Shannan, a genius of a personal trainer whom I credit for first whipping me into shape a couple years ago, gave me a magic pill the other day. Not that magic pill.
The pill is called beta alanine. Apparently, it's an amino acid that helps build muscle, reduce fat and provides prolonged energy.
What's the catch?
Shannan swears by it, and I didn't find anything "bad" about beta alanine online. You have to careful how many pills you take because too many can cause tingling of the fingertips and thinned blood flow. Yesterday prior to my run/lift workout, I took a beta alanine pill. This morning, 12 hours later, I had a lot more energy than usual when I dove into the pool. I sustained that energy throughout the workout, and after a brief 20 minute powernap I spun on the trainer for another hour. It wasn't until around noon today that I started to come down from my energy high. No major crash. No jitters. No side effects other than being wide awake at 5 a.m. after 6.5 hours sleep, resulting in a half hour of checking work emails prior to swimming. Usually I need to be kicked out of bed -- almost literally -- by Steph at around 5:45 a.m.
Normally I'd say yeah. But who wants to get out of bed at 5? And I didn't know that prolonged energy was a beta alanine side effect until I emailed Shannan this morning.
Growing up, I was taught to believe that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
So what's the catch here? I felt great, my heart rate didn't explode, I enjoyed sustained energy and better productivity and wasn't jittery in any way. I'm asking around to see what other people know about beta alanine. I'm afraid to keep using it as if it was a narcotic. Something this seemingly helpful can't be good for you. Can it?
I will probably pop another beta alanine tomorrow an hour before my Griffith Park brick. I'll let you know how it goes. If anyone out there in blog land has experience with beta alanine, please let me know.
116 days and counting.