Carnosine is an essential fuel that our bodies need. It helps us gain energy, sustain focus, and preserve our strength. Carnosine is most well-known in sports nutrition for its link to the more popular ingredient, beta-alanine. From muscle building to anti-aging and immune support, carnosine plays a significant role in our overall wellness. Ingesting carnosine directly may not be the best way to boost carnosine levels, however. Read on to learn more about what carnosine is, why we need it, and the most effective way to gain the maximum benefits. This is your complete guide to carnosine.
Carnosine, also known as L-carnosine, is a naturally occurring substance found in the body. It’s most commonly known as a powerful antioxidant. Scientifically speaking, carnosine is a dipeptide, or a compound made up of two linked amino acids: beta-alanine and histidine. More specifically, this compound is found within the active tissues of the body, including the heart and the brain.
In 1938, scientists discovered carnosine as an important intracellular pH buffer in the muscle. When we exercise, highly reactive hydrogen ions cause a fall in pH in our muscles, a process also referred to as acidification. Carnosine was found to have a perfect pKa value with the best buffering capacity for our ideal physiological condition. This discovery led to the study of carnosine’s impact on elite athletes and the benefits of raising carnosine levels for greater performance.
Research has also proven carnosine to have a positive impact on a variety of the body’s systems. In addition to its antioxidant properties, carnosine has anti-glycation and chelating effects on the body. Elevated carnosine levels have been shown to improve healthy immune responses, as well as aid in the functioning, maintenance, and performance of the muscles and other organs. Moreover, carnosine levels have been shown to decline during the aging process at a similar declining rate of function. Maintaining and boosting carnosine levels is the key to everyday wellness and performance.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine is a compound that offers systemic support for the proper functioning of the muscles and various organs within the body. Research has shown the therapeutic benefits of having elevated carnosine levels.
Carnosine has been rigorously researched and clinically proven to provide support in at least five main areas of wellness: muscle health, cognitive health, heart health, bone health, and systemic antioxidant support. From building better muscle quality to increasing endurance and exercise performance, the effects of carnosine are significant and wide-reaching. Researchers continue to discover what this powerful antioxidant can do, but these are the top 5 health benefits of carnosine.
Its strong anti-glycation ability has been shown to support cognitive function and mental acuity. Carnosine may also decrease occasional anxiety, support memory, delay mental fatigue, speed executive functioning, and increase focus.*
Carnosine provides pH buffering capacity and antioxidant properties to build better muscle which is vital to supporting a healthy frame, aiding in balance, and maintaining strength for everyday activities and overall quality of life.*
Carnosine helps to regulate muscle contractions and prevent lipid oxidation in the bloodstream. It also supports healthy circulation and healthy blood pressure levels.*
The antioxidant properties of carnosine provide protection against damage caused by free radicals throughout the body.* Carnosine provides multi-system support for the essential structure and function of healthy immunity. It also chelates heavy metals and supports blood sugar levels already in the healthy range.
Carnosine benefits bone and joint health through its anti-glycation action. Carnosine can also stimulate bone growth which contributes to overall skeletal integrity.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Beta-alanine combines with histidine to create carnosine, which supports muscle function as well as brain, heart, and bone health. Carnosine also has a significant impact on overall health and wellness.
One of the most unique roles of carnosine is exhibited in the muscle cells. It acts as a buffering agent to maintain muscle functions. Before diving into the science behind carnosine, it’s first important to understand how the body processes glucose—the primary source of energy.
Through a metabolic process called glycolysis, the body breaks down glucose into lactate and hydrogen ions. These end-products of glucose metabolism are transported from the muscle cells and into the circulatory system.
When the muscles are actively engaged, the rate of hydrogen ion production can become increasingly insufficient. Highly reactive hydrogen ions cause a fall in pH in the muscles, a process referred to as acidification.
As acidity rises and the muscle pH falls, fatigue sets in. The formation of cross links between proteins responsible for power generation and shortening of the muscle fibers can become compromised. Carnosine buffers that pH decline and helps the muscles maintain proper functioning.
High concentrations of carnosine reduce the level of acidity in the muscles. By safeguarding against lactic acid buildup, carnosine improves muscle elasticity and delays or prevents muscle fatigue.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine acts as a buffer against acidity levels when the muscles are engaged. For athletes, increasing carnosine levels can result in achieving greater gains.
