation. According to The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), supplementing with beta-alanine for a minimum of two to four weeks can “improve exercise performance, with more pronounced effects in open end-point tasks/time trials lasting one to four minutes in duration.”[2]

After the loading period, it’s important to take beta-alanine daily to achieve proven results–not just on workout days. Some athletes choose to reduce their beta-alanine intake at that point and enter into what’s referred to as a “maintenance” phase. Other athletes prefer to vary their dosage amount based on their daily activity–taking higher doses on training days, for example.

Instant Release vs. Sustained Release

There are two ways to get results with CarnoSyn® beta-alanine: via instant release and sustained release formulas. SR CarnoSyn® offers the same benefits as instant release CarnoSyn®, but in an advanced delivery system allowing higher dosing levels. Sustained-release properties also help minimize paresthesia and extend retention. Using instant release and sustained release in tandem gives athletes the ability to stack their dosing for higher quantities of beta-alanine and greater performance gains. For example, in a study comparing sustained-release and instant-release, SR CarnoSyn® demonstrated a 16.4% greater increase in muscle carnosine than instant beta-alanine.[3]

CarnoSyn® beta-alanine can be used in a number of dosage forms: powders, tablets, capsules, stick packets, chewables/lozenges, and more. SR CarnoSyn® is a patented ingredient available in tablet form. It contains the only beta-alanine that has successfully obtained FDA NDI status.

How Do I Find CarnoSyn®-Verified Brand Partners?

When you see brands with the CarnoSyn® logo, you’ll know you’ve found a product that contains the only proven and trusted beta-alanine ingredient. Visit the CarnoSyn® Verified page, where you can browse the list of CarnoSyn®-Verified Brand Partners and find beta-alanine products that provide the optimal dose at the best time.

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16868650/
[2] https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y
[3] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00726-018-2609-4