Why Does Pre-workout Make you Itchy? (how to stop & duration)


Why does pre workout make you itchy

In this article, I’ve discussed the underlying causes of post-pre-workout itch, why it does that and how long it lasts.

Pre-workout supplements are something gym fanatics can’t pass a day without, but the unwanted itch that comes along not only ruins the concentration and focus but also raises safety concerns.

It’s mainly the beta-alanine in most pre-workouts that induces the tingling sensations and itching on the skin and eventually distracts you from working out with full vigor. The sensation is most likely caused by pre-workout products that contain this ingredient, especially at doses higher than 2g per serve. 

But with the name of the culprit in our hands, we now know how to deal with the situation.

Keep reading to find out how.

Does pre-workout make you itchy?

Well, not always. I will explain.

Not every pre-workout would make you itchy; only those with certain ingredients like beta-alanine, and niacin do so. These ingredients tend to trigger neural cells in the skin, resulting in a tingling sensation.

Though further research is required to understand the precise mechanism, Beta-alanine has been proven to cause excitability in skin neurons.

Some studies indicate that it activates G-coupled protein receptors of mechanosensitive neurons in the skin which are associated with the sensation of heat. These receptors signal the central nervous system to produce a tingling skin-specific sensation.

Beta-alanine is also suspected of producing mild paresthesia that shows symptoms such as tingling and flushing of the skin. However, further research is required to support the theory.

Nevertheless, none of these is found harmful, and the only damage it does is the irritating feeling that may distract you from the workout.

How long does pre-workout itch last?

Although it varies from person to person, the itch induced by taking pre-workouts usually starts about after 15 minutes and lasts for nearly half an hour.

How to get rid of pre-workout itch?

One thing you can do to reduce the itchiness is to make your serving size smaller. You may split up the intake into two or three smaller servings.

However, this hack doesn’t always work because many supplements do not give desired results if taken in a lesser quantity.

The ultimate method to get rid of the pre-workout itch is to quit the products which contain beta-alanine.

Many such options are available in the market that promises similar results like fatigue resistance, endurance, and muscle growth.

While making a purchase, look for those formulations that have components like citrulline, Taurine, and Creatine. These elements come with all the energy-boosting perks without the unwanted itch – a total win-win!

To make this easier for you, I have reviewed the best 4 pre-workouts without beta-alanine below.

Pre-workout Without Beta-alanine

  • Pumpsurge– Stimulant-free Preworkout
  • 4 Gauge- Preworkout
  • Pre Lab Pro- Natural Preworkout
  • Loco– Pre-workout

1. Pumpsurge – Stimulant-Free Pre workout

pump surge

Pump Surge comes with a promise to provide intensive pumps, long-lasting endurance, and sharp-mental focus.

To ensure the promised results, it contains powerful ingredients like L-citrulline, Betaine Anhydrous, and Taurine.

L-citrulline, being a major component of its formula, plays a vital role in increasing fatigue resistance by promoting blood flow throughout the body.

Studies have shown that it causes a boost in nitric oxide production which eventually leads to the dilation of blood vessels.

During intensive gym activity, this condition augments the supply of nutrients and oxygen to muscles (as the blood flow increases).

It contains an anhydrous form of Betaine for achieving strength and full muscle growth. Research conducted in 2009 to study the effects of Betaine on power performance and fatigue also revealed that its two-week supplementation led to significantly improved muscle endurance.

Since it enhances muscular endurance, the capacity to perform more sets and intensive workouts also increase. It may also help gain a bulkier shape due to its synergic relationship with anabolic agents.

Then, we have Taurine (nicked as Tau), which is said to help you with strength training. According to the research, it increases fatigue resistance, reduces recovery time, and speeds up the twitching process in skeletal muscles.

Briefly, it shows a protective activity on muscles by reducing the oxidative stress generated by prolonged physical stimulation.

As there is no caffeine in PumpSurge, you can consume it at night as well without disturbing your sleep cycle. Not to mention that caffeine can also cause anxiety and jitters in some people.

Nonetheless, the company could have included a non-stimulant energy booster like Creatine or nitrosigine.

It is available at the Jacked factory website and carries a price tag up to $29.9, which sounds a little costly for its minimized nutrients list.

Pros

  • Come in multiple flavors.
  • High Endurance.
  • Fast recovery.
  • Can be used at night.
  • Perfect for caffeine-sensitive folks.

Cons

  • No energy boosters.
  • High price for lesser nutrients.

2. 4 Gauge – Pre-workout

4 - guage pre-workout

Among the Beta-alanine free pre-workouts, 4 Guage is also one of the most popular products because of its unmatched efficacy. Its main ingredients are L-citrulline malate, creatine monohydrate, acetyl L-carnitine, beetroot extract, and caffeine anhydrous.

This product is stacked with citrulline malate, a compound that dilates the blood vessels and elevates energy metabolism.

Research shows that its amino acid component, L-citrulline improves oxygen kinetics and blood regulation; resultantly, you will have increased endurance and strength.

