Beta-Alanine & Workouts



When during my workout will beta-alanine have its strongest effects?

Beta-Alanine, unlike creatine, is effective at all points during your set whether you’re lifting heavy or doing endurance work. Your body uses three energy systems to perform work: the ATP-PC system, which is primarily used during heavy lifting and for sets up into the 5-6 rep range; the glycolytic system, which is predominantly used roughly within the 7-15 rep range; and the oxidative/fat system which is used primarily in endurance training. Our energy systems are simultaneously utilized but depending on the level of intensity or duration, certain energy system will become more dominant. Anybody that trains with weights will use the first two systems predominantly and, in both cases, the result of the build-up of hydrogen ions will contribute to fatigue in both systems, especially glycolysis. This is where creatine falls a little short. It’s mostly effective in the ATP-PC system which relies on ATP and phosphocreatine (PC) for intense, high-energy contractions. Taking creatine will help your explosive and maximal strength but it won’t help you much in that 7-15 rep range. As anyone trying to build bigger muscles knows, you must train in both heavy and moderate (7-15 reps) ranges to gain lean mass. Beta-Alanine can fight the H+ build-up that occurs in both these ranges, allowing you to train at high levels regardless of your goals or your training intensity.

A recent study, in fact, showed that beta-alanine significantly outperformed creatine in decreasing cellular fatigue, giving it yet another advantage over what has been considered the most effective sport supplement of the last decade.