2018's 10 Best
You know that tingle of excitement you get in anticipation of your next workout sesh? Oh, wait. Nevermind. That’s just the Beta-Alanine kicking in from your pre-workout.
Many of you have experienced the numbing rush from any top pre-workout supplement. Yet, how many of you have stopped to wonder what’s going on behind the scenes of this unique feeling? You may know its a bodybuilding standard, but do you know how it works? Or where it comes from?
In case you’re curious, follow our lead while we let you in on the secret of this highly touted pre-workout staple. And why it’s not just recommended for the athletic. Vegans, vegetarians, the elderly, and those looking for the fountain of youth may want to take note!
Or if you want to skip all the science, you can jump straight to our list of highly recommended products. But we recommend you don’t miss out on learning about the most hyped sports supplement since Creatine.
What Is Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine, or 3-aminopropionic acid is a naturally-occurring, non-essential amino acid. This means our bodies are capable of making small amounts of it. We don’t necessarily need to obtain it through dietary sources. That being said, there are circumstances in which supplementation can be helpful and even advised.
Biologically speaking, Beta-Alanine is formed by the breakdown of dihydrouracil and Carnosine. Structurally, it is similar to the neurotransmitters L-glycine and GABA. This is why some people may notice it gives them a stimulant-like effect.
The real importance for athletes and gym-goers is its role as a precursor to Carnosine. When consumed orally, Beta-Alanine travels to skeletal muscle via a Beta-Alanine transporter. Once there, it binds with the essential amino acid L-histidine to form the dipeptide Carnosine. 
Carnosine levels are completely dependant on how much Beta-Alanine is in the blood. The more Beta-Alanine in your circulation, the faster your Carnosine levels will rise. See the #1 Beta-Alanine Supplement now
Carnosine is the kicker
What’s so great about Carnosine, you ask? Carnosine is the star player when it comes to Beta-Alanine supplementation. Here are some need-to-know facts:
1. Carnosine levels decline as you age. By 70 years of age, your Carnosine levels will have dropped, on average, by 63%.
2. Carnosine first became popular in the supplementation world when it was found to have “fountain of youth” properties. This anti-aging elixir then came to be used in skin creams, eye drops, and a wide range of supplements.
3. Carnosine is naturally found in the brain, kidney and skeletal muscle. This means that vegans and vegetarians, who avoid eating animal products, could be at risk of becoming Carnosine deficient. A deficiency can be avoided with proper supplementation. 
Beta-Alanine Benefits: Why Take It?
Some of you may be wondering, if Carnosine is the key player, why not take it instead? When taken directly, Carnosine is first broken down into Beta-Alanine and Histidine, and then reassembled later on. So, Beta-Alanine is a superior supplement choice, as its primary role is to directly lead to increasing Carnosine levels.
Supplementing with Beta-Alanine, and increasing Carnosine levels, provide a myriad of health benefits. The biggest being the following:
- Promotes Cellular Longevity
- Boosts Physical Performance
- Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Carnosine is a potent antioxidant, and has been prized for its anti-aging effects. It’s been shown to protect cellular proteins from free radical damage and also in helping to repair mitochondrial damage. Oxidative stress from the accumulation of free radicals can damage mitochondria over time.
Mitochondria are the powerhouse of each cell, and generate energy in the form of ATP. They are also responsible for signalling cellular survival and death. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are the byproduct of ATP production. Within the body, they activate nitrogen compounds that are connected with degenerative diseases.
The DNA for each mitochondria (mtDNA) remains unprotected within the membrane of the mitochondria, and can easily be damaged by ROS. By deactivating or removing ROS from the cell, Carnosine helps to protect mitochondrial function within the body.  See the #1 Beta-Alanine Supplement now
When it comes to athletic performance, Carnosine is also beneficial. For you workout junkies, Carnosine can increase your high-intensity exercise performance. It also helps with lean muscle gains and post-workout recovery. The mechanisms behind these effects are not fully understood. Still, they can be partly attributed to Carnosine’s ability to increase your body’s muscle-buffering capacity. 
