***Sherdog Exclusive***Beta Alanine Article, by David Barr

Discussion in 'Dieting / Supplement Discussion' started by MikeMartial, May 16, 2008.

  1. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    Sherdog Exclusive:
    Beta Alanine for Combat Athletes


    by David Barr

    Original text can be found on David's webite, Raise the Barr, here.

    Brief Overview: This literature review outlines some of the evidence supporting Beta-Alanine use for athletes. This supplement is ideal for combat athletes because of it
     
  2. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    Steroid-Like Effects

    One of the lamest marketing ploys used by supplement companies was the claim that their product would yield "steroid-like effects." No one is moronic enough to us this term now... but then again, does Carnosine supplementation yield steroid-like effects? By definition, YES it does! Now, does this mean that you'll quickly throw 50lbs on your bench or gain 10lbs of muscle in a week? Well not exactly, because the effects or BA supplementation are "steroid like" in terms of type of effects, not in magnitude. This effect similarity is evidenced by the fact that BA will allow for increased work capacity and resistance to anaerobic fatigue. Again, revisits the idea that you can push harder to get a stronger stimulus for muscle adaptation (6,13).

    With regard to on-field performance enhancement, being able to resist fatigue while maintaining a high muscle force output will optimize the overall execution of your task - and your opponents. Taking this one step further, it is interesting to note that among the factors influencing muscle Carnosine concentrations, androgens are critical. It has been shown that Testosterone levels regulate Carnosine concentration, with higher Testosterone resulting in greater muscle Carnosine (10). This means that the effects of androgens can be partially attributed to increasing Carnosine levels! Based on the similarity between types of benefits from both BA supplementation and androgen use, it shouldn't be surprising that the two are so closely related. Even if you don't use BA during your cycle of anabolics, its necessity in Post Cycle Therapy is evident.
    Potential Downsides

    As with any new product, there is always concern about side effects, and rightly so! Fortunately, as a naturally occurring substance in our body, enhancing Carnosine levels has a predominantly positive effect. The only reported "side effect" is an initial tingling feeling in the hands and feet when too much is taken. This temporary effect is not unhealthy at all, but rather involves the mild stimulation of sensory nerves that dissipates with continued use. Interestingly, many athletes report that they enjoy this feeling for one reason or another, while some feel nothing at all. Taking smaller, more frequent, doses have been shown to completely abolish this effect (8).


    Who Uses Beta-Alanine

    Much like creatine, one of the strong points of BA is that its use as a supplement is widely applicable, by both athletes and those interested in changing their physique. The people who benefit most from BA supplementation are the same as those who benefit from creatine. These athletes play sports including: football, hockey, wrestling/MMA, track etc. The ability of BA supplementation to enhance contraction speed, even makes it useful for sports like table tennis, where quickness and agility are paramount. Of course, BA is perfect for people looking to gain muscle and strength - just like creatine. Finally, due to the potential of enhancing neural recovery, beta alanine supplementation works well for strength athletes and powerlifters.


    Summary of Effects

    In summary, the following effects are noted due to Beta Alanine supplementation:

    * faster muscle contraction
    * resistance to anaerobic fatigue
    * increased stimulus for strength/muscle recovery
    * enhanced neural protection and recovery

    Conclusions

    There are few supplements around these days that we can actually trust, so it's pretty exciting when something like Beta Alanine comes around. With the numerous benefits to the human body, coupled with the observed increase in athletic performance, Beta Alanine is sure to be around for years to come!


    References

    1. Avena RM, Bowen WJ. Effects of carnosine and anserine on muscle adenosine triphosphatases. J Biol Chem. 1969 Mar 25;244(6):1600-4. 66% increase in activity

    2. Boldyrev AA, Stvolinsky SL, Tyulina OV, Koshelev VB, Hori N, Carpenter DO. Biochemical and physiological evidence that carnosine is an endogenous neuroprotector against free radicals. Cell Mol Neurobiol. 1997 Apr;17(2):259-71.

