Have you ever taken a pre-workout, then all of a sudden felt flush, itchy, almost like your skin was crawling? Of course, you have, why else would you have googled, “why does beta-alanine make you itch?” A popular pre-workout ingredient, studies have shown that beta-alanine is a powerful ergogenic aid that can delay muscle fatigue and increase workout volume, by inhibiting the build-up of lactic acid. The only caveat, it makes you itch like crazy.
What Is Beta-Alanine
Beta-alanine is a non-essential beta amino-acid. Together with the help of L-histidine, Beta-alanine facilitates the synthesis of muscle carnosine concentration which acts as a lactic acid buffer and delays the onset of muscle fatigue, loss of power, and time to failure. Studies have shown elevated muscle carnosine levels can fuel endurance, optimize recovery, build muscle strength, and enhance peak performance.
Despite the performance enhancing benefits, beta-alanine produces an odd, non-harmful effect known as paresthesia, which causes a tingling and itchy sensation.
Why Does Beta-Alanine Make You Itch
The direct mechanism or etiology of why beta-alanine creates paresthesia remains somewhat unclear, researchers believe that beta-alanine activates sensory neurons that terminate in the skin, leading to topical tingling and itchiness [R].
How To Stop Beta-Alanine From Tingling
So how exactly do you stop beta-alanine from tingling? Itching and tingling will last for around 15 minutes, however intensity and duration will also depend on dosing and experience. If you’re an avid and consistent user of beta-alanine the itch will subside quicker as compared to someone who has never used beta alanine.
If you can’t get used to the tingling, you can effectively minimize the sensation by reducing and splitting up the dose. Taking smaller amounts throughout the day can help alleviate the itching, and or extinguish it all together, instead of taking one large dose pre workout.
Why Does Beta-Alanine Make You Itch: Takeaway
Despite the itchiness and tingling sensation that beta-alanine can create, it’s no cause of concern. Studies have shown that beta-alanine is one of the most effective and proven sports supplements ever created, improving exercise performance, by inhibiting the build of lactic acid increasing time to exhaustion and workout volume. If you can’t stand the tingling, then split up the doses, until your body becomes acclimated. Over time, the tingling will subside with consistent use.
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