Not all pre-workout supplements will cause itchiness or tingling however, yours might if it contains a specific ingredient called beta-alanine, which is common in many pre-workouts.
Read on to learn more.
Key Takeaways About Pre Workout Tingle
- Beta alanine is a common ingredient in many pre-workout supplements that has been known to cause itchiness or tingling in some individuals, especially at high doses.
- Beta-alanine helps to boost carnosine which acts as a natural lactic acid buffer which can help boost performance and reduce exercise fatigue.
- Paresthesia symptoms from beta-alanine supplementation is not harmful and will typically resolve on its own within an hour.
- To avoid itchiness from beta-alanine, you can split your supplement dose throughout the day, opt for a lower dose altogether or a combination dose that includes other pre-workout ingredients, choose sustained release supplements or avoid supplements altogether.
What Ingredients Can Cause the Pre Workout Itch?
Beta alanine is a common ingredient in many pre-workout supplements that has been known to cause itchiness or tingling in some individuals, especially at high doses.
Beta alanine is a type of naturally occurring amino acid that may help boost performance and reduce exercise-induced fatigue. It is a popular additive to many pre-workout supplements geared towards athletes and active individuals .
When you take beta-alanine combined with L-histidine, another amino acid and common ingredient in pre-workout supplements, they work to increase the amount of carnosine in the muscle tissue.
How Long Does the Pre Workout Itch Last?
When taking pre-workout supplements that contain beta-alanine, some may experience uncomfortable side effects that include itching, tingling, burning, or flushing in the face, neck, or extremities. This phenomenon is known as paresthesia.
While it can be a minor irritant to downright uncomfortable for those who experience it, the symptoms will not last.
Paresthesia symptoms from beta-alanine supplementation will typically resolve on their own within an hour with those taking higher doses more likely to experience these side effects than those taking low doses .
What is the Beta Alanine Tingle?
Research has hypothesized that beta-alanine itching may be a result of this amino acid activating G-protein coupled receptors in the brain.
These receptors transmit signals through the central nervous system, including the skin. This can activate different responses in the body, such as itchiness .
Why Does Beta Alanine Make Some People Itch?
Certain populations are more likely to experience itching from beta-alanine. For example, females and those of Asian descent are more likely to experience itchiness from beta-alanine supplements compared to males and those of Caucasian descent.
Additionally, studies have found that those weighing less than 165 lbs were more likely to experience stronger itching symptoms than those who weighed more .
Itchiness may be stronger in those taking high doses of beta-alanine or who are taking supplements that only contain beta-alanine compared to multi-ingredient supplements.
How Does Beta Alanine Help You Workout Harder?
Beta-alanine has become a popular pre-workout ingredient because it helps to boost carnosine which acts as a natural lactic acid buffer.
When our muscle tissues get a build up of lactic acid it can cause muscle fatigue and soreness.
This is commonly felt as a burning sensation in your muscles when performing certain exercises. By reducing this buildup, you are able to perform better with less fatigue and may recover faster .
If you aren’t struggling to get through your workouts, you can do more and push yourself harder. If you recover faster, you are more likely to be consistent and get more out of your workouts.
Is Pre Workout Itchiness Harmful?
The itchiness some experience with beta-alanine pre-workout supplements, although uncomfortable, is completely harmless. Paresthesia is temporary and typically resolves within an hour.
While it may be concerning to someone who has not experienced it before, rest assured it will not have any long lasting effects. It is important however, to note that it is not recommended to exceed a dose of 6.4 grams of beta-alanine over a 24 week period [8, 9].
Can You Get Rid of Pre Workout Tingle?
For those who wish to avoid these side effects but still want to get the benefits of beta-alanine, there are a few tips that may help you avoid the dreaded itch.
Because larger doses of beta-alanine are more likely to cause this side effect, splitting the dose into smaller doses throughout the day may help.
Additionally, you can switch to sustained release supplements. You can also switch to a supplement that includes beta-alanine along with other ingredients as this may help slow down its entry into the bloodstream.
If the itch is too much for you, swap out your pre-workout for real food. You can find beta-alanine naturally in foods such as poultry, beef, pork, and fish. While it contains smaller amounts than a supplement, there are no risks of paresthesia .
FAQs About the Pre Workout Itch
Is it bad if pre-workout makes you itchy?
The itch associated with beta-alanine supplementation in pre-work products is not harmful however, it can be very uncomfortable for some. While this side effect is just that, a side effect, many wish to avoid it due to the shear discomfort.
How do you fix pre-workout itching?
To avoid itchiness from beta-alanine, you can split your supplement dose throughout the day, opt for a lower dose altogether or a combination dose that includes other pre-workout ingredients that may reduce how quickly beta-alanine gets into your system.
You can also look for sustained release supplements or avoid supplements altogether and instead focus on high protein foods that contain beta-alanine, such as meat, fish, and poultry.
Is beta-alanine bad for you?
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that you can also obtain from food. Although supplements may inflict side effects in some, beta-alanine is not bad for it. Many research studies have shown it can help to boost exercise performance and improve post-workout recovery in active individuals.
How long does pre-workout itch last?
Despite how uncomfortable it may be, beta-alanine itch is only temporary. In most cases, the itchiness will resolve within an hour of taking your supplement. For most, this means you feel back to your normal self by the time you complete your workout.