Beta Alanine For HIIT Workouts

Beta Alanine For HIIT Workouts

Beta alanine is the best nutritional supplement for improving performance in HIIT workouts.beta alanine powder

With 20 years of scientific evidence and reports from men and women around the world touting its benefits it’s probably in the top 5 of all sports supplements to. That puts it on the list with creatine monohydrate, protein powder, and caffeine. 

In this article I’ll show you how beta alanine works, what type of HIIT workouts it does and does not benefit, and much more. 

 

Beta Alanine And HIIT – What You Need To Know

  • Beta alanine helps you keep your workout intensity high during the latter parts of your workout. You may even find yourself going faster instead of hitting the wall abs slowing down. 
  • You’ll be able to do more sets and train longer before fatigue sets in.
  • Beta alanine can help you lose more fat and build more muscle than if you don’t take it.
  • You’ll get the most benefit when your sets last between 1-4 minutes.
  • The harder you push during your workout, the more benefits you’ll get. 
  • It takes 3-4 weeks to see results.

Keep reading to learn more about each of these points.

beta alanine for men

How Beta Alanine Works

When you train all out, i.e sprinting in a bike for 60 seconds, acid levels build up in your muscles. When these levels get too high, your muscles become fatigued and performance suffers. We’ve all had this happen to us. During the last few sets of our workout when we slow down or have to stop altogether. 

Beta alanine buffers your muscles from this acidity during sprints so that it takes longer for them to become fatigued. This helps you run and ride faster and do more work at the same time you normally train. 

The next section explains these benefits in detail. 

How Beta Alanine Specifically Benefits HIIT

  • You can train harder and go faster

I’m sure you know the feeling. You’re on your 4th set of 6 all-out 1 minutes sprints on a stationary bike. Your legs feel like they’re on fire. Breathing becomes so difficult you feel lightheaded. When this happens you typically have to cut back the intensity or take a break. 

Beta alanine changes this so you can train even harder and sprint faster before you feel the burn and fatigue setting in.

Check out what research finds. In one study athletes like you were able to train at 110% of their VO2 max (the highest amount of O2 your lungs can take in during exercise) during the later stages of their workouts after taking beta alanine for 3 weeks. This means when they were exercising all out, their maximum endurance levels were 10% greater than their previous max.  

When it comes to going faster, beta alanine seems to help you do this toward the latter part of your workouts. This is when people tend to slow down. Not with this supplement. You’re likely to have the same experience that researchers continue to find. This is that you’re able to go faster at the end of your workouts than before. 

  • Beta Alanine Helps You Do HIIT Longer

In addition to training at a higher intensity, beta alanine helps you do longer HIIT workouts too. Men and women of all ages who take beta alanine are able to train for longer periods of time than athletes taking a placebo. 

So, when other people are tapping out due to exhaustion, you’ll be able to keep training, at the same abs maybe even greater intensity. 

HIIT supplements women

  • Beta Alanine Improves Your Endurance

Not many supplements improve your endurance, referred to as VO2 max by scientists. When combined with HIIT workouts for several weeks, beta alanine boosts your endurance more than training by itself. 

This isn’t just great for your performance during workouts but your overall health. There’s lots of evidence that shows having a higher VO2 max is great for your overall health, cutting your risk of developing heart disease and cancer and adding years to your life.

  • Beta Alanine Helps Helps You Build Muscle

After taking beta alanine and doing HIIT workouts for 6 weeks, the guys in one study gained 2 pounds of muscle. Guys taking the placebo supplement added less than a pound. 

Neither group of guys were lifting weights, their exercise routine was 3 HIIT workouts a week for 6 weeks.

This is pretty cool since they weren’t doing any type of strength training. I believe it’s due to the increased intensity and amount of work this supplement allows you to do. 

Beta Alanine Helps This HIIT Workout The Most

You’re going to see the greatest benefits from beta alanine when you do workouts with sets that last between 1-4 minutes. HIIT sets that last less than 1 minute don’t seem to benefit from beta alanine. Creatine monohydrateCreatine monohydrate is a better choice for these workouts. 

Endurance exercise lasting 5-25 minutes seems to benefit from it also. Just not as much as you’ll get with shorter workouts. 

beta alanine for hit

Results From Beta Alanine Take A Little Time

Unlike caffeine, which provides benefits in minutes, it takes more than for beta alanine to work. About 3-4 weeks based on the results from several studies.

The reason for this is that your muscles must first be ‘loaded’ with carnosine, the compound beta alanine increases. It’s worth the wait. After 4 weeks when you’re beating your previous personal best times, your endurance is better and you’re leaner than ever you’ll be glad you took the time.

