Beta-alanine has been well researched and proven to enhance athletic performance. According to studies, taking beta-alanine for some weeks before performance results in higher resistance to fatigue and increases the time to exhaustion, allowing you to exercise harder for longer. That may be very helpful in supporting your fitness journey and goals such as more lean muscle mass, greater endurance, and less fat.
But like many other supplements, knowing how to time when to take beta-alanine supplements can help you maximize their benefits. Taking beta-alanine supplements at the perfect time ensures they are as effective as possible, hence better results.
When to take beta-alanine
Remember that beta-alanine supplementation is a long-term investment. Therefore it really doesn’t matter whether you take it with your coffee in the morning or with your evening protein, or in your pre-workout supplement. All that is good, but you must be consistent if you want a noticeable response in your performance a few weeks later.
According to studies, taking 3-6gms of beta-alanine supplements any time of the day can boost muscle carnosine levels over time hence a potential improvement in performance. As long as you supplement with beta-alanine at regular intervals, you can spread your intake to get the desired effects in your training sessions.
Should you take beta-alanine near your workout?
While some supplements are acute, meaning that you notice their benefits immediately after taking them, some are not. For example, caffeine can increase your focus in as little as 15minutes after taking it. But beta-alanine works differently.
It can take from 4-6 weeks for beta-alanine to accumulate sufficient levels in your body to induce a noticeable difference in your performance. Therefore you don’t necessarily have to take beta-alanine supplements right before working out. Again unlike other supplements like caffeine that works on your nervous system, beta-alanine works on your muscles by combining with histidine to produce carnosine which reduces muscle acidity when exercising, lessening fatigue.
On the contrary, taking your dose of beta-alanine supplements before your gym session allows you to take advantage of the short-term benefits of beta-alanine. They include improved mental focus. In some people, beta-alanine also provides a muscular pump. It is not advisable to take beta-alanine before bedtime because its stimulant effects may keep you awake.
How long does beta-alanine take to be effective?
Your carnosine levels begin to rise after about 3-6weeks of taking beta-alanine supplements. It is possible to notice a significant increase in power and endurance within the first four weeks.
According to research, beta-alanine allows carnosine levels to peak at 12weeks which you can then maintain as long as you supplement consistently. However, the immediate effects of beta-alanine, such as increased focus and the pump effect, are short-lived.
The bottom line
Taking beta-alanine supplements just before your workout is no better than taking them at any other time. Beta-alanine is a long-term investment which means that it can take weeks to notice an improvement in your performance only if you are consistent.