beta Alanine...?

have you guys heard about or tried Beta-alanine?

It has been marketed as a lactic acid buffer for sporting purposes.
Life extensionists are reporting its benefits in anti aging aswell.

Ive have been loading up on the stuff for 3 weeks now and have noticed a little better muscle endurance, however it apparently takes alot longer to gain greater saturation of muscle carnosine stores.
Carnosine is a Di-peptide which resides in skeletal muscle and brain tissues within the body. Apparently if we, as humans can manipulate greater storage of this compound in our muscles, lactic acid H+ ions can be signifacntly reduced under prolonged physical exertion.
Seems to be the real deal!!!! this combined with creatine seems to be very very promising indeed.!

Interesting concept, especially when one considers that the body doesn't make lactic acid.

click me

Biotest has a new supplement called BETA7, which is a time released form of beta alanine. T Nation has some info that supports the efficacy of beta alanine (interestingly the study didn't use their supplement). Go to their website and look for the new products thread to see an interesting discussion.

Apparently, the South Korean speed skaters all use beta alanine and did really well at the last Olympics.

BETA7 is like $50 for a month's supply. I'm not willing to spend that much to try it, maybe if the price dropped (you can get a Kg of creatine for under $20) From what I've read, you need to take small doses several times a day to improve carnosine levels.

For info:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/jrod5.htm

For a product:
http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/ms/carn.html

i also think you can buy it in bulk from 1fast400 or bulknutrition...

Jonwell, my understanding is that the claimed mechanism is buffering of the H+ ions produced as a byproduct of respiration, nothing on the T-Nation blurb refers to it buffering Lactic Acid.

As I understand it, Lactic Acid ions are actually used in the Anaerobic respiration process therefore removing them would be detrimental to performance.

The results that T-Nation has linked to have been very promising. I would try it myself if it was available here at a reasonable price.

The cost vs potential reward just doesn't stack up for me at the moment, I could get significant gains just by training harder and cleaning up my diet more.

I would be interested to read anyone elses experiences though!

One of the major benefits for MMA fighters is that it doesn't cause the water weight gain that comes with creatine monohydrate supplementation.

Cockney, I may have missed the t-nation link on this thread, but the OP says this:

"Apparently if we, as humans can manipulate greater storage of this compound in our muscles, lactic acid H+ ions can be signifacntly reduced under prolonged physical exertion. Seems to be the real deal!!!! this combined with creatine seems to be very very promising indeed.!"

Which is what I was responding to. The carbonic acid produced by respiration is very well buffered by bicarbonate in your blood.

Found the full article btw, if anyone is interested-

click

and here- click is a list of articles citing the original article, which is a good benchmark of its importance (uninteresting or unuseful articles are usually just ignored).

Debunkify that strawman!

thanks Jonwell, I'll have a look see if I can find a couple of the pieces that got me interested in the first place.

OK here's the opening few lines from the article that first got me interested. And the link: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1196017

TC: First of all, Jeff, what is BETA-7 and what does it do?

JS: Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid found naturally in both the body and in foods such as chicken or whale meat... not that many of us eat whale, of course.

When beta-alanine is ingested, it enters the blood stream and is taken up by muscle cells. It then becomes what I call the "rate limiting substrate" to carnosine synthesis. Now, carnosine is a dipeptide found primarily in fast-twitch muscle whose primary function, as far as you and I are concerned, is bufferinghydrogen ions (H+).

So without beta-alanine, carnosine doesn't get produced, and you don't have the buffering of hydrogen ions.

TC: Why is buffering so important? What I want to know is this: Will it make me hyoooge?

JS: Well, we need carnosine to buffer H+. If we buffer H+, the pH levels in our muscles don't drop so low that our muscles start burning and force us to quit. If we don't buffer, the acid levels in the muscle get very, very, high, and we have to cut our sets off prematurely.

And, if you're cutting your sets prematurely, you're not growing.

Increasing muscle carnosine levels allows you to do more reps and more sets in a given workout. It means more sets at a higher intensity with less fatigue. That, my friend, means more growth and more strength.

There's a theory, of course, that we're limited not only by genetics, but also how hard we can train to get huge. If fact, one of the many actions of anabolic steroids is the ability to train harder which results in much greater muscle and strength gains.

It's also interesting that steroids can significantly increase the muscle's ability to delay fatigue by increasing creatine and CARNOSINE synthesis! So, delaying fatigue, and thus increasing training volume and intensity is extremely important to growth.

"JS: Well, we need carnosine to buffer H+. If we buffer H+, the pH levels in our muscles don't drop so low that our muscles start burning and force us to quit. If we don't buffer, the acid levels in the muscle get very, very, high, and we have to cut our sets off prematurely."

See this is where I take issue. H+ IS buffere in muscle cells, by bicarbonate and lactate, as described in the article. Also described in the article is the buffering capacity of cells being MUCH higher than traditionally accepted- 200+ slyke as opposed to 75 or so. pH does drop in cells during exercise, but as a result of non-mitochondrial ATP use. Is buffering capacity a limiting factor in performance? That, I think, is something that needs to be shown in light of the new understanding of cell buffering. I don't think it's being taken into account here (i could be wrong).

Also, at a rough glance, I can't see anything showing beta-alanine working as a buffer. So I think that needs to be answered more specifically to- does beta-alanine work as an acid buffer? If so, how well?

Finally, call me crazy, but I take anything I read on t-nation with a grain of salt, since it's not exactly peer reviewed, knowatimean? I mean, I'm sure these guys know a hell of a lot more than me - I study physics - but I'd just like to see some more substantial and specific evidence.

"Finally, call me crazy, but I take anything I read on t-nation with a grain of salt, since it's not exactly peer reviewed, knowatimean?"

Well they do reference a poorly done study, does that count?

Almost.

Jonwell, I totally agree with you, the articles on T-Nation about suplements do tend to advise that you use Biotest products (no suprise there).

They have linked to a couple of more recent studies that also show promising results.

I haven't seen any studies that show acid buffering as the limiting factor however the results in the studies that they have quoted have been promising. I'll see if I can find the other studies as I would be interested in your feedback.

You should read that link, and the rest of the posts on the message board. You may find the two Ph. D.'s discussing beta alanine supplementation interesting.

I'll check it out.

Hi Chalupa. Twice now you've shown up to snipe at me but offer no actual information to the discussion. Did I do something to you? Anyway.

I mentioned above that I study physics. I know a little biology and a little more chemistry. But again, if anything I said is wrong, by all means feel free to correct me. I never pretend to be anything that I'm not, so if you're trying to catch me playing off expertise where I have none, you'll be disappointed.

Chalupa, I tell you what, if you don't want to hear people's opinions then you might try staying away form internet forums.

This place would be really interesting with everyone posting questions but no-one answering huh?