In March 08, we chose some dedicated weight training athletes to trial the New Beta Alanine from Balance. They were all given a 150g tub of Beta Alanine, which lasted approximately 3 weeks, to use daily before and after training. Beta Alanine is an amino acid that increases the production of carnosine (carnosine is a lactic acid buffer).  If you can decrease the lactic acid build up between sets in your training session, you have the ability to lift/train harder and for a longer time. If you can increase the amount you can lift/push, then you have the ability to grow muscle which contributes to building your shape.

Were our guinea pigs able to lift more, grow more from the Beta Alanine? and would they use it in future as part of their training regime? Lets find out: 

From Farah Deobkhata: 27 March 08

On taking Beta Alanine initially I experienced tingling of my tongue and lips as expected with 30 mins. This could last up to an hour. I also experienced a flushed feeling of my face and ears especially after starting to exercise. This usually subsides after 30-60 mins. Both these sensations are less noticable now after 10 days use.

Subjectively during weight training I felt  more power during reps and needed less recovery time between sets. I don't feel that my total work load has increased to date. The only draw back is that I am experiencing heartburn and gastric reflux after taking Beta Alanine.  I'm not sure I can give you an objective analysis of muscle gain etc but lets see what the next 3 weeks brings.

Farah Deobkhata

16 April 08: Things have settled down with Beta- Alanine. I don't experience heartburn any more or the flushing of my face and ears. I do however get tingling in my fingers and over the skin of my ears 15-20 minutes after taking it. This settles once I have started to exercise.

As for performance, I do feel it has contributed to my strength while lifting weights. Each rep has more power and my recovery period after a set is shorter. Objectively it has not as yet allowed me lift heavier. With time its use may allow quicker progression to a heavier weight. I will have to wait and see. Thankyou for the oppotunity to trial this product for you.  

Duane Grant
From Duane Grant 14 April 08: I have purchased another tub and I am a fan and will be a constant user. I flew back into Wellington and was able to go and watch the NZFBB Wellington show on Sat night. Workout tonight was a buzz. Chest is always a favorite but tonight I felt really strong and noticed, and felt, an awesome pump. And as I said in my previous update I am not as sore the next day.

My weight has stabled...not losing....not putting on, but I have slowly tightened up on the diet. Of all the supplements I have tried I put Beta Alanine up with my favorite supplement of Arginine tabs 'nuked' with gloucose!!!

Thanks for the opportunity to trial, I have put a few friends (clients) on to the product. I look forward to seeing the results for the next show.


Jenni Douglas 
From Jenni Douglas 26 March: 2 weeks in. I definitely have no unpleasant feelings having ingested the Alanine. In the 1st week, Weds. I felt and looked smooth and soft but Friday I felt back to normal. Was that just "one of those days"? Steve's comment yesterday after a 72.5 kg bench press (cold), followed by 40 kg standing behind neck press and various dumbbell lat raises was "you are definitely stronger". 2 weeks ago I was benching 60 kg cold.

It hasn't affected my sleep. In fact, because I am working hard in the gym, I'm sleeping well.

30 March: Whilst 2 skinfolds went up, the overall result was 12.9% reduced to 11.3%. LMM went from 62.02 to 63.86 kg. Gross mass increased by 1.1 kg. Timeframe 26 days. I'd say a positive result!


From Hayden Stewart 11 April: hey lisa just checking back in again to give you a update about the beta alanine product! ive noticed a change in my recovery,ive noticed my muscle soreness hasnt lasted as long as it usualy does i.e. my leg day will usualy take up to five days to get back to normal but taking this product it seems to have had an effect on my recovery only taking three days,and all my other days have seemed to be shorter than usual recovery wise that is.

From Greg Mawson 7 April: Throughout my trial, I took the recommended dose of half a teaspoon 3 times a day.  In the morning, 15 mins before and immediately after training in my protein shake.  I was taking it with Creatine for the first week, but decided to drop the creatine; I need to watch my muscle gains to avoid being overweight for athletic class in NABBA competitions I am competing in this year.  I am certainly still training hard though.

I can't say if the Beta Alanine had any affect on my strength.  The gains in weights were there, but nothing dramatic like I have had from a good cycle of creatine in the past.  I couldn't substantiate any muscle size gains from it's use.  However, on the positives: my muscles feel harder, I do feel more energetic overall in the gym, and markedly less sore than I usually would be.  In fact during a final heavy set of bicep easy bar curls last week revealed further proof of the recovery factors; I thought "This sort of weight would normally hurt sh_t piles more than this!"

