Beta-alanine is a beta-amino acid that differs structurally from most amino acids found in the diet. In the body, beta-alanine forms part of the structure of vitamin B5, carnosine, and dihydrouracil. In the diet, beta-alanine is found mostly in meat, such as chicken, beef, pork, and fish.
Beta-alanine is thought to enhance exercise performance, mainly for activities that require power or strength, such as sprinting or weight lifting. Human studies have shown that beta-alanine may increase time to exhaustion, peak power during running, and an increase in weight and number of repetitions for the bench press. However, more research is needed.
Amounts of beta-alanine over 10 milligrams per kilogram of body weight may cause a feeling of "pins and needles." This feeling may go away after a few weeks of continuous use.

Related Terms

3-Aminopropionic acid, beta-alanine, carnosine, CarnoSyn®, suosan.
Combination products: NO-Shotgun® (creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, arginine, alpha-ketoisocaproate, and leucine); OptygenHP™ (rhodiola, beta-alanine, Cordyceps CS-4).

evidence table

These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.
Exercise performance enhancement (Grade: C)
Studies suggest that beta-alanine may benefit body and muscle mass, muscle strength, and exercise performance in many types of athletes. However, there is conflicting evidence. More research is needed before conclusions can be made.
Menopausal symptoms (Grade: C)
Preliminary studies found that beta-alanine was not as effective as some clinical drugs for reducing symptoms of menopause. Further research is needed before conclusions can be made.