What’s really cool about beta alanine is that your improvements won’t stop after 4 weeks. Research shows that you’re likely to see better results from beta alanine for several months, as long as you continue to take it at the right dosage.

Nutrakey Beta Alanine powder. 100% pure and made in the USA. Click here to buy.

Beta Alanine Works For Men And Women Of All Ages

As long as you take it correctly (6 grams a day for 4 weeks followed by 2 grams a day thereafter) beta alanine works for men and women of all ages. This includes teenagers all the way through to men and ladies in their 60s. 

The Best Way To Take Beta Alanine

As I wrote above, you’ll get the best results by first loading – taking enough to fill up your muscles so they’re able to go harder, longer – before fatigue sets in. Once they’re loaded you can cut your dosage back to keep them filled up.

Here’s the loading and maintenance protocol for beta alanine

  • Weeks 1-3 – Take 6 grams a day in 3-4 divided doses, spaced 3-4 hours apart.
  • Weeks 4 on – take 3 grams a day in a single dose.

From the 4th week onward you can take 3 grams a day. The only reason to load again is if you go off of it for a month or longer. When you do this your muscles will become depleted of what they originally stored. 

 

Choosing The Best Beta Alanine Supplement

When shopping for a beta alanine supplement, make sure you choose a product that uses the Carnosyn brand. It’ll say so on the product label. 

My reasons for this recommendation is that it’s the brand that’s been studied the most and proven to work. It also guarantees that you’re getting nothing but pure beta alanine in every serving. Other types can’t make that promise. beta alanine powder

Carnosyn brand beta alanine seems to work better because it’s released into your bloodstream for several hours. Keeping it at high levels in your bloodstream helps load your muscles faster. 

The time-released aspect of this type of beta alanine also greatly reduces the tingly feeling that sometimes occurs. It’s called paresthesia and is harmless. When it is too intense or lasts too long it can be annoying. 

You can buy beta alanine in capsules or as a powder. I personally use NutraKey beta alanine powder. I’ve used it for years and always gotten great results. 

In Conclusion 

Now you know that beta alanine is a great supplement for HIIT workouts. Especially those lasting from 1-4 minutes. Give it a try for yourself to see what is does for your performance.

References

Forbes SC, Candow DG, Smith-Ryan AE, Hirsch KR, Roberts MD, VanDusseldorp TA, Stratton MT, Kaviani M, Little JP. Supplements and Nutritional Interventions to Augment High-Intensity Interval Training Physiological and Performance Adaptations-A Narrative Review. Nutrients. 2020 Jan 31;12(2):390. 

Herda AA, Smith-Ryan AE, Kendall KL, Cramer JT, Stout JR. Evaluation of High-Intensity Interval Training and Beta-Alanine Supplementation on Efficiency of Electrical Activity and Electromyographic Fatigue Threshold. J Strength Cond Res. 2021 Jun 1;35(6):1535-1541. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000004038. PMID: 34027920.

Milioni F, de Poli RAB, Saunders B, Gualano B, da Rocha AL, Sanchez Ramos da Silva A, Muller PTG, Zagatto AM. Effect of β-alanine supplementation during high-intensity interval training on repeated sprint ability performance and neuromuscular fatigue. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2019 Dec 1;127(6):1599-1610. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00321.2019. Epub 2019 Oct 17. PMID: 31622158.

Smith AE, Walter AA, Graef JL, Kendall KL, Moon JR, Lockwood CM, Fukuda DH, Beck TW, Cramer JT, Stout JR. Effects of beta-alanine supplementation and high-intensity interval training on endurance performance and body composition in men; a double-blind trial. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009 Feb 11;6:5. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-6-5. PMID: 19210788; PMCID: PMC2649036.

Stout JR, Graves BS, Smith AE, Hartman MJ, Cramer JT, Beck TW, Harris RC. The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on neuromuscular fatigue in elderly (55-92 Years): a double-blind randomized study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Nov 7;5:21. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-5-21. PMID: 18992136; PMCID: PMC2585553.

Sweeney KM, Wright GA, Glenn Brice A, Doberstein ST. The effect of beta-alanine supplementation on power performance during repeated sprint activity. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Jan;24(1):79-87. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c63bd5. PMID: 19935102.

Trexler, E. T., Smith-Ryan, A. E., Stout, J. R., Hoffman, J. R., Wilborn, C. D., Sale, C., Kreider, R. B., Jäger, R., Earnest, C. P., Bannock, L., Campbell, B., Kalman, D., Ziegenfuss, T. N., & Antonio, J. (2015). International society of sports nutrition position stand: Beta-Alanine. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12, 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-015-0090-y

 

Latest posts by Curt Pedersen (see all)
Posted on