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Difference Between Alanine and Beta Alanine

Alanine vs Beta Alanine

Alanine is an alpha amino acid. Chemically, it looks like a white powder and is less dense (1.424 g/cm3) than Beta-alanine (1.437 g/cm3). It also has a higher melting point at 258 degrees Centigrade while the other is at 207 degrees. Both are non-essential amino acids that are soluble in water nonetheless. As such (being non-essential), you need not obtain it from external sources since the body can normally synthesize it.

Alanine is a proteinogenic amino acid. This means that it is used to make proteins. It can be obtained from various sources like seafood, meat, dairy products, caseinate, fish, eggs, lactalbumin and gelatin (for animal sources) and nuts, beans, whey, soy, brown rice, brewer’s yeast, corn, bran, whole grains and legumes (for vegetable sources). Among these sources, alanine is highly concentrated in meat products.

Although it has not yet been proven, there is a study that claims that alanine can induce a higher (than normal) blood pressure.

Conversely, beta-alanine is said to be the precursor to carnosine by rate limitation. This means that increasing the amount of beta-alanine will increase the total carnosine concentration in the muscles. No wonder many who’d like to develop their muscles would take in beta-alanine supplementation to further increase their natural beta-alanine stores and thus generate leaner muscles.

Increasing carnosine will also help reduce fatigue among athletes who constantly subject themselves to physical stresses and, at the same time, elevate overall muscular work done. Delaying fatigue implies more training hours because the muscle is able to cope with the more strain.
Unlike its alpha counterpart, beta-alanine does not have any chiral center, structurally speaking. It is also a not a proteinogenic amino acid so it will not be used in synthesizing protein molecules.
Generally, ingestion of too much beta-alanine can have adverse effects like paresthesias ‘“ a kind of neuropathic sensation of pain most especially if it exceeds more than 10 mg per kilo of body weight, although this varies per individual.
The ideal natural sources of beta-alanine are not directly in beta-alanine rich foods but rather it is from balenine, anserine and carnosine-rich products. These three are called dipeptides which contain the beta-alanine. They are richly stored in meats like fish, pork, beef and chicken. Nevertheless, the popular trend today is direct beta-alanine supplementation. This is the best option because taking in foods that are rich in dipeptides such as carnosine will only give you about 40% beta-alanine because of being subjected to many enzymatic and digestive breakdowns as opposed to taking it directly at 100%. Other than increasing muscular strength, power and muscle mass, beta-alanine can also improve both anaerobic and aerobic endurances.
1. Alanine is a proteinogenic amino acid while beta-alanine is a non-proteinogenic amino acid.
2. Alanine is less dense and has a higher boiling point than beta-alanine.

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