Pre-workout supplements are a mix of chemicals meant to help you get the most out of your workout. Because most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine, they're popular as an energy boost. You're probably familiar with skin itching if you've ever used them. It's at least a minor inconvenience for everyone, and for some, it may be a major distraction during workouts. To understand what's going on, you may be wondering, "Why does pre-workout make you itch?" We've got you covered, and in this article, we examine the causes of pre-workout itching, explore its effects, and recommend how to avoid it in the long run.
What is Pre-Workout?
You might just be wondering what pre-workout actually is. It's a generic word that describes stimulants and bodybuilding supplements that help athletes enhance their athletic performance. It helps you increase energy, endurance, and focus when working out. These supplements often contain various ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes.
Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Itch?
Generally, pre-workout makes you itch due to one simple reason–beta-alanine. It's a chemical substance that has recently gained popularity as a supplement due to its claims of increasing exercise performance, postponing muscular exhaustion, and increasing overall endurance. In fact, it's present in 87% of popular pre-workout formulas. Unfortunately, the peculiar itch or tingle you feel is a side effect that many people experience while taking this amino acid.
This sensation occurs following pre-workout preparations that include this chemical, especially in quantities greater than 2g per serving. The scientific word for this is "paraesthesia," the flushing and a dose-dependent pins-and-needles sensation. Tingling, itching, numbness, or minor skin burns are common symptoms.
How Does Beta-Alanine Cause Itchiness?
The exact mechanisms behind why beta-alanine supplementation causes this specific reaction are unknown. Still, the most widely accepted theory is that it activates certain receptors responsible for transmitting signals all through your nervous system, particularly on your skin. Sensory neurons generate reactions that deliver an itchy sensation to the brain when your nerve endings engage with the chemical. In other words, the amino acid in question stimulates your nerve endings just enough to create the itching associated with the chemical but not enough to cause pain.
It's one of the key components of carnosine, and it helps increase carnosine synthesis, which improves athletic performance. However, a review of studies on the supplement, found that it doesn't affect aerobic endurance or muscle strength. Instead, it appears to extend the time an athlete may execute high-intensity exercises like sprinting and weight lifting before becoming weary.
This doesn't imply that athletes achieve improved results. It's unclear exactly what advantages using its pills can provide. Studies show that increasing carnosine levels in the muscles can require weeks of supplementation.
Possible Effects of Beta-Alanine
Besides the already discussed side effect–itchiness, other possible side effects of this chemical include:
According to a study on rat cells, hyper-beta-alaninemia (high levels of the compound) increases free radicals, decreases oxygen intake, and induces mitochondrial death. This causes oxidative stress in cells, which can lead to heart failure. Chronic administration of the chemical also lowers antioxidant activity and elevates reactive oxygen species in rats' cerebral cortex and cerebellum. While this study doesn't involve a human reference, it might likely have the same effect on humans.
This is a condition in which the body produces too much of the compound. It's an uncommon condition in which the chemical's levels become elevated. It causes brain damage, muscle atrophy, and respiratory difficulties. Supplements containing Beta-Alanine are extremely harmful to persons who suffer from this condition.
Deficiency in GABA-Transaminase
GABA-transaminase insufficiency is a seizure condition (epileptic encephalopathy) that causes newborns to grow too quickly. It's linked to higher compound levels in the spine. Hyper-beta-alaninemia and GABA-transaminase deficiency are two different albeit similar disorders.
Reduction in Taurine Levels
Taurine is a sulphur-containing amino acid that's present in nature. It's concentrated most heavily in your heart, eyes, brain, and muscles. Taurine doesn't contribute to producing proteins in your body, although amino acids are the "building blocks of protein." Instead, you can classify it as a conditionally necessary amino acid, which means it's only needed when you're sick or stressed. These taurine levels drop when your body absorbs beta-alanine often. This is because it competes with taurine for absorption in your muscles. In turn, it can leave you vulnerable when you're sick.
How Long Do the Itches Last?
You may wonder, just how long do pre-workout itches last? The length of time a workout itch lasts depends on your body's sensitivity to the stimulants in the workout mix. The itching lasts about 60 minutes in athletes who take larger doses of the mixture. Athletes who consume an average or lower amount of the recommended dosage per serving are less likely to experience itching or flushing. Generally, the irritating sensation lasts for about 90 minutes or a little less in the average person.
How Can You Stop The Itch?
Now that you have answers to "why does pre-workout make you itch?", you might wonder if you can stop such itches or tingles. There's good news! As a seasoned bodybuilding supplement producer, we recommend these four distinct yet efficient methods for reducing itches that you should be aware of.
Choose a Supplement Without Beta-Alanine
The first and most recommended option is to choose a supplement without beta-alanine or any other ingredients that cause itchiness. By removing the compound from your supplement mix, you can enjoy every other benefit of the supplements while avoiding itching. Of course, picking the right product is important, and that's where Strike comes in. It provides an industry-leading supplement with ingredients that energize you and ensure you leave the gym fulfilled, and of course, with no itching.
Lower Your Dosage
While this doesn't eliminate the itching, you can lower your dosage of this compound to reduce the risk of itching and other side effects. However, it's important to stick to the recommended dosage as constant heavy doses of any supplement can lead to problems in the body. You can also speak to your trainer for the best means to achieve peak performance while reducing your consumption of beta-alanine.
Seek Professional Advice
Professional advice is very important to maintaining a healthy workout, especially for people with pre-existing medical conditions or medications. It is advisable to consult a health care practitioner or a trained dietitian if you have any questions regarding any ingredient in any supplement you've been taking. They possess adequate training to assist you in understanding supplements and help you choose the right products for you.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
The best way to get the most out of your supplements is to pair them with a healthy lifestyle and diet. For instance, if you get enough sleep, drink plenty of water, and eat a healthy diet, you can get these benefits with relative ease. Another helpful tip is to check your blood pressure levels regularly.
We all want to employ nutritional science to take products that increase muscle pumps, reduce fatigue, and allow us to perform at our best in the gym. Unfortunately, several of the more popular pre-workout supplements on the market today, notably those containing beta-alanine, have some negative side effects, as has just been discussed. We bet you don't want any of that.
Luckily for you, it's possible to avoid this itching while getting increased strength and sustainable energy for your workout with Strike. Strike's high-quality supplements leave no place for itching because Beta-Alanine has been fully removed from its list of components, allowing you to focus on your workout routine without any itch or pain.
Learn more about Strike here: https://drinkstrike.com/