I conclude that Beta Alanine for me seems to be an excellent recovery tool; the benefits of better recovery and reduced pain would provide excellent gains/results over a short period of time.  During the off season, I will use the Beta Alanine again for sure.

Thanks again Balance and Lisa for this opertunity, and hopefully you readers will get some tips from us guinea pigs!"

From Helen McCormick 16 April: I took Beta Alanine for 4 weeks and have bought another lot so I'm still using it, but just once a day now, as a full teaspoon. I still get quite intense tingles. I take it just before I leave for my walk into the gym and arrive at the gym with very prickly arms and face!

It generally gives me more energy, although there has been the odd day when my energy levels were beyond help! I found it realy good before cardio and have managed some good runs on it.

Initially my strength increased a lot which was great but I don't seem to be making many strength gains at the moment. But I had almost a week of migraines so training hasn't been at its best!

Helen McCormick 
I've read that taking beta-alanine for ten weeks is best for reaching maximum carnosine increases, so I would recommend taking it for much longer than four weeks. I think thats about it for me. Overall it seems to be a really effective product and I will definitely continue to take it from time to time.

Thanks very much Lisa and Balance for letting me try! Happy training guys!


From Phily Nuku 24 April: Hi team. Well after using Beta Alanine, here's what I think about its performance. I like it- I like it a lot! I will definitely continue to use it because it actually delivers on its claims.

At first, unlike the others in this trial, I did not notice much in the way of Tingles etc but I did notice that in my workouts (especially the endurance ones), I stayed noticeably stronger, where normally I'd start to tire/die.

Bevan McDonald and Phily Nuku

Wanting those tingles and felling somewhat ripped off at this stage I decided to experiment with a higher dose. Instead of 6 grams total (3 x 2g spread), I went to 15grams (3 x 5 spread). The results I had were interesting.

Within 15 minutes of my first dose and my first morning workout for that day - I noticed my blood pressure has risen, my temples started to tingle/thump and I felt somewhat angry/wound/wired, call it what you will but I wanted to break something! 

After checking my blood pressure my Trainer and I determined that it while it was elevated, it was not any worse than for having had a strong coffee. My workout thereafter was fantastic. I made small increases in my intensity across all of my Bicep exercises.

I took a 2nd dose about midday, thump, Tingle, thump...

Later that day with my 3rd dose, I added a strong coffee and some Aspirin to thin my blood. Why not, it was legs day and I wanted a BIGGEY! Again with temples a thumping and an Angry disposition I hit the gym and had a screamer of a workout. Wow this is the shit I was thinking. I managed to PB my leg presses and maintain my heaviest squats even though they came afterwards. I was very happy with this workout and it convinced my training partners that Beta Alanine was a product that they just had to have also.

Note: After experimenting with this product, I've determined what works best for me is to use the recommended 6g dose on lower intensity days and to use the 15g dose on the BIG 3, Legs, Chest & Back days.

Having said this, I do not recommend that you or anyone else should follow my dosing schedule. Just because I'm nuts and love pushing things, doesn't mean you should!

(Also) as per Balance's claims, it does work even better with their Effervescent Creatine- that stuff tastes great also.

Finally, I want to thank Lisa for including in this trial and Balance for making fine Body Building Supplements that actually do live up to their claims.

Phily Nuku.

From Bevan McDonald 26 March: Third Week in now and still feeling the tingles. I have noticed in my 3 weeks a good increase in the amount of weight I'm pushing. Best of all the beta alanine has helped me maintain my energy levels over the whole workout. This I need especially when training legs as the 2-3 compound movements I do usually zap me of all my energy. Usually by the end of the workout I'm completely knacked and don't have much in tank to hit the finer exercises like extensions and one legged leg curls etc. Since taking Beta Alanine I have been able to maintain the same energy levels and intensity throughout the workout. Body weight wise things haven't changed. 

From Jill Clark 16 March: Two weeks of beta alanine and definitely noticing differences. Training seems easier so can lift more, only get pins and needles from time to time and usually in my feet. Seem to have more energy but at times hard to tell cos I'm doing so much cardio as well.  

17 April: I too have bought another container, still experiencing tingles and I have noticed I get an itchy face and head as well (during the day), wondered why this was and put it down to beta alanine! It's not irritating itch I might add. I still feel strong during workouts with lots of energy but not sure if alanine is having an effect on sustained enrgy levels as dieting is making me tired, so will give this more thought after comps. Thank you to Balance and to Lisa for the initial trial, I always like to try soemthing new to see its effects and I will continue to use the alanine.  

Jill Clark

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