Using beta-alanine to produce muscle carnosine is a way to increase anaerobic exercise potential, and is likely to add to the effects of creatine in some exercise settings. First discovered in the early 1900s, beta-alanine and histidine are the two components of carnosine. Histidine is already present in large quantity within skeletal muscles, so it is beta-alanine that acts as the rate-limiting factor in carnosine conversion.*
Research also indicates that beta-alanine increases lactate threshold, improves the ability to maintain maximal power output during high-intensity exercise, and decreases neuromuscular fatigue. When carnosine levels are elevated, nerves fire at a faster rate. For example, instead of one’s body operating at half capacity the day after exercise, carnosine may help it perform closer to the highest possible levels. Beta-alanine is primarily intended for athletes who are constantly using the same muscles, without the ability to take a break and recover for a few days.*
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