Why Does Pre-Workout Make Your Tingle & Itch?
The reason why pre-workout supplements cause a tingling sensation and itching is due to the presence of the ingredient beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is commonly found in pre-workout formulas.
When consumed, beta-alanine is converted into carnosine, which helps to combat muscle fatigue during exercise. However, a side effect of beta-alanine is the tingling sensation and itching, known as paresthesia.
What Is Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is naturally produced in the body. It is converted into carnosine, another amino acid, which acts as a buffer against the build-up of lactic acid in the muscles during intense exercise.
Because of this ability to combat the build-up of lactic acid beta-alanine is also a very popular supplement, especially among athletes. Beta-alanine is typically supplemented in dosages of between 4 and 6 grams.
How Does Beta-Alanine Help Training Performance?
As mentioned beta-alanine is a popular supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts due to its potential benefits in enhancing training performance.
One of the key ways beta-alanine helps with exercise performance is by reducing fatigue.
Lactic acid is responsible for most of the fatigue and discomfort experienced during endurance exercises and beta-alanine supplementation has been shown to decrease the levels of lactic acid in muscles.
It ultimately does this by increasing carnosine levels enhancing the body’s ability to delay muscle fatigue and improving athletic performance.
By increasing the concentration of carnosine beta-alanine supplementation helps to increase the muscle’s capacity to buffer hydrogen ions, which are responsible for the increase in acidity during high-intensity exercise.
This increase in buffering capacity allows athletes to delay the onset of muscle fatigue and maintain their performance at a high level for a longer duration of time.
Therefore, beta-alanine supplementation is commonly used by athletes and individuals involved in high-intensity training to improve endurance and overall athletic performance.
Studies have found that individuals who took beta-alanine supplements experienced a longer time to exhaustion, allowing them to push harder during workouts and ultimately achieve greater gains.
This goes to show incorporating beta-alanine supplementation into training routines can help athletes and as well as individuals seeking to improve their performance and reach their fitness goals.
Why Does Beta-Alanine Cause Itching?
The itching caused by beta-alanine is often described as a tingle or prickling feeling and is caused by the overstimulation of nerve receptors in the central nervous system, beta-alanine activates nerve receptors that are responsible for sensing and transmitting sensations such as tingling and itching.
The intensity of the tingling and itching can vary depending on the dosage of beta-alanine in the pre-workout supplement.
While some individuals may find this sensation uncomfortable, others may see it as a sign that the supplement is effectively working.
We already talked about how when we take beta-alanine it increases the levels of carnosine in the muscles, which helps to buffer acid build-up during intense physical activity, however carnosine can also be another reason for the itching.
This is because the excess carnosine also leads to an increase in histamine production in the body, which can trigger itching.
The severity of the itching is often dose-dependent, meaning that higher doses of beta-alanine are more likely to cause this side effect.
How Long Might The Itchiness Last?
Itchiness caused by beta-alanine supplementation, also known as paresthesia, can vary in duration depending on several factors.
Firstly, the dose of beta-alanine ingested plays a significant role. Studies have shown that higher doses of beta-alanine are more likely to induce paresthesia.
Secondly, the duration of itchiness can also be influenced by individual differences in metabolism and tolerance to the supplement which is mostly due to genetics.
Typically the itchiness from pre-workout supplements occurs within 15 to 30 minutes of consuming a dose containing beta-alanine and can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes.
However, for individuals who are more sensitive to the effects of beta-alanine, the itchiness may persist for an even longer duration.
It is important for individuals considering beta-alanine supplementation to start with smaller doses and gradually increase over time to minimize the discomfort of paresthesia.
Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide personalized guidance on the appropriate dosage and strategies to manage and alleviate this side effect.
Can You Stop Beta-Alanine Itch?
The uncomfortable sensation of pre-workout itch, often described as a tingling or feeling, can be bothersome to some individuals.
Unfortunately it is not possible to completely stop or get rid of beta-alanine-induced itching if you experience it.
Although it may not be possible to completely eliminate the beta-alanine itch, there are ways to minimize the sensation.
How Do You Stop Itching From Pre-Workout?
To work towards stopping itching from pre-workout and in order to alleviate the discomfort, one can start by reducing the dose of beta-alanine per serving. And gradually increase it over time to allow the body to adapt.
Studies show that dosages of bet alanine equating to 1.6 grams or less display significantly reduced side effects of itching or tingling. So far reduced that it can almost say the side effect is completely eradicated.
Another strategy to reduce the itching side effect of beta-alline is to take the pre-workout supplement with food in order to minimize the intensity of the itch.
If the itching still persists or becomes unbearable, one might consider switching to a pre-workout without beta-alanine or consulting a healthcare professional for further advice.
It is important to note that this side effect does not affect everyone, and some individuals may not experience any itching with the same dosage.
Finding the right dosage and pre-workout supplement that works for each person’s body specifically is key to avoiding this discomfort during exercise.
Is The Beta Alanine Itch Dangerous?
While it can be uncomfortable and bothersome, the beta-alanine itch is generally considered a harmless side effect.
Meaning it is not dangerous and the common experience of feeling this way from consuming a pre-workout supplement is nothing to be alarmed or worried about.
Although if the sensation of itching is too much for you to handle and interferes with your ability to workout or function effectively it is recommended to stay away from the supplement entirely or opt for a pre-workout supplement that is beta-alanine free.