In the pursuit of athletic excellence, you need to be able to trust the supplements you take. However, unfortunately, not all supplements are created equal. And not all the research is honest. Nevertheless, these two highly effective supplements will boost your strength, endurance, and power on the field and in the gym.
What is Beta-Alanine Good for?
Beta-alanine has some good research about it today. Many say it’s suitable for anaerobic training, and some say it’s ideal for aerobic performance. Truthfully, it’s perfect for both! Whatever exercise modality, training, or method you choose, beta-alanine will support it.
Benefits of Beta-Alanine
- Boosts explosiveness and power output.
- Augments anaerobic and aerobic endurance.
- Boosts exercise time and work capacity.
- Increases strength.
- Enhances VO2.
- Reduces tiredness or fatigue.
How it Works
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that works as a buffer. When you exercise, lactate gets produced. Now, depending on the exercise intensity dictates how much lactate develops and accumulates. For example, the more intense the exercise, like anaerobic training, the faster and higher lactate amasses. Conversely, with aerobic activity, lactate builds up less and slower.
So as you train taking beta-alanine, your muscles can buffer and blunt lactate. As a result, you will improve aerobic and anaerobic thresholds that boost training and performance. This will help you train more by increasing the load or intensity over time.
Beta-Alanine Training Examples
Let’s say you are strength training, and you feel your muscles start to burn at eight reps and finish with 12. Or if you are sprinting and your speed diminishes. That is lactate building up. The quicker the build, the faster you will terminate the exercise. The buildup of lactate does not have to burn.
Also, under these acidic conditions, your muscles cannot contract with maximal force, resulting in diminishing effort and the inability to maintain a high level of performance. Furthermore, decreasing your strength and causing you to fatigue faster.
When taking beta-alanine and strength training, if you usually feel the burn at eight reps, you may now feel the burn around 12 reps instead. And when running, it allows for sustaining efforts above the lactate threshold more efficiently. I can’t say how much benefit you will get because the results and doses differ.
How to Use Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine is best used on training days that are intermittent, heavy, or fast and explosive. Results can be from a few days to a few weeks. This is because beta-alanine needs time to increase and stimulate a substance called carnosine in your muscles.
You can get beta-alanine from foods—for example, a 4oz. piece of chicken has .5g of beta-alanine. And a 4oz. piece of beef has about 1g. But they fall short of reaching sufficient beneficial amounts to boost performance. What’s perfect about beta-alanine supplements is they are bioavailable and will get absorbed in the body and not excreted!
The recommended dose is 4–6 grams daily and has been shown to augment carnosine by about 64% in 4 weeks.
You may feel tingling on your skin and scalp. Don’t worry, it is normal. Beta-alanine is a safe and effective supplement to use long-term.
Beta-alanine will help you feel energetic during your workout. And at the end of your training, you will not feel so trashed and fatigued. For example, when doing a HIIT, sprinting, or running workout, you will feel more muscle performance on the aerobic and anaerobic levels and an offset of fatigue from the boosted workload. Not being tired also enhances your focus.
Beetroot juice it’s a superfood that acts as a powerful antioxidant and ergogenic supplement. Beets are rich in vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids. These substances act as an anti-inflammatory that prevents heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Of course, being a powerful antioxidant also enhances muscular recovery from physical training.
Furthermore, the nitrate found in beets makes them an excellent ergogenic. When nitrate is consumed, it gets converted into nitric oxide.
Nitric Oxide- NO
Beetroot juice boosts nitric oxide (NO) levels in your blood. Nitric oxide vasodilates and expands your blood vessels and bronchiole tubes in your lungs. When you expand your blood vessels and bronchiole tubes, it increases blood flow and airflow. In turn, more oxygen gets exchanged and delivered to working muscles. In addition, NO delivers a positive performance impact producing stronger muscular contractions.
Beetroot improved the performance of runners running a 5k. At the last kilometer, the runners’ speed was 5% faster, showing improved aerobic and anaerobic threshold performance.
More research indicates it:
- Significantly improves endurance, aerobic performance, and VO2.
- Works for all sports.
- Boosts anaerobic power.
- Perfectly maintains training intensities between 60-80%, extending your training time.
- Improves cardiorespiratory function training at high altitudes.
How to Use Beetroot
Beetroot juice should be drunk 90 mins before your training or performance. Your NO level will peak 2–3 hours after drinking it. Drinking 500ml, about two cups, provides 6–8 mmol of NO. This is the required amount for high-level athletes to drink to boost their performance and training.
If these supplements work on highly trained athletes, then they will also work for the untrained population. But unfortunately, most supplement trials you read are often done on deficient populations. The trials create positive results. However, end up being false positive and misleading in trained populations and normally healthy people.
The supplement industry is a billion-dollar industry that makes many promises. Therefore, you must understand their research.