During your workout as your muscles contract, lactic acid builds up in the bloodstream. This is especially true when oxygen is not delivered to your muscles quickly enough. This build up of lactic acid is often associated with muscle soreness that most of us feel the next day after working out. You know the dread that comes when you get out of bed the day after a heavy workout, with your muscles screaming. You wonder how you’re going to walk to the bathroom. Or to the kitchen. And don’t even think about…going down the stairs.
This is where Carnosine comes to the rescue. Carnosine is able to buffer the lactic acid build up in your muscles. Meaning, it helps reduce the acidic hydrogen ion accumulation in muscle tissue. This rise in H+ ions lowers the pH within muscle cells. This drop lowers enzyme function and the ability for muscle to contract. A drop in muscle pH is a major contributor to muscle fatigue. By buffering acidity, your body can promote better muscular endurance and performance. And don’t forget better muscle recovery for you between workouts.
Carnosine can also be neuroprotective, which is great for the aging population. Carnosine helps prevent, and even reverse, damage caused by advanced glycation end products (AGEs). Disorders associated with high AGEs activity are diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.
AGEs are created in your brain by sugars that bind to amino acids. They commonly cause inflammation and vascular problems when levels get too high. Carnosine acts as a anti-glycating agent, which helps reduce the levels of AGEs. 
Those that suffer with neurological issues, such as the elderly, can benefit from increased Carnosine levels. Especially since those levels decline as we age. Now, those in their golden years wouldn’t likely want to start pounding a pre to get their Beta-Alanine. This because of the other stimulants most pre-workouts contain. Plus, we don’t want all the free weights at the gym to be taken by senior citizens. Still, there are other sources of Beta-Alanine that could be of definite benefit to them in this regard.
Inflammation is thought to be the root of many diseases and conditions. Dampening inflammation can help relieve many symptoms and pains associated with these ailments.
Carnosine has been found to have anti-inflammatory and immune regulating effects.  For instance, those who have an auto-immune condition tend to have an overactive immune system. Carnosine has been found to help lower excessive immune responses.
Carnosine is also capable of normalizing levels of gamma-glutamyltransferase. This is an enzyme that breaks apart glutamate from glutathione (the master anti-oxidant). This reduces levels of glutathione outside the cells in circulation. Low levels of glutathione have been associated with excessive inflammation and metabolic conditions. By normalizing gamma-glutamyltransferase to appropriate levels, glutathione levels are also preserved. See the #1 Beta-Alanine Supplement now
CarnoSyn® Vs Beta-Alanine
Many products will include Beta-Alanine under the name CarnoSyn®. This highly bio-available version of Beta-Alanine was patented by Dr. Roger Harris. You may know him as one of the leading pioneers of creatine research, which helped place creatine on the sports nutrition map.
What makes his Beta-Alanine so special though? Simply that it circulates through the body longer than regular Beta-Alanine. Ultimately, this increases the conversion to Carnosine before it can be filtered from the body. You can still take generic Beta-Alanine to increase Carnosine levels, you may just have to take a larger dose, or more doses to get the same effect. It all comes down to personal preference and what fits your regimen best.
It is best to take Beta-Alanine prior to your workout. It’s conveniently in many traditional pre-workouts. The recommended dose is between 2-5 grams. Although consistency is more important than dosage size, as long as you’re not taking too much. This is because it takes time to build up those Carnosine levels. So, making sure you’re taking Beta-Alanine daily is your best bet to getting those Carnosine levels up and steady at beneficial levels.
What Should I Stack Beta-Alanine With?
Beta-Alanine and Taurine compete for the same receptors. Thus, a high Beta-Alanine intake may induce a Taurine deficiency over time. It is worth considering stacking Beta-Alanine with Taurine for that reason. Or to find a pre-workout that includes both.
Many athletes also like to stack Beta-Alanine with Creatine. Even though there is no biological synergy between the two, they can still both be effective at boosting performance when taken together. Both also raise Carnosine levels, although Creatine to a lesser extent. Beta-Alanine can help amplify the effects of Creatine for improved performance, lean muscle gains, and more. If you’re also interested in Creatine, you can Check out our Top 10 Creatine Supplements as well.
Beta-Alanine Side Effects
Beta-Alanine really only contains one side effect — the tingling. What some call the beta-alanine itch. The scientific name for this “pins and needles” feeling is acute paresthesia. Yeah, I like “tingly feeling” a little better too. It can also produce a burning, itching, or flushed feeling. Similar to when your arm or leg falls asleep, but considerably less intense.