    3. Boldyrev A, Bulygina E, Leinsoo T, Petrushanko I, Tsubone S, Abe H. Protection of neuronal cells against reactive oxygen species by carnosine and related compounds. Comp Biochem Physiol B Biochem Mol Biol. 2004 Jan;137(1):81-8.

    4. Fowles JR, Green HJ, Tupling R, O'Brien S, Roy BD. Human neuromuscular fatigue is associated with altered Na+-K+-ATPase activity following isometric exercise. J Appl Physiol. 2002 Apr;92(4):1585-93.

    5. Green HJ Mechanisms of muscle fatigue in intense exercise. J Sports Sci. 1997 Jun;15(3):247-56.

    6. Harris RC, Hill C, Wise JA. Effect of Combined
     
  3. Country Gravy

    Country Gravy Orange Belt

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    Great info thanks Mike
     
  4. IronMaidenfan#1

    IronMaidenfan#1 Brown Belt

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    Excellent info again. I've been taking BA for about a month and a half now and it really is making a positive difference to my training. Thanks for posting this, quality article.
     
  5. Ian Coe

    Ian Coe Silver Belt Professional Fighter

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    now thank david for writing it and being on the D&S board :icon_twis
     
  6. Mike MacDonald

    Mike MacDonald Amateur Fighter

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    Thanks where can I buy it? I am located in Canada. Hell I would even be interested in selling it for my store.
     
  7. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    Exactly; I've just posted what David has written FOR Sherdog. :icon_chee

    I've purchased bulk beta alanine from both True Protein and Bulk Nutrition.
     
  8. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Pfff, mine >>>>> yours.

    Custom supplements FTW.
     
  9. MikeMartial

    MikeMartial Black Belt

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    I'm still laughing about that, KK. :icon_twis
     
  10. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Believe me I'm as surprised as you are. But John wants to get into what's applicable for Fighters, because of the market here in Vegas. It's a good niche for him, and I'm his guinea pig.
     
  11. David Barr

    David Barr Orange Belt

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    When I was in TO I'd order everything online from across the border. There shouldn't be any customs issues with BA.
     
  12. Wild Dan Hibiki

    Wild Dan Hibiki Black Belt

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    boo i want this stuff now, any particular brands to look for or are they all alike?
     
  13. Saith

    Saith UFC poster boy

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    Thanks for the article! I've been ignorant of BA and it's effects because I've never really been interested in these types of supplements, but now that I read about the benefits I might give it a try sometime down the road.

    David, any chance on writing an article like this on Creatine? I'm afraid I missed that bandwagon too:redface:
     
  14. Donut62

    Donut62 Black Belt

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    Dave, what is your personal recommendation on dosing?
     
  15. ozzie

    ozzie Brown Belt

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    From the man himself: Creatine FAQ
     
  16. liquid!

    liquid! mens rea

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    Great info thanks Mike
     
  17. David Barr

    David Barr Orange Belt

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    This is taken from the Top 3 Performance Supplements Article

    How Do I Use It?

    Like creatine monohydrate, BA is loaded for a period of weeks before decreasing to a maintenance dose. Commonly a total of 8g is used in divided doses for ~20 days. Once saturation is reached, 6g is used in divided doses.
     
  18. David Barr

    David Barr Orange Belt

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    I usually prefer bulk supplements to specific products. The latter often have superfluous "bells and whistles". BA from reputable sources should be the same.
     
  19. Sinister

    Sinister Doctor of Doom Staff Member Senior Moderator

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    Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "these types of supplements"...?

    Every clinical study I've ever read suggests that creatine monohydrate works fine without the loading phase, meaning just beginning supplementation with say, 5g per day. Do you feel loading is necessary to gain a specific advantage over use without it?
     
  20. David Barr

    David Barr Orange Belt

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    I totally agree that loading is not necessary. That said, I often employ a more realistic loading phase (20-25g a day is just ridiculous) simply because it provides faster results. Creatine is so cheap that it's not a big deal.

    In short, the only advantage it confers is one of quicker saturation.
    This is great for impatient people with ADD (like me).

     

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