For individuals wanting to improve their overall health and fitness, amino acids are a great place to start. These organic compounds are critical for supporting the body’s basic functions and serve as the building blocks of protein and muscle tissue. Amino acids have been compared to letters of the alphabet that, when joined together, form a complex language of protein chains within the body.
Due to their role in major physiological processes related to muscle building and fat loss, amino acids like beta-alanine are becoming increasingly well-known among athletes wishing to enhance their exercise and sports performance. So, what are the different kinds of amino acids and what impact do they have on the body? How can you make sure you’re getting enough amino acids? Are amino acids like beta-alanine safe to take in supplement form?
Essential Vs. Non-Essential Amino Acids
Just as humans must have water and oxygen to survive, our bodies need amino acids to function properly. There are hundreds of amino acids in nature, but the most important are the 20 that are genetically encoded (also referred to as “proteinogenic” amino acids). Nutritionists categorize these 20 amino acids into two groups: essential and non-essential.
The nine essential amino acids are also known as indispensable amino acids. They include histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These must be derived from our diet because they cannot be made by the body. (Humans lack the metabolic pathways required to synthesize them.) Essential amino acids are found in foods like beef, eggs, and dairy products.
Non-essential amino acids include alanine, arginine, asparagine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glutamic acid, glutamine, glycine, proline, serine, and tyrosine. These have historically been dubbed “non-essential” because the body is able to synthesize them from other amino acids, so they weren’t believed to be essential to our diets. However, so-called “non-essential” amino acids are quite essential to our health, so this century-old misnomer has limitations. According to one study, “Emerging evidence indicates dietary essentiality of ‘nutritionally non-essential amino acids’ for animals and humans to achieve their full genetic potential for growth, development, reproduction, lactation, and resistance to metabolic and infectious diseases.”
The other group, non-proteinogenic amino acids — like beta-alanine and creatine — are also called (and classified as) non-essential amino acids because the body has a pathway to produce them. They play essential roles just like proteinogenic or essential amino acids, and cells may not be able to synthesize them in large enough amounts to satisfy the body’s requirements — particularly during certain times (like during rapid growth, when healing from an injury, etc.) or if you live an active lifestyle. To augment the quantity your cells can produce, you must consume amino acids — like beta-alanine — in your diet or take them as supplements.
What Amino Acids Do for the Body
When you consume whole protein, whether it’s in a shake, in solid foods, or from supplements, the body’s digestive system breaks it down into amino acids. These amino acids then link together in the body, where they serve many important roles.
Some amino acids — like leucine and methionine — help with your body’s muscle and tissue growth. Others, like lysine and valine, are involved in producing energy, while isoleucine helps your body regulate energy. And others help with digestion, the production of hormones, mood regulation, brain function, and immune function.
CarnoSyn® beta-alanine is one amino acid that, when ingested, increases pH buffering capacity, delays fatigue, and improves focus and cognitive function. In fact, over 55 clinical studies support the athletic performance benefits of CarnoSyn®. It’s for these reasons that amino acid supplements like CarnoSyn® beta-alanine have become an integral part of serious athletes’ workout regimens. The International Society of Sport Nutrition (ISSN) supports such supplementation, and in 2022, officially recommended beta-alanine for tactical athletes, military, and first responders to achieve health and performance benefits.
Amino Acids — Safe for Supplementation?
When used by manufacturers appropriately, amino acid supplements like beta-alanine are safe for consumption. However, it’s important to know the source and quality of the ingredients found in your supplements. In the case of beta-alanine, only CarnoSyn® is globally patented and meets the industry’s most rigorous standards of quality. Generic impostors abound, and their inferior ingredients may lack consistency in quality, potency, and purity. To determine if the supplement you’re taking is safe, ask:
Is this product patented?
Is it guaranteed to be banned-substance free?
Is it made by a brand that is backed by proven scientific results?
Additionally, when supplementing, it’s best to take only the recommended dosage. The amount you should consume will vary depending on your performance goals. To see the benefits of beta-alanine, load at least 90 grams of beta-alanine over a period of 28 days, for an average of 3.2 grams per day. For maximum benefits, increase this amount to 179 grams over 28 days (an average of 6.4 grams per day).
If you’re looking to build muscle, enhance your capacity to exercise, and improve recovery, CarnoSyn® beta-alanine is a leading ingredient that can get you there — quickly and safely. Learn more about our CarnoSyn®-verified partners and how their products can help you meet your health and fitness goals.
TWO WAYS TO GET RESULTS
CarnoSyn® beta-alanine is available in two different forms—instant release and sustained release—offering two ways to dose. SR CarnoSyn® offers the same benefits as instant release CarnoSyn®, but in 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 and even more performance gains.