Tyler Sellers
Published by Tyler Sellers
Fact checked by Donald Christman, BHSc FACT CHECKED

For the majority of my clients, the first thing I recommend after a solid recovery shake is a pre-workout supplement.

But for the more serious athletes and especially bodybuilders looking for big muscle mass gains, beta-alanine supplementation is quite likely going to be one of the top decisions.

The problem is, though, that there are tons of pretty low-quality supplements out there. Not only will they not help to increase muscle size, but we even encountered some with a higher side effect risk.

To help you avoid those types of products, see what our research has revealed.

Our Top Beta-Alanine Supplements

1 - Transparent Labs Beta-Alanine (Editor's Choice)

Transparent Labs product

Our team here has been using the Transparent Labs pre-workout beta-alanine supplement range for quite a while, so we were delighted to see a new beta-alanine product in their range.

For professionals and serious bodybuilders, the 3 grams of beta-alanine in each serving is going to be quite an attraction.

There are many positive comments online, and many of my CrossFit and interval training clients believe it may be positively reducing lactic acid build-up [1].

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 3 grams

Pros
  • Clear ingredient label with no added fillers
  • Many positive reports that it mixes easily
  • Doesn’t have a chalky texture or aftertaste
  • Good bulk discounts available
Cons
  • Currently not available in flavored options

While it mixes easily with water, it’s not actually flavored. So, if you’re looking for a quick pre-workout refreshment, this may be a bit bland.

2 - Onnit Beta-Alanine

onnit product

Another one of the beta-alanine supplements we recommend is Onnit. This may be more suitable for female athletes who don’t need the same large dose as most men would.

I also like the fact that it’s not a powder form but rather a tablet, which may make it easier if you head to the gym on your way home from work.

Based on CarnoSyn, there are many reports that it may reduce muscle fatigue. Studies have shown that it could be supporting more favorable muscle carnosine levels [2].

Amount of beta-alanine per tablet: 1.6 grams

Pros
  • Comes in a convenient tablet form
  • Use high-quality CarnoSyn as the main ingredient
  • Claims to have a timed-release formula
Cons
  • Keep in mind that it’s not the strongest dose

While it is easy to adjust the dose by taking 2 tablets in one go, it’s important to consider that when comparing different product prices.

3 - Beta-Alanine by BulkSupplements

bulksupplements

This is another company that has a range of pre-workout supplements. If you need a lower minimum dose or a more precise amount recommended by a dietitian, then BulkSupplements might be a good choice.

There are some pretty good bulk discounts available, plus you can choose to get the powder or capsule form.

I do find that convenient if I’m rushing to training.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 0.6 grams

Pros
  • The label lists no filler or additive substances
  • Available in capsule or powder form
  • Choose from different bulk order options
Cons
  • Make sure you factor in the serving size when comparing to other products

It does only contain 600 mg in each measure, which is unlikely to be enough for many athletes. So, if you want to avoid measuring out multiple spoons, then the above options may be more suitable.

4 - Nutricost Beta-Alanine

nutricost product

Some of my professional clients favor this product as one of its benefits is that every batch is independently tested for quality and banned substances.

They have also reported that due to the higher dose, it does seem to help reduce lactic acid accumulation more effectively.

I’ve personally also found that it could help a lot of people gain more endurance for workout sessions, especially during resistance training.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 3 grams

Pros
  • Claims to contain only non-GMO and gluten-free ingredients
  • Good value for money option on a per gram basis
  • Third-party tested to ensure quality and no banned substances
Cons
  • Currently not available in larger tubs

The only real downside I found is that you can’t order in large tubs or get a bulk discount. That being said, it’s still pretty good value for money.

5 - Optimum Nutrition Beta-Alanine

optimum nutrition product

Next on our list of recommended beta-alanine supplements is Optimum Nutrition. This is a popular company in the dietary supplement space, mainly due to the quality of their products.

This particular one uses CarnoSyn as it’s main ingredient, which many professional athletes would claim may be the best for muscle endurance.

There are also a few minerals and electrolytes that could help with hydration levels as well.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 1.6 grams

Pros
  • Provides high-quality CarnoSyn ingredient for better exercise performance
  • Contains some added minerals and electrolytes to support hydration
  • Many reports that it dissolves easily in any drink
Cons
  • It’s one of the more expensive products on a per gram basis

Now, having that high-quality ingredient does come at a price, and you’ll find that this is one of the more expensive options when you work it out per gram.

