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Muscle Diet

Mark Gilbert BSc (Nutrition)
Mark is an expert in sports nutrition and dietary supplements. He has over 20 years of experience working with the biggest names in the bodybuilding industry.
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The Benefits of Carnosyn

Benefits of CarnoSyn®

When it comes to supplements that significantly increase performance and energy availability during exercise and are legitimately research “proven,” three key ingredients stand out: creatine monohydrate, caffeine, and CarnoSyn® beta-alanine. Thousands of articles have been written on the first two, but not nearly as many on the latter. This alone is an excellent reason to write this article, but an equally compelling reason is that most people seem to be using this potent performance enhancer incorrectly!

Let’s get the stuff out of the way that experts agree on: CarnoSyn® is a form of beta-alanine that is a slightly altered form of the amino acid alanine. It’s found in very small amounts in the foods we eat, such as meat and fish, and can be produced in the body from other precursors contained in the foods we eat. However, the body only seems to make a suboptimal amount of it when consuming a normal (or even a high-protein) diet. This is important because the availability of this amino acid in the body determines how much of a dipeptide called carnosine will be produced and stored in muscle, and the increase in the level of carnosine in muscle is what’s responsible for the benefits of beta-alanine. It’s for this reason that the manufacturers of CarnoSyn® gave their premium version of beta-alanine a similar name to what it raises in your muscle tissues (carnosine).

How Does CarnoSyn® Work?

More benefits have been investigated including cognitive function, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory. The fundamental science has been proven by various research groups that carnosine neutralizes the acid buildup that’s responsible for the burn you feel in your muscles and the curtailment of performance that occurs during intense exercise. As I alluded to earlier, beta-alanine has solid research backing it. It’s been the subject of over 55 published, scientific studies, and a recent review (which looked at the 40 best studies in about 1500 study subjects) confirmed that it works in activities that last from 30 seconds up to 10 minutes and works regardless of whether you’ve never sprinted or picked up a weight or you’re an elite athlete. So whether you’re lifting weights, doing HIIT, or trying to achieve your personal best over a 2,000-metre row, this stuff will allow you to go harder, faster, and for longer!

Despite all of this great science and these physiological effects, many readers may not know much about beta-alanine, but most are likely to have used CarnoSyn® already since it’s in so many pre-workout products.

Use CarnoSyn® Daily for Maximum Results

Dozens of studies support beta-alanine’s efficacy, but unfortunately, many people use this ingredient incorrectly. The research suggests that it must be used at a minimum daily dosage of 3.2 grams, and it should be used daily, not just when you train. So the number one mistake users are making is only consuming it in their pre-workout drinks three or four days a week and often at dosages below 3.2 grams. You must take it daily for maximum carnosine retention in your muscles. Another important consideration is that larger daily intakes—for instance, 6.4 grams—has been shown to work significantly better, so if you don’t want to leave any performance benefits on the table, up your dosage!

Another consideration is that virtually all of the research on beta-alanine has been done on the trademarked CarnoSyn® brand of beta-alanine. This is a very carefully produced, established form of this amino acid, and it’s batch-tested and verified to be free of contaminants and banned substances, so to be sure you’re getting the real deal, look for the CarnoSyn® logo when you buy products.

What Is Paresthesia?

One additional little idiosyncrasy that you should know about beta-alanine is that at effective dosages, it causes a harmless condition called paresthesia, a kind of tingling, mild itchiness to the skin. This effect depends upon the person and the dosage and only lasts several minutes. But if you want to avoid this sensation, then either take two or more divided dosages daily or be on the lookout for a new sustained release form of CarnoSyn® that I’ll tell you about next issue.