Beta-Alanine Sales Skyrocket After Mat Fraser Says on Joe Rogan Podcast, “It gives me a third lung”

April 15, 2021 by
Credit: Mat Fraser, (https://www.instagram.com/mathewfras/)
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Last month on the Joe Rogan podcast, five-time CrossFit Games Champion Mat Fraser casually mentioned that when he was competing he took “a shitload of beta-alanine,” before each workout. Dry, by the spoonful, and then he “swigge(d) it down” with water, said Fraser of the supplement he kept in his gym bag at all times. 

  • “It makes me feel like I have a third lung,” he added.

Since then, beta-alanine sales have taken off, said supplement company owners Rowan Minnion, the owner of Blonyx, Bert Neibergall, the co-owner of Ballistic Labs, and Walter Hinchman, the CEO of Swolverine. 

Credit: Mat Fraser, (https://www.instagram.com/mathewfras/)

The details: Ballistic Labs, a supplement company based in Langley, B.C., did the same amount of beta alanine sales in the last month than they did in the entirety of last year. Meanwhile Blonyx, a company that caters specifically to CrossFit athletes through their beta-alanine, creatine and HMB products sold “at least” three times more beta alanine last month than usual, Minnion explained, and Reno, NV-based Swolverine has seen a 30 percent increase in their beta-alanine sales.

  • The same day the podcast went live, Ballistic Labs beta-alanine sales “blew up,” Neibergall said. “On day one we had no idea why.” Shortly after that, retailers started calling and emailing “off the hook for beta-alanine,” he said, adding that sales have increased on all of their sales channels. “The stores told me they couldn’t get product from their regular suppliers (because they were sold out).”
  • Minnion also experienced a jump in beta-alanine sales the very day the Joe Rogan podcast aired. Since then, Blonyx’s overall sales increased by 20 percent in the last month. “And when we started analyzing it in our stores, and in our Amazon stores, we noticed that beta-alanine accounted for 75 percent of that increase,” Minnion said.
  • And while Swolverine’s beta-alanine sales increase didn’t happen as immediately as they did for Ballistic Labs and Blonyx, in the last two weeks they started experiencing a “large influx” in sales, said Hinchman, whose company has also had to fulfill orders earlier than expected from various retailers who sell their beta-alanine. He added: “We sell on places like bodybuilding.com, muscleandstrength.com, Amazon and GNC, and they’re up across the board. And we have been trying to pinpoint why.” 

Giving Fraser credit: Both Neibergall and Minnion credit this increase in sales to Fraser’s comments on Joe Rogan.

  • So many athletes at Minnion’s gym — CrossFit Squamish in B.C. — started asking their gym owner Jesse Bifano about beta-alanine after the Joe Rogan podcast went live that Minnion and Bifano created their own informative podcast about the supplement for their community.
  • Further, Nester’s market, a popular organic grocery chain in B.C., contacted Minnion about putting beta-alanine on their shelves, as a pack of people who heard the podcast started asking about beta-alanine.
  • Similarly, as soon as the podcast aired, Hanna Hawkins, a nutrition coach and the owner of Macros and Muscles Nutrition, said her clients began asking her if they should take beta-alanine. “I would easily say over 50 percent of my clients asked me about (beta-alanine). It seemed everyone wanted  to know if it was safe, useful, and something that would help their performance, as well,” Hawkins said. “It was amazing how fast the questions came in…And honestly, I had to do some research because I didn’t know much about it,” she added.
  • Even our very own Morning Chalk Up Senior Managing Editor, Joe Genetin-Pilawa admitted he immediately ordered some beta-alanine, because “how can you not try it?”

One big thing: Though everyone and his dog appeared to adopt a What Would Mat Do philosophy, Minnion said many people don’t understand why or how to take the supplement, including Fraser, who admitted that he “didn’t do that much research on it.”

  • One common misconception is that beta-alanine should be used as a pre-workout, which is how Fraser explained he took the supplement. The reason companies put beta-alanine in their pre-workout formulas, Minion explained, is because it stimulates your nerve endings and causes a sort of tingling, burning or itching feeling. This burning is harmless, but it “perks you up and there’s an energizing feeling to that,” Minnion said. 
  • However, the reality is, for beta-alanine to be most effective, you need to be taking it daily, even on rest days, not just as a pre-workout, he said. When you do this, the science shows it goes into your muscles and turns into carnosine, which is a natural lactic acid buffer. This effectively blocks lactic acid from taking over your muscles, Minnion explained. “But for this to happen, it needs to be taken daily to build up the buffering capacity in the body,” he said.
  • Another thing to consider when taking beta-alanine is the dose, Hinchman explained. For beta-alanine to be effective, you need a clinical dose of 3.2 grams of greater, he said. (The International Society of Sports Nutrition suggests taking between four and 6 grams daily).

Beta-alanine for CrossFit: Beta-alanine is especially useful for CrossFit athletes, because they “live in that lactic acid place,” Minnion said. 

  • “Like when you’re doing a 500 meter row and you’re trying to kick off lactic acid that’s building up. Beta-alanine prevents that build-up,” Minion said. “And another theory is that this lactic acid is what causes that feeling of fatigue…So I find when I’m taking it, I just don’t breathe as hard. I’ll be red lining, but I don’t have that gasping for breath feel. So I think that’s what Fraser was saying when he said it feels like he has a third lung.”

The bottom line: Mat Fraser is influential, not just to the CrossFit community, but even arguably to the mainstream. 

  • In light of this, the question remains: Have Snickers candy bar sales also increased in the last month since Fraser also revealed to Joe Rogan, while other athletes weighed out their chicken and white rice after a workout at the CrossFit Games, he’d immediately start “scarfing down Snickers bars.”

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