Beta Alanine Use

I’m a big fan of the blog and saw that they recommend Beta Alanine for training and racing. Has anyone used it? If so, how long did you take it before cycling off? What results did you get?

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Latest TR Podcast from last week touched on this. You need to chronic dose - so every day for a few weeks before effects take hold. It is supposed to buffer muscle fatigue at the higher ends of output.

I’ve been taking it since I started build and its hard to say i’ve noticed extreme changes but then again I’m not fully working that end of the spectrum yet.

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Ah, good to know. I’ve been riding outside for the past couple weeks and have missed my classes at TrainerRoad Bike University :grin: I’ll give it a listen ASAP. How long have you been in build?

A little more background. I started taking BA last year in the heat of the race season. I wasn’t aware it had to be chronic so I just took it before hard workouts and didn’t see much. I’ve been in build now for 4 weeks and I started this up right at the start of this block to be ready. Its really useful for efforts from 1-8 min which you still don’t get a ton of in build. When I get into specialty the efforts should make use of this more. With that all said yesterday was an 8 min FTP test and I did well and was pleased with it.

How are you consuming it? Sip 6g mixed w/ a glass of water and chug or sip a bottle of Skratch w/ 6g mixed over time?

Itchy :smile:


I’ve used it before in the build up to track cycling events. I’ve used Science in Sport and Ettixx versions - both require you to take large pills several times a day, and both warn that some itchy sensations are a likely side effect. Ettixx recommend a loading cycle then a pause, SiS doesn’t seem to mention that.

I didn’t notice any side effects at all, but I was slightly conservative with the dosing and I’m a bigger guy at 100kg.

I wouldn’t say it had a dramatic effect, and it’d be hard to break out any effect from that caused by the training I was doing. I noticed a slight sensation of reduced burning/lactate in my muscles at hard efforts above threshold such as a 1km IP or a flying 500.

FWIW, I’ve given up bothering with BA. It’s too much hassle to build a huge dose over a long time for the effects I felt.

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I use it as well. Hard to quantify results, but qualitatively I feel fresher during longer, sustained efforts.

The form I take is a slow release, so it requires 2 tabs twice a day, as studies found 3g daily is the sweet spot. The slow release formula is supposed to alleviate the beta-alanine itch that’s pretty common with higher doses. It works by helping muscles metabolize and flush lactic acid more efficiently. At this dosage (1.6g x twice a day), it takes about 4 weeks for the body to build up beneficial levels.

It depends on what type of cyclist you are. Beta Alanine is effective…but it’s not going to increase your sustained FTP-type efforts. So pre- & post-Beta Alanine supplementation your 40k time trial is going to be the same, all other things equal. But your sprint at the end of a fast crit is going to be improved. So if you are that type of rider (1 to 5 minute efforts are important/critical) then Beta Alanine is likely to be of benefit. If you’re an endurance cyclist, ultra cyclist, triathlete…then Beta Alanine is unlikely to help.

Dose…3 to 5 grams/day for 40 to 50 days. 1.5 grams/day thereafter. Take with carbs. Washout period is pretty long. On the order of three weeks. So if you want to cycle on/off every three weeks that’s fine but it’s a financial decision more than a physiologic decision. Muscle carnosine levels will stay elevated either way.

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I am using capsules -

750 mg, i take 3-4 a day spaced out…I’m wondering if i need to up the dosage?

This is probably pretty tangential, but is anyone else mildly terrified by cramming huge doses of supplement from unknown provenance which has the wonderful side effect of causing “skin crawling” in order to possibly improve the last sprint when you’re already exhausted? The only study I see cited has a sample size of 22.

Yeah, gonna let this one percolate for a few years. In the meantime I’ll train harder, which will probably have a more demonstrable effect.


Last semi-snarky comment, I promise … but nothing good has ever come out of the above phrase :dizzy_face:


Except for a second glass of wine!

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I participated in a study sponsored by a supplement company that was testing their topical gel. It was a double blinded study though so I can’t really say which of the sessions was the one which I used the product. I will say though, that there was a session where RPE was lower during the sprints. However there was not an increase in power, at least measured by average power over the 6 30s sprints.


The placebo effect still has an effect

It was also done in a crossover fashion, with half of us getting the X gel first, and half getting the y gel first. There’s also the improvements between workouts that can confound things. I’m curious what the total data set looks like.

Wasn’t expecting the itchy-ness to be so prevalent :rofl:


This is magnificent.

One of the articles I’m getting my info from, from the place i get my BA from:


“At the end of 28 days, the supplemented group had a 9.9% increase in training intensity and a 14.9% increase in training endurance.”

Wow. I know this article is biased, but, big if true.

Sifting through it now: Additive Benefits of β-Alanine Supplementation and Sprint-Interval Training - PubMed

@brendanhousler you have anything to add to this?