Beta-alanine is a nonessential amino acid that your body produces naturally. It’s also available in foods like fish, eggs, and chicken. It can help you improve athletic performance by increasing muscle carnosine levels, delaying fatigue, and improving recovery times between exercise sets. The good news is that it’s one of the least expensive supplements out there. While there are many different ways to include beta-alanine into your diet, here are five simple ways of doing so;
1. Add Beta-Alanine to Your Favorite Smoothie
Adding beta-alanine supplement powder to your favorite smoothie is one of the best ways to get more beta-alanine into your diet. The natural amino acid occurs naturally in muscle, promoting strength and muscle growth. It’s a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements, but you can also purchase it on its own if you don’t want any extra sugar or artificial ingredients.
Scoop about 1/2 tsp. of beta-alanine powder into your favorite smoothie and stir for an easy way to boost your workouts. The typical dose is 2.5 grams. If you’re new to taking supplements, consult with your doctor before trying any product containing beta-alanine.
2. Have a Beta-Alanine Snack Pre- or Post-Workout
Since beta-alanine is a nonessential amino acid, most people get enough of it in their regular diets. Some top sources include eggs, fish, and beef. However, if you are working out regularly and building lean muscle mass, consider taking a beta-alanine snack before or after your workout to ensure you’re getting enough of it. The recommended daily intake for beta-alanine is 3–6 grams, depending on your age and gender.
Examples of snacks you can infuse with beta-alanine include bananas, yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal cookies, trail mix, raisins, and nuts. However, However, keep in mind that too much beta-alanine may cause side effects like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain, and muscle cramps. If you experience these symptoms while supplementing with beta-alanine, discontinue use immediately and consult your doctor.
3. Cook with Beta-Alanine
Taking beta-alanine as a supplement is one way to boost your amino acid intake, but adding it directly to food is another way. Food companies add beta-alanine directly into certain foods, like energy bars and pre-made meals. Still, these supplements can be expensive—especially if you plan on taking them daily. Food with added beta-alanine is a good idea for those who can afford it and want an extra boost.
However, you can also add the supplement to your recipes by using a powdered form of beta-alanine. If you’re looking for a simple recipe that highlights how to use beta-alanine in cooking, consider making chicken parmesan: Add some powdered beta-alanine to breadcrumbs before coating chicken breasts. The resulting dish will have more than 100 milligrams of pure beta-alanine per serving.
4. Eating Meat-Based Protein
The usual suspects for getting beta-alanine are meat and fish, which usually contain high carnosine levels, an amino acid precursor of beta-alanine. Getting a moderate amount of carnosine in your diet can positively affect power performance, although supplementation is more effective for maximum enhancement.
Carnosine also helps buffer hydrogen ions during intense exercise, so consuming foods with carnosine before training may improve muscular endurance by lessening fatigue and soreness. Good animal protein sources include beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, and fish like salmon or tuna.
5. Infusing Coffee with Beta-Alanine
A combination of beta-alanine and caffeine may give you a cognitive boost. As caffeine helps to increase nutrient supply to the muscles, beta-alanine can improve muscle carnosine levels, which may help delay fatigue during exercise.
One study found that cyclists who consumed a pre-workout drink containing both ingredients showed less perceived exertion than those who consumed only caffeine or placebo drinks. The strategy may work exceptionally well for elite athletes whose exercise and daily training schedule make it challenging to get enough time for rest and recovery. You can now enjoy your coffee with additional benefits!
Your body naturally produces beta-alanine, a nonessential amino acid that plays an essential role in muscular endurance. However, you can also get beta-alanine from food sources such as chicken, fish, and beef—and while you may be getting some of it from your diet already, you may not be getting enough to achieve maximum results. Supplementing with beta-alanine is an easy way to ensure you’re getting enough of it every day. It can be beneficial for athletes who train hard and often. Don’t let the guard down when it comes to muscle health and performance! Try adding more beta-alanine to your diet today.