Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is made in the body from pyruvate, and then directed to the liver where it is converted into energy.
Alanine is well known in the sports and body-building communities for its function in muscle development and its role in glucose metabolism. It is one of a few amino acids that are actually converted into glucose.
This conversion takes place in the liver, and alanine is most utilized once the liver is depleted of glycogen, a form of energy storage.
This is why alanine gets so much attention in the sports arena. Alanine is a beneficial source of energy used by the body once it has reached a state of high endurance and begins to use muscle protein for energy. For this reason it is found in most sports drinks.
What does Alanine do?
- Helps to strengthen immunity by producing lymphocytes
- Aids in glucose (sugar) metabolism
- Aids in glycogen secretion
- Used for energy once glycogen is depleted
- Important for muscle development
- Aids adrenal gland function
- Promotes a healthy prostate gland
- Removes excess toxins from the liver
Conditions that Alanine May Help
- Sports endurance
- Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH)
As with the “B” vitamins, amino acids work best when taken together in an amino acid complete formula (and with other vitamins and minerals). However, as with many supplements, additional supplementation of a specific micronutrient found in a multi or complete formula may be necessary.
Typical dosages of l-alanine or “free form” alanine range from 500 mg – 1500 mg per day.
Amino acids are considered foods in the most simplest form, and thus are considered extremely safe. However, as with any supplement (or food for that matter), imbalances can occur in some individuals.
L-alanine has no known toxic effects, but care should be taken if you have diabetes or liver problems.
As with any protein supplement, make sure you are taking in sufficient water as this will aid the liver in protein breakdown.
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