The Ingredient in Pre-Workout That Makes You Itch: Beta-Alanine
If you’ve noticed that when you take a certain pre-workout you start to feel itchy or tingly around your body, this is due to beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is naturally found in the human body. However, unlike many other amino acids, beta-alanine is not used in protein synthesis.
Beta-alanine plays a role in producing Carnosine, which is stored in your skeletal muscles. The main athletic performance benefit of improved carnosine production is a reduction in lactic acid accumulation during exercise. This effect can help improve endurance and extend time to exhaustion while working out.
Why Does Beta-Alanine Make You Itchy?
Beta-alanine makes you feel this tingling sensation because it fires up certain neurons that cause itchiness or tingling on your skin. This feeling is called paresthesia. The feeling can be uncomfortable or even scary if you aren’t expecting it. However, this is totally normal and isn’t harmful to your body.
How To Get Rid of Pre-Workout Itch?
Even though this tingling and itchiness isn’t dangerous, it can be too uncomfortable for some. If you’re concerned, you can simply find a pre-workout without beta-alanine. Many people find the effects of beta-alanine to be unpleasant to the point that they no longer want to take their pre-workout supplement. Supplement companies have responded to this feedback by creating pre-workout supplements without beta-alanine.
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You can also alleviate this side-effect by splitting up your doses of beta-alanine throughout the day. By taking smaller amounts multiple times per day, you can minimize the itch and still get the benefits of beta-alanine.