Beta-Alanine vs. Carnosine

EndurElite Chief Endurance Officer Matt Mosman discusses why beta-alanine is better than carnosine at saturating muscle carnosine stores in runners, cyclists, and other endurance athletes.

Video Transcription:

Good afternoon, endurance friends. Matt Mossman, the endurance guru over at EndurElite coming at you today with a fresh new haircut, a finely primped unibrow, a whole lot of sexy and today's Endurance Fast Fact. Now, today we're going to talk about the supplement carnosine.

What Is Carnosine And What Does It Do?

You may be saying right now that, "Hey, Matt, I've heard of this carnosine before," and you would be correct. From previous videos, we know that carnosine acts as an inner-muscular buffer to help battle muscle acidity as exercise intensity increases. We also know that the best way to saturate carnosine stores is through the use of beta-alanine at 3.2 grams, daily. But a question I get asked all the time is, "Matt, if I want to saturate carnosine stores, why don't I just take the supplement carnosine?"

So, I'm going to give you the quick and chicka-chicka wow-wow dirty on this right now, and it really just comes down to the bio-availability of beta-alanine versus carnosine. So, if you were to take the supplement carnosine, shove it down your throat, when it gets in your gut it's already so much broken down that it's really, at that point, not going to do anything to saturate muscle carnosine stores. And on top of this, this carnosine, when broken down is converted into, oddly enough, beta-alanine and another amino acid called histamine. And then this basically has to go back and be converted to carnosine.

Why Beta-Alanine Is Better

So, between being broken down in the gut, and having to be converted back to carnosine, taking supplemental carnosine is not going saturate muscle carnosine stores because there is so little left of it by the time it's digested and then eventually converted back into carnosine. So, on the opposite end of the spectrum and why beta-alanine works better to saturate muscle carnosine stores, and quite simply put, is beta-alanine doesn't have to go all through those steps to be converted back into carnosine. When beta-alanine is digested, it's automatically converted to carnosine and that saturates muscle carnosine stores so much better than the supplement carnosine, itself.

Now, here's what I really want you to take away from this video. If you have an endurance type supplement that has the ingredient carnosine in it, and it also makes the claim on the label that it helps buffer lactic acid or helps buffer muscle acidity, you are being scammed because there is no truth to that.

The best way to saturate muscle carnosine stores is not through carnosine but through beta-alanine. Period. So that is the 411 on carnosine, my endurance friends. Until next time, stay fueled, stay focused, and stay super-duper fast.