I finally have a secret weapon in the gym.
Beta alanine. Heard of it?
My Discovery of Beta Alanine
Two components of my daily stack are creatine monohydrate and branch chain amino acids (BCAAs).
Recently, when I restocked my supply from BulkSupplements on Amazon, they offered to send me a free sample of any of their products. In return, I simply needed to write an honest review of the product I picked after sampling it for 14 days. Sounds fair to me.
One problem… my stack was already pretty well-rounded. It was time to do a little research.
I trust Marc’s advice. Needless to say, I was sold.
My Testing Phase
I started off by taking about one gram of beta alanine per day with my water and BCAAs while training. Initially, I didn’t research too much about what to expect, and for the first eight or nine days I didn’t experience any effects. Then things changed.
Around day nine or ten, I noticed my normal sets started to get easier, even after I increased the weight. So, I bumped up the volume…
My typical hypertrophy sets were 4 x 15-18. Now my typical hypertrophy sets are at least 5 x 18-20. Beta alanine allows me to program in much more volume, while avoiding muscle fatigue for longer.
NOTE: Beta alanine doesn’t just affect hypertrophy rep ranges. I’ve also been able to do extra sets and reps in the 6 to 10 rep range.
Stealing a few more tricks from Marc, I’ve also started throwing in some crazy shit like 10 sets of 10 — or even 5 sets of 10, followed by 5 sets of 20 — AS A WARMUP…
I have no doubt that a majority of these improvements have come from beta alanine… the rest has been entirely mental, something I have learned from Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset and Mike Rashid.
Watch Mike’s video. It may just change how you view training.
Naturally, as I started to see some crazy responses to my supplementation, I began to research further into beta alanine to see exactly what was happening within my body.
Beta alanine causes your body to produce more of the peptide carnosine, which acts as a buffer against the buildup of hydrogen ions in your muscles. Essentially, this buildup lowers the pH in your muscles and leads to that “burn” you feel when lifting. By increasing your carnosine levels through beta alanine supplementation, you increase your ability to perform more demanding, intense training sessions.
My Current Protocol
After researching the best dosages and timing, I am changing my routine to 4 grams per day:
- 2 grams pre-workout.
- 2 grams before a meal later in the day.
Now, here’s the secret to beta alanine supplementation: You MUST supplement creatine as well.
1) The creatine engorges your muscles with water and increases ATP stores, adding to your overall strength.
2) The beta alanine delays the onset of fatigue, allowing you to lift heavier for longer.
This is a killer combination for making gains.
Also, keep in mind that beta alanine is a component of many pre-workouts, and acts like a stimulant if you take 2-3 grams about 15 minutes before training. Some people may experience a tingling sensation throughout their body, known as paresthesia or the “histamine response.” This sensation is perfectly safe. Personally, my lips are all that tingle when I take beta alanine.
I’m going to continue to document my experience with beta alanine over the coming months and let you know if I see any more changes — positive or negative.
I strongly recommend the BulkSupplements brand on Amazon. I currently go to them for my BCAAs, creatine, and beta alanine. Go check out their products. They have a wide variety of things you can experiment with.
Now, go grab some for yourself and do your gains a favor!