The top food sources of carnosine are meats, such as turkey, chicken, beef, or pork. Other animal products such as eggs, milk, and cheese contain carnosine, but only in trace amounts. Since carnosine is found in the muscle, the higher the carnosine concentration, the stronger the muscle. Unfortunately, modern industrial farming methods tend to prioritize fattening over muscle building. Our food sources may not contain as much carnosine as we’d like to expect.
Most people believe that a well-balanced diet, rich in protein, fresh fruits, and vegetables, is a sufficient source of nutrition. However, even with the most nutrient-dense foods, it’s not possible to consume enough carnosine via diet alone. For example, at 7-ounces, an average serving of beef provides only about 250 milligrams of carnosine. Ideally, the body needs 500-3500 milligrams of carnosine while the average daily diet only provides 50-250 milligrams.
CarnoSyn® Quick tip: Carnosine is only found in animal products. Beef, pork, turkey, and chicken can provide food sources of carnosine, but even meat-eaters cannot achieve optimal carnosine levels through diet alone.
A vegetarian diet is often rich in antioxidants. An entirely plant-based diet may lack some essential nutrients, however. Carnosine is a unique antioxidant since it is generated naturally in human bodies and found only in animal-derived foods. This is why vegetarians need carnosine. Like vitamin B12, creatine, vitamin D3, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), heme iron, and taurine, carnosine is missing from a vegetarian’s food sources. Studies reveal lower levels of carnosine in vegetarians over those who eat meat.
Since the body naturally forms carnosine from histidine and beta-alanine, some may argue that carnosine is non-essential. However, studies have proven that carnosine levels directly impact improvements in performance. Supplementing with a vegan beta-alanine supplement is the best way to achieve optimal carnosine levels. This is important for all vegetarians but especially vital for vegetarian athletes seeking to build muscle mass and increase endurance.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine is missing from a plant-based diet. Vegetarians can greatly benefit from increasing their carnosine levels by supplementing with beta-alanine.
Elite athletes know that increasing carnosine levels has been proven to extend endurance, speed recovery time, enhance mental focus and build better muscle, faster. Elevated levels of carnosine can help pro-athletes enhance peak performance and gain an edge over their competition. The reason is simple: carnosine is responsible for reducing the accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles of the body, thus reducing fatigue during exercise.
Athletes have one particular individual to thank for advancements in performance through supplementation—Dr. Roger Harris. After many years of researching muscle cell energetics, and in particular the benefits of creatine supplementation for performance in humans, Dr. Harris next focused on the role of carnosine in buffering muscle cell pH during exercise and its synthesis from histidine and beta-alanine.
It was soon apparent that the synthesis of carnosine was limited by the availability of beta-alanine; small amounts of which are both synthesized in the body and taken in with food. It turned out, however, that whilst most normal diets provided adequate histidine, this was not the case with beta-alanine. By supplementing the diet with CarnoSyn® beta-alanine the amount of carnosine in muscle could be greatly increased, benefitting many different forms of athletic and sports performance.
Athletes know that they need carnosine for muscle function. The International Society of Sports Nutrition, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) have all reviewed and confirmed the benefits of supplementing with beta-alanine in order to elevate carnosine levels. In fact, the IOC lists beta-alanine as a supplement that demonstrates good-to-strong evidence of direct improvement to sports performance. But what if carnosine isn’t just for competitive or professional athletes? The reason why everyone needs carnosine for muscle function is simple: carnosine offers unique benefits to overall muscle wellness in all active adults.
In a long-term study of sustained-release beta-alanine, researchers found that a daily dose of 6.4 grams of SR CarnoSyn® for 24 weeks, significantly improved the time-to-exhaustion with high-intensity cycling. Individuals who took SR CarnoSyn® not only saw monthly improvements at higher levels than those who were given the placebo but also gained a 110% increase in their own capacity. This improvement was specifically attributed to an increase in muscle carnosine concentration and an expanded muscle buffering capacity. This is just one of many studies that point to just how essential carnosine is for maintaining muscle health. It is unique, however, for illustrating the long term and continuous effect of beta-alanine on carnosine levels and performance improvement.
Simply put, it is ineffective to ingest carnosine directly because only micro amounts of carnosine will actually make their way from the bloodstream to the cells. Orally ingested carnosine breaks down into beta-alanine and histidine on absorption from the gut. When it comes to synthesizing carnosine, the body actually has enough histidine to meet the muscles’ demands. Typically, what’s lacking is beta-alanine. Supplemental beta-alanine combines with the naturally occurring histidine to effectively increase the levels of carnosine.
Why not supplement with carnosine itself? Four reasons why:
Due to the high unit price of carnosine, supplements can be up to 25x more expensive than beta-alanine.
