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Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-07-2008, 03:27 PM
What do you guys think about beta-alanine for CrossFit type training?

I know a few powerlifter/bodybuilder guys who swear by this stuff but seeing as most of my great nutritional information has come from reading the forums here, I'd love some input from you guys.

There was a thread here on the subject over a year ago, but not much in the way of discussion so I decided to start a new thread. Here's the old one if anyone's interested: http://performancemenu.com/forum/showthread.php?t=379&highlight=alanine

I've always been very skeptical about supplement hypes like this so I would love some unbiased comments from someone who's tried some form of beta-alanine supplemenation and is not trying to sell it to me.

Here's where most of my info comes from: http://www.t-nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1374757

And here are a couple of excerpts I found interesting:

Another study, by Dr. Hill and colleagues, examined the effect of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine levels and exercise performance in untrained men. In double-blind fashion, twenty male subjects (19-31years) supplemented either 4.0g beta-alanine or a sugar placebo for the first week, then up to 6.4g for an additional nine weeks.

By week four, mean carnosine levels increased by 58%. Six weeks later, they rose another 15%. As for performance, the researchers also recorded a 16% increase in total work capacity during cycle ergometry.
Here we are talking about a 16% increase in total work capacity over a period of 10 weeks in untrained men. Maybe it's just me but that's only remotely impressive if all the untrained men were not allowed to work out at all during the 10 week period. I mean, give me 10 weeks with an untrained individual and I'll give you alot more than a 16% increase in total work capacity in 10 weeks without messing with their diet or supplements at all. Anyone else have different views on this?


Dr. Hoffman assembled a highly trained group of 33 college football players and split them into three groups: a creatine group that took 5g twice daily; a creatine and beta-alanine group that took the same amount of creatine but with 1.6g of beta-alanine twice daily; and a placebo group, who took nothing.

...

One-rep max, the strength measure, climbed significantly higher in both the supplemented groups. In the bench press, the athletes taking only creatine increased their one-rep max by an average of over 30 pounds while the creatine plus beta-alanine group saw it rise by roughly 25 pounds. The placebo group experienced an insignificant 12 pound bump.

Increases in one-rep squat max were similar. Both supplemented groups experienced significant gains: roughly 50 pounds for the creatine plus beta-alanine group and just under 50 pounds for the creatine group. For comparison, the placebo group pushed up their max a meager 10 pounds.
Here's another weird part... If you look at the numbers here the creatine-only group actually did better than the creatine+beta-alanine group. Similar squat increases and an extra 5lbs increase on the bench for the creatine-only group. The supplement groups obviously, in this experiment, blew the placebo group out of the water. But really the beta-alanine group did no better than the creatine group if you look at the statistics.


Maybe I'm not getting all of this article right. I may be misunderstanding something, in which case I'll hide behind the English-being-my-third-language-excuse and how all the big words may have gotten me confused. But seriously, how can an article that talks about beta-alanine like it's this great magical performance boost in a bottle quote research like this with a straight face?

Derek Simonds
05-08-2008, 02:19 PM
Maybe I'm not getting all of this article right. I may be misunderstanding something, in which case I'll hide behind the English-being-my-third-language-excuse and how all the big words may have gotten me confused. But seriously, how can an article that talks about beta-alanine like it's this great magical performance boost in a bottle quote research like this with a straight face?

It is pretty simple they don't expect you to actually read the study.

I unknowingly was supplementing with Beta-Alanine for quite a while. I use the Cell Mass product from BSN for my creatine supplementation and it includes B-A. I am very happy with the Cell Mass product. I originally was going to cut it out but decided to keep it in my regimen. Since then I have switched to more heavy lifting and less met-con and I really think that the Cell Mass has helped.

Your mileage may vary, especially since I don't have a control group to test against. I judge how I am doing by what I lift and I have had some pretty significant gains in strength and size over the last strength meso-cycle. With that in mind I bought a new jug of Cell Mass over the weekend.

Hope this helps.

Júlíus G. Magnússon
05-21-2008, 12:48 PM
It is pretty simple they don't expect you to actually read the study.

Hahaha. Yeah, I guess not. Thanks for the input.

Mike ODonnell
05-21-2008, 04:55 PM
an article that talks about beta-alanine like it's this great magical performance boost in a bottle

Is the same article also trying to sell you the product?

Eat more meat.....works wonders. I don't think any mass building supplements are worth their $$...but I'm not a Bodybuilder either.

Garrett Smith
05-21-2008, 05:43 PM
Black box it.

John Filippini
04-08-2009, 10:06 PM
Bumping this thread - anyone have any further thoughts on beta-alanine or experiences black boxing it?

About to start with creatine and trying to decide whether or not to add it in the mix, only other supplements are protein, fish oil, and ZMA.

Mark Joseph Limbaga
04-10-2009, 06:24 AM
I've used it before MMA training, before a basketball game, doing timed sets and I can say that it definitely helps. Its one of the most under-rated supplements.

I'll start taking it again soon so I'll give you guys some feedback :)