When ingested as a dietary supplement, Beta-Alanine is transported through the bloodstream and into the skeletal muscle via a Beta-Alanine/Taurine transporter. When it has reached the skeletal muscle, Beta-Alanine binds to L-Histidine to form Carnosine. Carnosine is a naturally occurring di-peptide found predominantly in type 2 muscle fibres. Carnosine acts as an Intra-muscular buffer preventing a reduction in pH (i.e. delaying the build up of acidity in the muscle). A rise in pH is caused by accumulating Hydrogen ions. This build up of Hydrogen ions negatively influences enzyme reactions and reduces muscle excitation contractions, limiting the ability to continue high intensity movements throughout exercise. Carnosine is also a powerful antioxidant helping to fight against free radicals and reduce cell damage. Because Beta-Alanine is the limiting amino acid in carnosine synthesis, carnosine concentrations are directly related to the presence of beta-alanine in the blood stream.
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