6 - NOW Sports Beta-Alanine

now product

Here is another popular choice for professional athletes who need reassurance about banned substances. With every batch independently tested, there is a far lower risk of encountering something you shouldn’t.

One thing we like about this product range is that there are multiple options that could be easily stacked to maximize muscle function and avoid overlapping ingredients.

That could save you a lot of time trying to work out how much of each one you could actually take.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 2 grams

Pros
  • Every batch is third-party tested for banned substances
  • Suitable for stacking with several other NOW sports supplements
  • Comes with good instructions on calculating the right dosage
Cons
  • Doesn’t come with a measuring spoon

Just keep in mind that you'll need to figure out a convenient way to measure as there’s no spoon included.

7 - PrimaForce Beta-Alanine

prima force product

This was one of the beta-alanine supplements that I hadn’t heard of, but Tracy on our team had been using it with clients for quite some time.

One thing that stood out is that there are quite a few reports that there is very little of the common tingling sensation.

In our experience, that usually means that it releases slower, which could be positive for your workout.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 2 grams

Pros
  • Positive reviews about the very little tingling sensation
  • With no caffeine it avoids over-stimulation
  • Available in a large bulk order tub with 250 doses
Cons
  • Some people have reported that it didn’t come with a scoop

Strangely enough, we did find that occasionally the product arrived with no measuring spoon, so it might be worth holding onto one.

8 - Micro Ingredients Pure Beta-Alanine

microingredient product

Pure Beta-Alanine is quite an appropriate name. Based on the label, there really is nothing other than the main ingredient. So, you won’t need to worry about messing up your macros or calories with this product.

It’s also the only certified vegan product on this list, so for all of our vegan readers, make sure you try this one first.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 2 grams

Pros
  • Contains no unnecessary fillers or additives
  • No reports of any issues with mixing the powder
  • A certified vegan suitable option
Cons
  • Some reports about a slight chalky sensation when not mixed with enough water

I haven’t tried this one myself, but some on our team did find that Pure Beta-Alanine had a tendency to leave a bit of a chalky sensation.

9 - NutraBio Carnosyn Beta-Alanine

nutrabio product

This sports supplement is popular because, for the non-professional fitness enthusiast, it may supply just the right beta-alanine content.

I saw quite a few online reviews where folks positively highlighted that it might help with weight training both in a bulking and maintenance phase.

For those that have multiple high-intensity workout session plans every week, it’s a good choice to have because it comes in quite a large tub. Having those bulk savings is always something to factor into your decision.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 2 grams

Pros
  • Many positive reports that it may help to reduce fatigue
  • Comes in a large enough tub to provide good value for money
  • Independently tested for purity and quality
Cons
  • Vegetarian but not vegan-friendly

Keep in mind that while the protein sources are vegetarian-friendly, they may not be suitable for vegans.

10 - BSN Beta-Alanine

bsn product

For professional bodybuilders, it can often be about making it easier to calculate larger volumes of beta-alanine dosage.

Having 3.6 grams in every serving could make that a lot easier. Unless you go for a custom solution, I don’t think you’ll find a stronger one.

Our strength trainers on the team would certainly encourage this for maximum exercise capacity, as there are quite a few positive reviews that it could be helpful in reducing muscle carnosine content.

Amount of beta-alanine per scoop: 3.6 grams

Pros
  • One of the stronger doses available
  • Contains no fillers or additives to mess up your diet
  • Many reports that there is no flavor or texture to it
Cons
  • May only be suitable for high-performance athletes

For some folks, the high dosage of each serving might be a big positive. But you have to keep in mind that you won’t gain exponential muscle strength by taking more and you’re more at risk of having some negative effects.

Buyer’s Guide

hand holding atm card

For the average fitness enthusiasts and professional athletes, beta-alanine supplementation should be approached carefully. Here are the 5 factors we always discuss with our clients.

1 - Dietary Restrictions

Amino acids may be sourced from plants and animals. For vegans, this is going to be a critical decision point. If animal products are not an issue for you, then I would add that there isn’t a better impact on workout performance with either source.

Also, keep in mind that some beta-alanine products have fillers and artificial additives that may cause some allergic reactions. So always pay close attention to the label [3].

2 - Slow Release Effect

Some of the best beta-alanine supplements we have tested are designed in a way that creates a slow-release effect. It’s not enough to slow it down throughout the day, but rather means that the per-serving dosage releases over the space of 60 to 90 minutes.

I know some professional bodybuilders who firmly believe it may impact their exercise performance even in longer training routines.