During digestion, the body naturally breaks carnosine down into beta-alanine and histidine. It then has to resynthesize it back into carnosine.
Carnosine supplements are typically only 40% beta-alanine by weight. The rest is unneeded histidine and added ingredients.
Carnosine’s molecular weight is 2.5x higher than beta-alanine.
Beta-alanine is often referred to as the precursor for achieving optimal carnosine levels. This non-proteinogenic amino acid is responsible for how much carnosine is synthesized in the body. Supplementing with the right dosage of beta-alanine is critical for achieving optimal levels of carnosine. The threshold for reaping the benefits of beta-alanine is 3.2 grams daily over 28 days. For athletes seeking to increase their performance, an average of 6.4 grams is recommended per day.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: The most effective way to increase carnosine levels in the body is to supplement with the right dosage of beta-alanine.
The cost of carnosine products can vary depending on the quality, brand, dosage, type of product, and where you purchase. As more and more research shows the benefits of carnosine, the dietary supplement market continues to expand the options for consumers. In terms of getting the greatest value, it’s essential to find a product that will help elevate carnosine levels as safely and efficiently as possible.
In order to find a product that’s safe and worth the cost, it’s helpful to look for brands that are patented and backed by years of scientific research. There are many products that make bold claims but aren’t proven to safely and efficiently increase carnosine levels. For example, most clinical studies use 2 grams of carnosine per day, yet some brands do not have the efficacious dosage to match their functional claims. Plus, research has shown that the most efficient and cost-effective way to raise carnosine levels is to supplement with beta-alanine. CarnoSyn® is a brand that many sports nutrition brands and athletes trust. Purchasing from CarnoSyn®-verified brand partners guarantees the safest and the most efficacious way to increase carnosine levels at the highest value.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine costs vary according to quality, brand, dosage, product, and type. Using beta-alanine versus ingesting carnosine directly will provide the most cost-effective results.
High-quality supplements can help the body in a variety of ways. But how do you know that you’re buying the highest quality? When searching for a trusted source of carnosine, there are a few key factors to consider.
The science and research behind your product can make all the difference. When it comes to regulation and compliance, you want to choose a product that is certified and patented with proven scientific results.
It may surprise you to know that dietary supplements, in general, are not FDA-approved.
Find a brand that invests the time and resources to formulate the highest quality products, backed by scientific studies for safe, verified results.
A brand that can verify its purity and efficacy is essential.
Look for ingredients that are globally patented and beware of generic formulations that make false claims of purity.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Use caution when choosing supplements. Find a product that’s backed by research and scientifically proven results.
Carnosine is naturally found in the tissues of many of the body’s organs. It has become quite popular to supplement with carnosine for added benefits. As more and more research reveals the positive impact of elevated carnosine levels, the options on the market continually expand. But is carnosine safe to take as a nutritional supplement?
The answer is yes, carnosine is safe and there are no known, common side effects. There are three different forms of carnosine supplementation: oral, topical, and rectal. The negative effects of carnosine supplements are rare and mild. They may include dry mouth, tiredness, vivid dreams, and changes in appetite when taken orally. Topical applications may cause slight skin irritations. Enemas have no known negative side effects.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine is safe and there are no known common side effects of supplementing with carnosine. Negative side effects are mild and rare. However, before taking any nutritional supplements, it’s important to consult with your doctor.
Carnosine is a vital component in the proper functioning of the body’s organs, including the muscles, heart, liver, and brain. This protein-building block works by preventing acid build-up that contributes to muscle fatigue. As more research is conducted on the benefits of carnosine, we are learning more answers to the question, how does carnosine work?
In a 28-day study in which participants’ carnosine levels were increased through beta-alanine supplementation, researchers saw a 12% increase in working capacity and a 16.9% increase in physical working capacity. In another study, researchers performed a meta-analysis and concluded that with proper daily dosage and loading, beta-alanine provides athletes in wide ranges of sports with benefits in both exercise capacity and power.
Researchers also studied combat soldiers to measure the effect of ingested beta-alanine on the carnosine levels in their muscle tissue. During this elite combat unit’s 30-day supplement period, a significant elevation in muscle carnosine content was noted, as well as improvements to aspects of their military performance, including endurance and focus.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine works by increasing both physical capacity and cognitive functioning while reducing the rate of fatigue.
