Beta-alanine is technically a non-essential beta-amino acid, but it has quickly become anything but non-essential in the worlds of performance nutrition and bodybuilding.
Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid which occurs naturally in the body and is found in many sources of meat and fish in the diet it cannot be made/synthesized by the body.
Its role is to promote high intramuscular concentrations of carnosine, a small molecule composed of the amino acids histidine and alanine. Carnosine acts as a buffering agent, helping maintain an optimal muscle pH range, thus delaying the onset of muscular failure.
Carnosine is a bond of beta alanine and histidine which is highly concentrated in muscle and brain tissue. During high intensity exercise, lactate acid and hydrogen ions are produced which cause a drop in pH in the working muscle (the burn). Carnosine is pH buffer allowing normal working pH to be sustained for longer, allowing intensity to be sustained for longer.
Most effective for supporting exercise lasting longer than 60 seconds.