While harmless, these feelings can make certain people uncomfortable. You can try adjusting your doses to smaller amounts (500 mg) taken throughout the day. This will help to lessen that tingling effect.
Questions To Ask When Choosing A Beta- Alanine Supplement
So now that you have the scoop (heh heh) on Beta-Alanine, here are a few questions you should be asking when looking to buy a Beta-Alanine supplement.
It’s important to note than many products will contain Beta-Alanine under the patented name CarnoSyn®. So keep your eyes peeled when examining labels. That way you’ll know which products actually contain the Beta-Alanine you’re looking for.
Q. Should I Take Beta-Alanine Separately?
Beta-Alanine can be taken in isolation, if that fits your supplement regimen best. Such as if you’re part of the aging population that takes this supplement for neurological reasons. This way you can have complete control over your dosage. Otherwise, taking it in a pre-workout formula is a great way to get your Beta-Alanine in.
Q. I Don’t Like The Tingling Effect, Can I Avoid It?
Each individual may have a different reaction to Beta-Alanine, depending on your sensitivities. If you find the tingling side effect to be too much, you can lower your dosage. Feel free to also split your dosage into several increments during the day. In these instances, having a stand alone Beta-Alanine powder may be beneficial.
Q. Can’t I Just Take Carnosine?
While you can take Carnosine, taking Beta-Alanine is the more productive choice. Carnosine is broken down upon consumption. Meanwhile Beta-Alanine is the rate limiting step for its formation. Having a higher level of circulating Beta-Alanine will produce more Carnosine.
Our top 10 list of Best Beta-Alanine Supplements is organized to reflect what you most value in your supplements. First and foremost is quality. All ten of or top ten supplements meet high standards of quality and come from brands with a proven record in excellence and purity. Another important factor in deciding the top ten was cost. You don’t have to pay through the nose to get a high quality supplement. In addition, all the companies represented on our top ten list have stellar records with customer service and prompt shipping to ensure that your supplement experience is enjoyable from the first click to your final pill.
- Artioli, Guilherme Giannini, et al. Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42.6 (2010): 1162-1173.
- Everaert, Inge, et al. Vegetarianism, female gender and increasing age, but not CNDP1 genotype, are associated with reduced muscle carnosine levels in humans. Amino acids 40.4 (2011): 1221-1229.
- Corona, Carlo, et al. Effects of dietary supplementation of carnosine on mitochondrial dysfunction, amyloid pathology, and cognitive deficits in 3xTg-AD mice. PloS one 6.3 (2011): e17971.
- Hill, C. A., et al. Influence of ?-alanine supplementation on skeletal muscle carnosine concentrations and high intensity cycling capacity. Amino acids 32.2 (2007): 225-233.
- Hipkiss, Alan R. Carnosine, a protective, anti-ageing peptide?. The international journal of biochemistry & cell biology 30.8 (1998): 863-868.
- Tsai, Shih-Jei, et al. Antioxidative and anti-inflammatory protection from carnosine in the striatum of MPTP-treated mice. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 58.21 (2010): 11510-11516.
The Standout: High Quality, Low Price
Nutricost has topped the charts with their Beta-Alanine. Each scoop delivers 3 grams of high quality Beta-Alanine, and consists of 100 servings per bottle, making it just 13 cents per serving. This amino acid has been shown to be vital in promoting muscle growth, performance, and strength.
- 3 Grams Beta-Alanine
- 100 Servings Per Bottle
- 13 Cents Per Serving
- Enhance Muscle Growth
- Boost Stamina
Beta-Alanine, a precursor to Carnosine, acts as a buffering agent against lactic acid build-up, and this mechanism helps reduce muscle fatigue and soreness both during and post workout. Beta-alanine also appears to contribute to lean mass gains, and enhances power output over time implicating increased stamina.
Nutricost's Beta-Alanine is perfect for stacking, since it comes in a convenient, unflavored powder form. Most users report a tingling sensation after consumption, which is both harmless and indicates efficacy. And with over 100 reviews on Amazon, everyday users can attest to the high quality and efficiency.Keep Reading »
The Standout: Transparent Formula, High Quality
Transparent Lab's Beta-Alanine ranks high due to their patented Carnosyn form of Beta-Alanine, the highest quality Beta-Alanine on the market. Research has shown how effective this amino acid is for muscle strength, muscle power, endurance, and muscle growth.