3 - Strength Of Each Dose

The grams of beta-alanine per serving is also a very important thing to factor into your decision for two reasons.

First of all, if you need higher doses for maximum muscle growth and nitric oxide production, then you don’t want something that requires multiple scoops each time.

Secondly, you’ll need that information to truly compare one beta-alanine powder to another; otherwise, you’re just taking a stab in the dark.

4 - Third-Party Testing

The majority of pre-workout supplements are formulated to only use legal ingredients. But there are some common substances that may help with carnosine levels and muscle tissue development that show up on random doping tests.

Having a supplement that is independently tested for each batch may give professionals some added peace of mind.

5 - Price

Here’s what I’ll say about the price. If top athletic performance is a must for you, then spend the extra to get CarnoSyn [4]. Of all the research I’ve done, it’s by far the best-reviewed, and it’s the favored option for professionals.

Beta-alanine, I can say with plenty of experience, is great, and CarnoSyn beta-alanine is without a doubt the best form of it I've come across.

- Jim Stoppani, Diet and Exercise Expert

FAQs

scoops of powder

What are the uses and benefits of beta-alanine?

The uses and health benefits of beta-alanine are mainly for improved training performance and reduced levels of fatigue. It’s not something you would take for rest days or light cardio. But when you could do with that little extra push, it’s one of the best choices to make to take advantage of beta-alanine benefits.

Who can benefit from beta-alanine?

Anyone doing high-intensity physical strength training can benefit from beta-alanine. Studies claim that it may improve carnosine levels, which is thought to have a direct impact on the ph level in muscles. This could then help reduce premature fatigue allowing you to push yourself that little bit further.

When should you take beta-alanine?

You should take beta-alanine about 20 to 30 minutes before you start your warmup routine. This will largely depend on your digestive system and how fast it might absorb the amino acid profile.

For very long training sessions, you may also want to consider taking a second dose halfway through your routine to get another boost later on.

How long does it take beta-alanine to work?

It takes beta-alanine about 30 minutes to work, and the effects may last for up to 2 hours.

One tip I give is to experiment with the timing by alternating between 30, 35, and 25 minutes to see which one causes the common tingle at the right time.

Is beta-alanine safe?

Yes, beta-alanine is safe, as long as you avoid taking too much in one go. It’s a completely natural non-essential amino acid that your body produces. Taking a small amount just provides an extra boost.

Does beta-alanine have side effects?

Yes, beta-alanine might have side effects, with the most common being a tingling feeling in the skin. As with many other amino acids, the possible side effects are a little unusual at first but perfectly natural and only last a short while.

Large doses of beta-alanine may result in a tingling feeling called paresthesia. This harmless side effect can be avoided by using a time-release formulation or by taking smaller doses (0.8–1 g) several times a day.

- Kamal Patel, Nutrition Researcher

Anything more severe is usually the result of taking too much in one go or having a sensitivity from a digestion point of view.

Is beta-alanine good for building muscle?

Yes, beta-alanine is good for building muscle when it is combined with the right intensity of weight lifting and overall diet. It’s important to note that it won’t work wonders unless you actually put in the work to get your dream body composition.

You can also stack beta alanine and creatine or other muscle building ingredients for best results.

Do you need beta-alanine on off days?

No, you don’t need beta-alanine on off days, as its main goal is to improve your physical endurance. It has not been shown to support recovery or post-workout muscle protein synthesis. There are many better supplements to support that.

Is beta-alanine a BCAA?

No, beta-alanine is not a BCAA, but rather belongs in the group of non-essential amino acids. However, you might sometimes find it along BCAAs and other amino acids in certain supplements specifically designed for muscle building.

Does beta-alanine give you a pump?

Yes, beta-alanine may give you a pump if combined with the right exercise routine. Beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to have a positive impact on nitric oxide levels, which may promote a higher rate of blood flow.

Which Beta-Alanine Product Should You Choose?

During our research testing for the best beta-alanine supplements listed above, we all agreed that Transparent Labs was the one product we all used the most and recommended to our clients.

It’s easy to stack with some of the company’s other products, and I’ve used it for weight loss, cutting and bulking phases.

If you’ve had some experience with any of the products, then make sure you let us know on social media how it worked out for you.

Transparent Labs product

Transparent Labs Beta-Alanine

Our #1 Beta-Alanine Choice

  • Clear ingredient label with no added fillers
  • Many positive reports that it mixes easily
  • Doesn’t have a chalky texture or aftertaste
  • Good bulk discounts available
  • Get the BEST PRICE until the end of September
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