Why Does Beta-Alanine Make You Itch? Can You Stop
Supplementation with beta-alanine in sport has proven to be effective for what cases and what conditions. Unlike most marketed supplements, whose beneficial effects have not been demonstrated, supplementing with beta-alanine could increase athletic performance by increasing intramuscular carnosine levels, regulating the pH of muscle tissue.
“Beta-alanine acts at the cellular level to keep the pH within the muscle from getting too acidic, which contributes to fatigue. Therefore, beta-alanine delays neuromuscular fatigue, which gives performance benefits. The itch, or tingle, is just something to put up with on your way to getting those benefits.”
Beta-Alanine is a prevalent ingredient in pre-workout performance supplements, and many people use it. If you’ve taken supplements that include beta-alanine, you may have experienced something commonly known as “beta-alanine itch.”
This is an itchy sensation that spreads to the shoulders, neck, and arms, starting about 15 minutes after taking the supplement and continuing for half an hour or so. If you’ve experienced this, you may be wondering:
why is beta-alanine biting me? Should I be concerned about this? Let’s take a look at the science behind the beta-alanine itch and answer all your questions.
In 2010 “Role of beta-alanine supplementation on muscle carnosine and exercise performance” (Artioli GG et al.) It was concluded that beta-alanine supplementation:
- Improves performance in high-intensity exercises of short duration (more than 60 seconds).
- Delays the onset of neuromuscular fatigue.
- It does not have any side effects, except for paresthesia, which is harmless in this case.
The 2012 meta-analysis “Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis” (RM Hobson et al.) reached The following conclusions:
– An improvement in sports performance is demonstrated in exercises that last between 1 and 4 minutes. In total cumulative doses of 145 – 179 grams. That is why it is recommended it (rest at a certain point in the consumption protocol). We would be talking about a daily dose of approximately 4 and 6 grams for one month.
– There is no evidence that it is effective in exercises of less than 60 seconds.
For more information, I recommend that you watch an explanatory video by David Marchante (Power Explosive):
“Why does my whole body itch when I take beta-alanine?”
Mild paresthesia is one of the most typical and popular sensations when we supplement with beta-alanine. It occurs in most people who supplement. Some people notice a slight tingling, and in others, it is even bothersome. We will see how to try to reduce this feeling.
1.- Where do tingling usually occur based on the experiences of subjects?
In general, on the face, also your arms, legs, and abdomen.
All reviews have concluded that this paresthesia is entirely harmless.
2.- What is the mechanism of action?
The MRGPRD gene (Qin Liu et al., 2012 & Boldyrev et al., 2013) is attributed to the mechano-sensation of sensory neurons in the skin. Taking a certain amount of beta-alanine in one feeding grows significantly at baseline, and paresthesia occurs.
3.- At what amounts does paresthesia usually occur?
Studies have concluded that at average doses greater than 800 mg in one dose, paresthesia occurs. (Décombaz J. et al., 2012).
4.- How to solve it?
Divide the shot during the day. For example, allow a time trance of 2 – 3 hours each.
A NORMAL ITCH WITH BETA-ALANINE
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is converted in the body to muscle carnosine that is crucial to provide strength and resistance to muscles, which is why it is recommended.
Generally, it is advisable to take 1-2 grams of the supplement before and after meals (4-6 grams daily). As the number of carnosine increases, performance is more outstanding, as fatigue is delayed.
The supplement is manufactured from animal proteins, especially pork; Now, there is a paradigm about the appearance of a normal itch with beta-alanine, but if this minor discomfort is compensated with more repetitions during very intense training.
Everything can balance the results obtained, including muscle gains, without adding extra weight, which is fabulous.
We know about the benefits of beta-alanine, but athletes who are not very knowledgeable about the supplement feel that tingling or itching when taking it; the sensation is called paresthesia, and it passes because beta-alanine binds to nerve receptors.
The feelings on the skin are diverse, and although it varies from person to person, it can go from 15-20 minutes to 1 hour in cases of higher doses.
- In a former workout, you feel that the tilt on the skin from the redness of some areas of itching, such as ears, face, and behind your hands.
- Newbies may be scared, but they should consider that it does not represent any sign of problems such as allergies or any harmful effects of the supplement.
Many bodybuilders claim that, after several weeks of constant intake, this feeling tends to diminish. The practice of adding beta-alanine with food or, for example, with a protein shake can be a solution, but when you perceive this sensation, it means that beta-alanine is doing its job.
