Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Itch?

Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Itch?

Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Itch?


Pre-workout supplements are a popular choice for individuals seeking that extra boost of energy and focus during their workouts. However, some users experience an unexpected side effect: itching or a tingling sensation, often referred to as "pre-workout itch. So what causes the itching & can it be avoided? Let’s delve right into it:

What Causes The Pre-Workout Itch?

The itching sensation caused by pre-workout supplements, often referred to as "pre-workout itch," is primarily due to an ingredient called beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is known to cause a harmless condition called paresthesia, which manifests as temporary tingling, itching, or a prickling sensation on the skin. This sensation typically occurs shortly after consuming a pre-workout supplement containing beta-alanine. 

Why Does Beta-Alanine Itch?

Beta-alanine causes itching due to its role in elevating carnosine levels in the muscles. Increased carnosine levels can stimulate nerve endings in the skin, resulting in a tingling or itching sensation, known as paresthesia.

How Long Does Pre-Workout Itch Last?

The duration of pre-workout itch is relatively short-lived. It typically starts within a few minutes of consuming the supplement and peaks around 15-20 minutes after ingestion. After that, the sensation begins to fade, and most individuals report that it has mostly subsided within 30 minutes. This means that the itching or tingling is usually a temporary and short-term side effect.

Is Pre-Workout Itch Harmful?

The itching or tingling sensation caused by pre-workout supplements is generally harmless. It's essential to distinguish between this sensation and an allergic reaction, which would involve more severe symptoms like hives, swelling, or difficulty breathing. True allergic reactions to pre-workout ingredients are rare.

Is Pre-Workout itching avoidable?

Pre-workout itching, often associated with beta-alanine, is challenging to entirely avoid when using supplements containing this ingredient. However, you can manage or minimize itching by adjusting the dosage, developing tolerance, or choosing beta-alanine-free pre-workouts.