The malate component improves physical stamina and minimizes muscular damage during vigorous workouts.

Then it includes Creatine, an organic compound that takes part in the recycling of ATP (the energy-providing molecule); hence, it sustains the energy levels in your body.

Scientific evidence proves that its monohydrated form increases both the growth of lean mass and the capacity to perform high-intensity exercises.

It is especially found helpful for the strength of the upper and lower limbs. Also, it may help your muscles resist injuries and recover sooner.

The best thing about this ingredient is that it is not linked with any short or long-term side effects.

The third major component, Acetyl L-carnitine, is one of the major types of biologically active carnitine.

According to the studies, it reduces post-workout muscle soreness and pain by inducing vasodilation that results in enhanced oxygen supply to the muscles and removal of algogenic (pain-causing) metabolites.

Caffeine anhydrous is also added to the mix to keep you energized for a longer time.

You can purchase 4 Gauge at their website only. Its 20-servings pack comes for $45.

Pros

  • No Proprietary Blend.
  • Natural ingredients.
  • Offers intensive pumps.

Cons

  • No variety; 1 flavor only.

3. Pre-lab pro – Natural Pre workout

pre lab pro

Pre Lab Pro is presented by Opti-Nutra as a 100% nature-based pre-workout. It includes Setria, Rednite, L-tyrosine, natural caffeine, and various vitamins (D, B2, B6, B9, and B12).

Its key constituent Steria is a blend of L-citrulline and L-Glutathione, which may help you build up more lean mass besides providing fatigue resistance and vascularity.

Scientific studies infer that combined supplementation of citrulline and glutathione increase the levels of such plasma metabolites that play a role in muscle protein synthesis. Moreover, it tends to reduce muscle fatigue and delay exhaustion.

Rednite is extracted from beetroot juice which is known to enhance athletic performance due to its influence on NO production, muscle contraction, and mitochondrial biogenesis.

Research has proven that both the number and efficacy of mitochondria (energy-producing units) are increased in muscle fibers under its activity; consequently, you can train harder and longer without any energy slump.

Due to the presence of L-Tyrosine, Pre Lab may also help improve the cognitive focus and increase the endurance level in heat. Scientific evidence also supports its incremental effect on workout capacity.

The addition of salt and vitamins makes it stand out among others as it shows a higher ability to compensate for the evaporated or consumed nutrients.

This product comes in a single “natural berry” flavor that some people did not find much palatable.

It offers 20 servings per tub and comes for £39 ($51.44) and is only available on its official website.

Pros

Cons

  • Only one flavor is available.
  • High Price.

4. Loco – Preworkout

loco preworkout

Loco is an irritant-free pre-workout supplement that promises energy, focus, and strength. Its ingredients chart enlists Citrulline malate, L-taurine, L-tyrosine, Vitamin B6, and B12 as well as a proprietary blend named Loco energy matrix.

Like other supplements on the list, Loco also contains Citrulline malate as a key ingredient. So, it provides resistance against injuries and lessens fatigue after tough sessions at the gym.

The addition of L-Taurine makes it effective for resistance training. Research has proven that it improves the circulation of blood and oxygen in tiny muscle capillaries, relieving the stress over twitch fibers.

L-Tyrosine is another major component of its formulation. It is said to improve mental performance in demanding tasks. Likewise, some studies have reported that tyrosine supplementation is associated with elevated physical stamina in heat.

It is also a nutritional precursor of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that enhances exercise tolerance in high temperatures.

To boost energy levels, it supplies 400 mg/scoop of natural caffeine extracted from green tea leaves.

This caffeine intake can also help you focus on the training and sustain your motivation levels for hours.

It comes in three fruity flavors and can be bought from the official website of Loco as well as at the Amazon marketplace. The price is a bit higher, though, $41.99 for a 25-servings jar.

Pros

  • Elevates mood.
  • Powerful energy booster.
  • Tasteful flavors.

Cons

  • Includes a proprietary blend.

Wrap up

Pre-workout supplements can cause an itchy rash. This is caused by the niacin in the supplements. Niacin is a form of vitamin B3 and it causes blood vessels to open up, which leads to the rash.

Pre-workouts containing beta-alanine also produce an itching sensation since their ingredients tend to excite sensory nerve endings.

This pins and needles effect does not cause any damage to health and can be avoided by taking smaller servings or only using those supplements which do not contain this amino acid.

However, while you shop around looking for a beta-alanine-free pre-workout, don’t forget to check the ingredients list for the presence of other energy-boosting elements to fill in for beta-alanine’s endurance enhancing properties.

Baiza Batool

Baiza Batool is a fitness enthusiast and clinical psychologist who believes that mental wellness is essential for attaining physical well-being. She has knowledge of human physiology, psyche, and how they interact with one another to hinder or help the process of achieving your fitness goals. Baiza wants to use her research and writing skills to sum up all the information she shares on her blog in order to make it easier for others who are looking for help.

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