Nutritional science has worked hard to design new beta-alanine supplements, whose doses are absorbed faster, making the paresthesia effect pass much quicker.
Although they are brief, the explanations serve to elucidate one of the most popular questions in sports nutrition when we talk about a normal itch with beta-alanine, an exciting supplement to break the plateaus and overcome limits.
Have you felt that itchy sensation when taking beta-alanine?
Why is beta-alanine itchy?
Beta-Alanine is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements for athletes and bodybuilders due to its ability to improve endurance and power for longer workouts and better muscle building. This amino acid connects to produce a dipeptide called Carnosine with Histidine in your body, which slows down lactic acid production while exercising, which allows you to continue long before the burn. That’s a huge plus, but it often causes beta-alanine itch too, which is a nuisance.
The chemical activates some of your neurons when you take beta-alanine, causing a tingling and itchy sensation on your skin. In reality, nothing is wrong with your skin, but your neurons think so, and it feels like itching; this experience is known as “paresthesia.” It is a common reaction to various ingredients in training supplements, and different people experience this sensation at different levels. For some people, it is a slight tickle, while others experience a powerful stinging sensation. However, there is nothing to worry about, although the feeling may be unpleasant enough that you do not want to use supplements containing beta-alanine.
Should you be concerned about beta-alanine itch?
Good news: According to the National Institute of Health study, it has been revealed that there is no danger of itching inside Beta-Alanine. It will not cause any other problems and is not a sign of significant problems. Itching is, in reality, how it feels – just a run-off-the-mill!
The same goes for the similar itchiness that niacin, another common ingredient in pre-exercise supplements, can cause. So if you get itchy after a workout, don’t worry too much! It is annoying and uncomfortable, but it is no more problematic than that.
Can beta-alanine itch be prevented?
You can’t wholly and permanently avoid Beta-alanine itching. Still, it can reduce that unpleasant itchy sensation of paresthesia a bit, which could make a big difference to your comfort levels after your workout. The best way to do this is to reduce the amount of beta-alanine you consume in any session. But how can you do that without losing the benefits of beta-alanine dosing?
Well, there are two main options. First, you can try taking several smaller doses of beta-alanine throughout the day. It will give you the same general carnosine levels in your body at the end of the day, but you won’t be taking in enough beta-alanine to cause a lot of itchiness in one dose.
Alternatively, you can try using a sustained-release beta-alanine product in place of your regular pre-workout supplementation. These products are designed to slowly release beta-alanine into your body from a single dose, giving you a high total beta-alanine intake without exceptionally high spikes at any time during the day.
Is beta-alanine safe?
In short: yes! Beta-alanine itching will not cause any other problems, and the benefits of beta-alanine dosing for athletes can be very significant. If the itching is too bad for you to bear, you may not want to take beta-alanine, but you won’t put your life at risk by taking beta-alanine supplements.
Other side effects of beta-alanine
Some more good news for you here: There are no other beta-alanine side effects currently on record. Itching is the only recorded side effect of this amino acid, so there is nothing to worry about when administered beta-alanine.
β-alanine, a popular supplement for muscle building, induces itch and tingling after consumption, but the underlying molecular and neural mechanisms are obscure.
Put, ingesting beta-alanine elicits specific neurons responsible for initiating itching and tingling of the skin. This sensation is referred to as paresthesia.
This itchiness or tingling skin is caused by an ingredient called Beta-Alanine. Pre-workout products which feature this ingredient, especially in doses higher than 2g per serve, will most likely cause this sensation. It is due to Beta-Alanine causing acute paresthesia.
When taken by mouth: Beta-alanine is POSSIBLY SAFE when taken by mouth appropriately for a short time. Side effects have not been reported with moderate doses of beta-alanine. High doses can cause flushing and tingling.
How do you stop beta-alanine itching?
You might even be able to stop it completely. The primary strategy is to split up your doses, Reimers advises. He suggests taking smaller amounts throughout the day instead of taking one large quantity before hitting the gym. It should significantly reduce the beta-alanine tingling you experience.
Studies have shown that beta-alanine can have a significant impact on body composition. According to one study, athletes have achieved an increase in lean muscle mass in just three weeks. Greater endurance leads to a rise in stamina and strength, which accelerates muscle growth.
Tingling of the body is the only side effect associated with beta-alanine supplementation. This tingling sensation is known as paresthesia. Paresthesia is a tingling sensation that many people feel after ingesting beta-alanine. There are no harmful effects associated with paresthesia.