what you need to know about alanine(L-alanine)

Alanine is a non-essential amino acid(NEAA). Alanine is one of the most widely used for protein construction and is involved in the metabolism of tryptophan(an Essential amino acid) and vitamin B6 or pyridoxine. Alanine helps the immune system, facilitate sugar metabolism and organic acids.

D-alanine, or beta-alanine (β-alanine) a form of alanine is not found in proteins but occurs naturally in two peptides, carnosine and anserine, found in mammalian muscle. It is an important constituent of the vitamin pantothenic acid. together with histidine, it produces carnosine. Carnosine is then stored in your skeletal muscles.

In your muscles, histidine levels are normally high and beta-alanine levels low, which limits the production of carnosine.

When we train at high RPE or intensity level we build up a large amount of hydrogen ions, causing our muscles to become acidic(muscle acidosis limits the duration of high-intensity exercise). it is in fact the released hydrogen ions from the lactic acid that cause the muscular performance problems not the lactic acid itself. As this process goes on and pH levels come down, this causes muscle strength to decrease and therefore causes fatigue to occur faster. And this is why Beta Alanine is being used by lots of high intensity trainers.The performance benefits do not actually come directly from B-Alanine. It is actually from Beta Alanine’s ability to boost the synthesis of carnosine.

carnosine is our buffer meaning carnosine has the ability to suck in all the hydrogen ions produced and help bring pH levels back to normal(homeostasis) and therefore allow you to keep your exercise intensity high.

Vegetarians and vegans have about 50% less carnosine in their muscles compared to meat eaters.

Since beta-alanine supplements increase carnosine levels, they help your muscles reduce their acid levels during exercise. This lessens overall fatigue.

BCAAs are used as a source of energy for muscle cells. During long training sessions, BCAAs are released from skeletal muscles and their carbon backbones are used as fuel, while their nitrogen portion is used to form another amino acid, Alanine. Alanine is then converted to Glucose by the liver.