Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Itch?

why does pre workout make you itch

Pre-workouts are available in different combinations of ingredients. The main idea of pre-workout is to improve athletic performance.

It not only improves performance but also provides quicker recovery and less muscle soreness.

With all the positives, there are some thought-provoking side effects as well. One primary concern is itchy skin; which pre-workout ingredients make you itch?

Having itchy skin is such an unpleasant feeling that it can even negatively impact your performance in the gym.

But why does pre-workout make you itch? Is there any way you can get rid of itchy skin after consuming pre-workout?

Let’s find out in this article!

Why Does Pre-Workout Make You Itch?

It is good to have clarity on the pre-workout you are taking. The chemical composition of pre-workout is different from one another.

But one common problematic ingredient is beta-alanine. It is the most used ingredient in combination with other ingredients.

Research claims almost 87% of pre-workout supplements have beta-alanine in some quantity.

The side-effect of consuming beta-alanine is a peculiar itch or tingly sensation on your skin. But it is dose-dependent.

The dose of more than 2g beta-alanine per serving reports a needle-like feeling all over your body.

Why and How Long Does Beta-Alanine Pre-Workout Itch Last?

does pre workout make you itchy

The exact mechanism of why beta-alanine cause itchy skin is unknown.

But studies on beta-alanine relation to itchy skin lead to a theory that it activates specific receptors which transmit signals constantly to your nervous system leading to your skin.

This is how sensory neurons respond to the nerve ending of your skin, resulting in an itchy sensation.

Pre-workout itch duration is dependent on the dose of beta-alanine. Other than dosage, your body, or you can say genetics, is also involved in determining the time frame of itch.

The pre-workout itch generally starts 15 minutes after drinking pre-workout and last up to 30 minutes.

Other Effects of Beta-Alanine

There are some underlying side effects of taking pre-workout beta-alanine. A few are hereby:

Oxidative stress

High amounts of beta-alanine consumption can raise the number of free radicals in the body. The oxygen intake decreases, which leads to death or damage of mitochondria resulting in oxidative stress at the cellular level.

Clinical trials on rats concluded that oxidative stress caused by beta-alanine led to heart failure and brain damage. There’s no evidence of the same effects on humans.

Low Taurine Levels

Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid. It is primarily present in the heart, brain, and muscles.

Taurine is not involved in protein metabolism and production, but it is essential for the body.

When the absorption of beta-alanine increases in strength, the taurine level drops simultaneously.

Hyper Beta-Alaninemia

Each person has different body composition and metabolism. Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid, which means it is produced naturally in your body.

You might have been experiencing raised beta-alanine, and it is left undiagnosed.

In such a situation, if you consume beta-alanine-based pre-workout, it can cause a threat to your health.

Hyper beta-alanine mia can result in brain damage and muscle atrophy, and even in severe cases, it can cause respiratory trouble or collapse.

How Can You Deal With Itchy Skin Due To Pre-Workout?

Choose A Supplement

The main concern for the consumers is to handle pre-workout itch. There’s always a solution to every problem; some safety tips are mentioned below.

1. Choose A Supplement Wisely

The safest option is to select a supplement that is beta-alanine free. The chance of itching goes down automatically by consuming a pre-workout with a different composition.

If you experience itchiness on your skin, take a break from pre-workout. And observe your body’s response. It will give you clarity if your body is absorbing and tolerating pre-workout well or not.

2. Manage Your Dose

There are two ways to get rid of this unpleasant feeling. Instead of taking one large dose, you can split your dose into two smaller doses.

Study reveals doing so decreases the cases of tingling caused by beta-alanine.

You can also check the supplements having a lesser concentration of beta-alanine. It will still give you results like improving your athletic performance.

The new formula of beta-alanine supplement is available with the name of BetaPrime. It is considered safe rather than the regular beta-alanine supplement.

This unique formula has a slow absorbing capacity that lowers the chance of a tingly sensation.

3. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle

To decrease the negative impact of pre-workout supplements, alter your lifestyle. Pair up your supplements with healthy eating to get the desired results.

Mend your sleep pattern, as your body requires peaceful sleep to recover from post-workout stress.

4. Consult A Professional

If your symptoms of itching are getting worse or don’t subside even after splitting your dose, reach a consult for a proper checkup.

You might have some intolerance or allergy about which you are unaware. A nutritionist or a doctor can suggest some alternative that suits your body and routine.

Beta-Alanine Free Supplement

There’s a constant debate among nutritionists regarding caffeine-free and beta-alanine-free supplements. Some of them are mentioned below;

ONNIT Total Nitric Oxide and PEScience High Volume Nitric oxide booster are free of caffeine and beta-alanine. Both have arginine as a main ingredient, with great feedback.

Pre Lab PRO is a beetroot extract-based pre-workout supplement rich in antioxidants.

Pumpsurge by Jacked Factor is caffeine free and has L-Citrulline and betaine. This is the current favorite of athletes.


There’s a misconception that all pre-workout makes you itch, but it is not valid. Beta-alanine is a culprit for causing itchy skin.

It is vital due to its role in preventing fatigue. Tend toward the pre-workouts that have lesser concentrations of beta-alanine.

Instead of quitting pre-workout supplements, look for the options that suit your body and increase strength and muscle mass.

If you are experiencing exaggerated side effects, or your itch is getting worse, resulting in body rashes or patches, seek help from a healthcare professional.

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