Over 60% of Americans over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with chronic health conditions that require medication and medical intervention. As we age, our carnosine levels naturally decline. Unfortunately, that drop comes at a time when the body needs this antioxidant most. Research has shown the significant impact of elevated carnosine levels for anti-aging and overall wellness. By protecting cells from the damage caused by free radicals, carnosine can offer therapeutic support for many health conditions and concerns.
Long-term supplementation has proven to slow the degradation of skeletal bone mass, improve cognitive function and resiliency, as well as strengthen the metabolic pathways. One of the significant factors has to do with the way carnosine combats oxidative stress—a key component of many health challenges. Carnosine counteracts oxidant and glucose-induced damage by blocking changes in the cells and tissues responsible for age-related decline.
A recent animal study attributed carnosine supplementation to an increase in antioxidant activity and a decrease in lipid peroxidation in the serum, liver, and skin with positive modifications in blood lipid profiles. In another study, carnosine was shown to increase the rate of survival and significantly ameliorate pathological lung conditions, including shrinking lesions in the lungs. On a cardiovascular level, carnosine has anti-glycation properties that can protect blood vessels from damage caused by arterial plaque formation and diabetic damage.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Studies continue to reveal the potential for carnosine to have a tremendous impact on overall wellness.
There is actually no difference between carnosine (beta-alanyl-l-histidine) and L-carnosine. The “L” suffix in L-carnosine stands for “levorotary”. It indicates the levorotary form of the molecule as opposed to the dextrorotary. You may have seen this suffix occurring in references to other supplements such as L-arginine and L-carnitine, as well.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Carnosine and L-carnosine are actually one and the same thing.
As we know, L-carnosine is a natural bioactive dipeptide that acts as a buffer and an antioxidant. Zinc is a mineral that’s also essential for growth and the body’s proper functioning, including immune and endocrine functions and blood clotting. Both L-carnosine and zinc are found in red meat, poultry, and fish. In terms of the relationship between zinc and L-carnosine, there is a relatively new chelated or combined compound that contains both zinc and L-carnosine called zinc-L-carnosine (ZnC).
Carnosine actually enhances zinc absorption for two reasons: first, its solubility, and second, it delivers an extended release of zinc to the body’s tissues. The combination of zinc and carnosine has been shown to have enhanced health benefits over isolated forms. Studies have revealed restorative effects on the epithelial tissues of the body, including the GI tract, the skin, and the liver.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Research has shown that the combination of zinc and carnosine can provide enhanced greater health benefits when supplemented together.
In order to fully grasp how carnosine works, it’s necessary to understand the link between carnosine and beta-alanine.
Carnosine is a dipeptide, or a compound made up of two linked amino acids: beta-alanine and histidine. More specifically, this compound is in the active tissues of the body, including the heart and the brain. Carnosine is instrumental in the improvement of muscle strength. Carnosine is also vital to the health of many organs in the body.
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that supports the synthesis of muscle carnosine in the body. It combines with the amino acid histidine to form the 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.
During physical activity, through the process of glycolysis, glucose is broken down and pyruvate is produced, which is sometimes converted to a chemical known as lactate. Lactate produces high quantities of hydrogen ions. The increased acidity lowers the pH level in the muscles. The acidity in the tissues blocks the process of glycolysis and reduces the elasticity of the muscles. That decrease in elasticity is the origin of exhaustion and fatigue that’s experienced during high-intensity exercise and even in the natural aging process.
Introducing beta-alanine results in higher levels of carnosine. Carnosine buffers the decline in pH levels and reduces acidity in the muscles during exercises. This results in decreased fatigue. It’s what makes beta-alanine supplementation not only beneficial to athletes but anyone looking to improve their overall wellness.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Beta-alanine and carnosine work together to reduce fatigue by lowering the levels of acidity in muscles and aid in the proper functioning of many organs in the body.
To put it simply, beta-alanine increases carnosine levels. Daily supplementation with beta-alanine has proven to be more effective than ingesting carnosine directly. As a dietary supplement, carnosine isn’t practical since it is extremely expensive to produce and manufacture. When consumed, carnosine is not easily synthesized and quickly dissipates before being fully absorbed. That’s why everyone uses beta-alanine to gain carnosine benefits.
As we know, beta-alanine is an amino acid that supports the synthesis of carnosine in the body. Our carnosine levels are directly impacted by the availability of beta-alanine. Supplementing with a sustained-release beta-alanine will enable the synthesis of more carnosine for greater bioavailability within the muscles, brain, and other organs.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Beta-alanine supplementation elevates carnosine levels more effectively than direct carnosine ingestion and maximizes carnosine benefits.
