Pre workout itch? What is the cause? Or, why does pre workout make you itch? These are some of the most common questions associated with pre workout supplements. Most workout enthusiasts have reported getting an itchy face or tingling sensation all over their body once they take pre workouts.
Some people may not experience these symptoms. However, for those of you who go through the pre workout itch, it can get quite uncomfortable and confusing. These symptoms are mostly harmless and usually go away once you hit the gym or start working out.
So, there is nothing much to worry about. However, there are a number of causes behind the pre workout itch. Though the itch is harmless, you might want to know everything about it so that you don’t freak out the next time.
To know more about the pre workout itch like – causes, effects, why does pre workout make you itch, how to avoid it, etc. you can continue reading this article.
The itch or tingling feeling you get after consuming pre workout supplements is termed as “Paresthesia.” People usually find it difficult to pinpoint or locate the uncomfortable feeling, but it is generally characterized by:
- Mild numbness
- Prickly Feeling
- Needles and Pins
- Flushed skin
So, if you feel any of the above-mentioned things after pre workouts, it is generally a case of Paresthesia. You may experience the tingling or itchiness all over your body. However, it is most commonly felt in the face, hands, feet, and neck.
While some people take this as a side effect and find it uncomfortable, others usually have no problem with it. In fact, some people take the itchiness as a sign that it’s time to hit the gym for some good damage.
This is the major cause behind pre workout itch. Beta-alanine is a major ingredient used in most pre workout supplements. Beta-alanine is a great amino-acid used for enhancing performance and energy during exercise. It is also responsible for elevating carnosine to help you work out harder for an extended duration.
Though beta-alanine has some great uses, it is the biggest culprit behind that itchiness. This ingredient does not have an effect on almost everyone. But the effect usually depends upon the amount of dosage as well.
If your dosage tends to go as high as 800mg and over, the chance of getting pre workout itch increases. Beta-alanine activates and causes some reaction in skin neurons. Thus, the reaction in the skin neurons is what makes you feel itchy and tingly in certain body parts.
Another common ingredient found in pre workouts is Niacin or Vitamin B3. This is not as effective as Beta-alanine but is also responsible for causing some itchiness and tingling sensations when taken in heavy doses.
Niacin is consumed for enhancing energy levels. However, since there are other substitutes for the purpose, it is best suggested to avoid pre workouts with the niacin content. If you take high doses of niacin, say over 500 mg, it can cause skin flushing. This leads to an itchy feeling or tingling.
However, some workout enthusiasts supplement niacin along with caffeine to feel a massive effect. But if your workout regime includes some weight loss exercises, you might want to avoid this ingredient completely.
Is pre workout itchiness harmful?
Pre workout itchiness is not at all harmful as it caused when certain ingredients like Niacin and Beta-alanine react with the body. Feeling itchy or tingly as a result of large doses of such ingredients is quite normal. However, you should be careful about the number of servings or dosage you take.
How long does pre workout itchiness last?
If you take high doses, the itchiness can last for about 60 to 90 minutes.
Now that you know everything about why does pre workout make you itch, here are some simple ways to avoid the itchiness:
Cutting down the dosage:
Since ingredients like beta-alanine and niacin or Vitamin B3 are responsible for the itchiness. The first step you can take to avoid such itchiness is by cutting down the dosage. If you are double scooping your supplement, you can try to lower it down to a single scoop.
Or you can check the dosage label and find some other pre workouts with lesser dosage.
Avoiding ingredients that cause pre workout itch:
There are many pre workout supplements available in the market which do not contain beta-alanine or niacin. Instead, they contain other substitutes that provide the same benefits.
So, if you are very sensitive to such ingredients, it is best suggested to skip those pre workouts with beta-alanine and niacin contents completely. You can go for pre workouts that have more natural ingredients.
Get started with your exercise:
This is not a permanent fix but is worth a try. You are likely to get the itchiness or tingling sensations when the pre workout starts to kick in. So, you can quickly hit the gym or start exercising as soon as you feel the rush. This way, you put your energy and focus elsewhere, which might help distract you from the itchy and tingly feelings.
The pre workout itch can be very uncomfortable at times, especially if it continues even during workouts. But this isn’t harmful; also you can easily avoid it by following the above-mentioned steps. However, you should remember that different people have different levels of sensitivity. While beta-alanine can have side effects on one person, it may not necessarily have the same effect on someone else.
Most people even go to the extent of giving up pre workouts when the itchiness becomes very prominent. But you should remember, pre workouts are an integral part of your workout routines. And instead of giving up pre workouts, you should rather avoid the specific ingredients or change your supplement.
Also, another important thing is diet. Maintaining a proper balanced and nutritious diet can go a long way in carrying out your workout plans.