- 3 Grams Beta-Alanine
- 150 Grams Per Bottle
- 50 Servings Per Bottle
- Great For Stacking
- Boost Muscle Growth
CarnoSyn beta-alanine combines with the amino acid histidine within muscle to form carnosine. Carnosine increases the muscle's buffering capacity of hydrogen (H+) ions, which are produced when lactic acid levels rise during exercise. This buffering effect helps muscle fatigue and soreness, ultimately boosting performance.
Transform your physique and performance with Beta-Alanine, backed with a 100% Money Back Guarantee.Keep Reading »
The Standout: Straight-forward Formula
Known to be a building block of carnosine, GAT has harnessed its power into Essentials Beta-Alanine to help you drive through your workouts. With 2 grams of Beta-Alanine in every serving, Essentials Beta-Alanine can help to increase levels of carnosine in the muscle to improve athletic performance and lengthen muscle endurance.
- 2 Grams Beta-Alanine
- 100 Servings Per Bottle
- Amplifed Muscle Endruance
- Boost Performance
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid produced in the liver that wards off fatigue and pH alterations, prolonging power output and keeping your muscles functioning at high-intensity.
Take your workouts one step higher with this unflavored, potent supplement, and see faster results and greater muscle growth with each useKeep Reading »
The Standout: Comprehensive Pre-Workout Formula
Transparent Labs makes the list a second time with their pre-workout PreSeries Bulk, which delivers 4 grams of Beta-Alanine along with 18 other active ingredients in every scoop. This non-essential amino acid helps boost muscle power, endurance, and stamina so you can fit in those extra reps during your training session. Beta-Alanine also acts as a buffer against lactic acid, reducing soreness and enhancing muscle recovery so you can show up at the gym at your personal best.
- 4 Grams Beta-Alanine
- 4 Grams BCAA
- 6 Grams Citrulline Malate
- 30 Servings Per Bag
PreSeries Bulk features a 2:1:1 ratio of BCAAs to ignite protein synthesis for muscle growth, plus pure caffeine anhydrous to keep you energized and focused. A Testosterone Support Complex is also included to help enhance your body’s hormone profile, along with a Thyroid Support Complex to enhance weight management.
Each scoop exceeds 22 grams and includes over 20 active ingredients for a well rounded formula that reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, while enhancing nitric oxide pumps, strength, and focus.Keep Reading »
The Standout: Provides 8 Supporting Nutrients
Universal Nutrition has formulated Beta-Ala9 with Beta-Alanine as well as a number of other ingredients that act as a buffer against muscle fatigue and pain. With 2,000mg of pure Beta-Alanine in every serving along with 8 compounds that protect the muscle from catabolism and weakness, Beta-Ala9 is able to improve muscle strength, increase endurance, and keep your muscle operating at an optimal level.
- 1.2 Grams Beta-Alanine
- Additional 8 Ingredients
- 70 Servings Per Bottle
- Reduce Muscle Fatigue
Beta alanine helps promote high levels of intramuscular L-carnosine, which helps buffer the positive hydrogen ions that are released through intense exercise. These hydrogen ions cause muscle pH to drop, making muscle pH more acidic, which ultimately leads to lactic acid buildup, fatigue, and soreness.
Beta Ala9 goes above and beyond typical beta-alanine supplements by including a specialized absorption and buffering blend, which enhances muscle cell buffering while also combating free radical production.
Take Beta-Ala9 twice a day to ensure your muscles are continuously primed for peak performance and growth.Keep Reading »
BSN's N.O. Xplode is a top rated pre-workout that provides explosive energy for explosive results. Their Endura Shot blend incorporates two forms of Beta-Alanine as Carnosyn and Beta-Alanine HCL, to enhance muscle growth, strength, and endurance. N.O. Xplode goes the extra mile to provide a pre-workout that focuses on providing extreme pumps. The N.O. Meta-Fusion complex in N.O. Xplode features a variety of these compounds for maximum pump technology. For instance, L-Arginine AKG, increases NO, blood flow, and exercise intensity.Keep Reading »
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