Beta-alanine is available in two different forms—instant release and sustained release. Both formulations will provide the benefits of raising the body’s carnosine levels. CarnoSyn® (instant release) and SR CarnoSyn® (sustained release) offer dosing options that are customized depending on your health and wellness goals.
Athletes will often take the instant release formula to boost a high intensity workout. Pre-workout formulations are the most commonly used for their instant effects. Some athletes also enjoy the tingling sensation. For those who are seeking a wide variety of wellness benefits, including enhanced athletic performance, SR CarnoSyn® offers an advanced delivery system that allows for increased dosing for better results. When used in tandem, the combination of instant release and sustained release gives athletes the ability to stack their dosing for higher quantities of beta-alanine, optimal carnosine levels, and even more performance gains.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: There are two different forms of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine: instant release and sustained release. Choose the right formulation that’s designed to help you achieve your health and wellness goals.
Beta-alanine is one of the most widely used and professional-recommended supplements for athletes to enhance their performance, their capacity to exercise and train, build lean muscle mass, and support enhanced recovery. Research also continues to reveal that athletes are definitely not the only ones who can benefit. When beta-alanine is introduced into the body, it combines with histidine to produce carnosine. Not only does carnosine reduce muscle fatigue and help maximize workouts, but it also improves both the body and the mind’s overall performance.
Generic beta-alanine is not backed by science, nor protected by trademark registration. The quality of generic beta-alanine cannot be trusted to match that of patented beta-alanine. Generic beta-alanine manufacturers often claim their products have the same chemical structure identification, purity, and safety; however, those claims are not backed by the FDA nor supported by science.
CarnoSyn® is a scientifically proven and globally patented beta-alanine. Through a series of research and scientific studies, scientist Dr. Roger Harris concluded that CarnoSyn® beta-alanine is the best way to increase carnosine levels in the body, leading to various health benefits. The patented use of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine has led to significant advancements in muscle performance technology.
The benefits of beta-alanine are clear, but not all beta-alanine supplements are created equal. Many years and millions of dollars have been invested in scientific research and stringent quality control. CarnoSyn® is the only beta-alanine that has been certified by national and international agencies to be safe and effective, and the only beta-alanine to obtain the FDA status of New Dietary Ingredient (NDI) and self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status. Containing ZERO banned substances, you’ll always know where your beta-alanine comes from when it’s CarnoSyn® verified to be safe and effective.
CarnoSyn® is scientifically proven to be effective at improving athletic performance in all types of athletes. In fact, CarnoSyn®’s performance-boosting benefits are backed by more than 55 studies. These studies helped secure 18 global patents.
CarnoSyn® Quick Tip: Patented beta-alanine is scientifically tested and proven to be safe and effective.
From the professional athlete chasing the greatest possible gains to those seeking to age with vitality and strength, each health journey is unique. However, we all have one thing in common: the ability to reach our highest goals with the right fuel. Whether we’re striving to set a new PR or simply feel stronger and more confident, CarnoSyn® beta-alanine was made to help us achieve peak levels of performance and wellness.
As the go-to ingredient for sports nutrition formulations, CarnoSyn® helps build better muscle, faster. Athletes rely on the instant release formula to enhance their peak performance with sharpened focus, extended endurance, reduced fatigue, and increased muscle strength. CarnoSyn® beta-alanine has been shown by more than 55 scientific studies to increase muscle carnosine, and improve performance when athletes dose with at least 3.2-6.4 grams of CarnoSyn® per day over a 28-day period.
For the athlete who wants more, SR CarnoSyn® delivers even more results, faster. The sustained release delivery system allows athletes to ingest higher levels of beta-alanine comfortably and with extended absorption. It’s uniquely formulated to deliver a higher level of beta-alanine more comfortably in a single daily dose. A higher daily dose results in faster and greater increases in muscle carnosine, significantly reducing the loading period needed to enhance performance levels. The sustained release formula stays in the body longer and results in higher muscle retention and faster increases in muscle carnosine levels and, as a result, much faster gains.
SR CarnoSyn® is also making an impact in the general wellness and healthy aging market, offering consumers, natural products, and healthcare practitioner brands a multitude of benefits in one simple supplement. From immune support to mood balancing, heart health and bone health, the benefits of SR CarnoSyn® extend well beyond athletics.
If your goal is to redefine your “best”, then it’s time to supplement with beta-alanine, and CarnoSyn® is your fuel. Learn more about CarnoSyn® verified brand partners and find the carnosine-boosting products that are right for you.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.