Have you tried a few workout supplements? If you have, then you have probably experienced that strange itch or tingling sensation associated with some pre-workout supplements. This feeling can become quite uncomfortable that it sometimes ruins your workout.
This sensation is referred to as paresthesia, and it is caused by a few ingredients in your pre-workout supplement.
Paresthesia is considered an abnormal sensation and usually referred to as tickling, tingling, pricking or burning of a person’s skin without any apparent physical cause.
This tingling sensation is also referred to as ‘pins and needles’ or a feeling as if a limb is ‘falling asleep.'
The manifestation of this sensation may be transient or chronic and can have varied underlying causes including the intake of pre-workout supplements.
Since there are various pre-workout supplement ingredients, it can be difficult to determine which ones will not cause the sensation.
It is essential to know which components you should avoid or take in lesser amounts just to avoid the discomfort of the tingling or itchy sensation.
Pre-workout Supplement Ingredients to Watch Out For
So, what pre-workout supplement ingredients cause paresthesia?
There are a lot of pre-workout supplements that contain beta alanine. It is claimed that this component can boost muscular strength and power output, increase muscle mass, increase aerobic endurance, boost muscular anaerobic endurance, and increase exercise capacity for you to train longer and harder.
While it comes with lots of benefits, this ingredient also has side effects. One of its very pronounced side effects is the tingling sensation.
So, How Does Beta Alanine Work?
This is an amino acid that binds to histidine, which is another amino acid, to form Carnosine. Carnosine will work to fight off the molecules produced in the muscles that cause fatigue and muscular failure.
An increased level of carnosine in the muscles will result in a significant increase in endurance and improve recovery rate.
Also, when beta alanine binds with the nerves located underneath our skin, they will become stimulated and fire at a faster rate, which ultimately causes the tingling sensation.
Niacin or Vitamin B3 can also cause the tingling or itchy sensation associated with pre-workout supplements.
The B-vitamin complex in our bodies basically functions in adjunct with the digestive system. Basically, all the components of the B-vitamin family work to process the food that we eat.
Their main function involves the production of energy in the body. They help the body convert the food that we eat into body fuel or glucose, which then burned to produce energy.
In addition to producing energy, niacin also lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and protects against cardiovascular disease. Also, it increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body.
When we take pre-workout supplements containing niacin, we may experience an itchy or tingling sensation known as the ‘flush.' High doses of niacin cause dilation of the smaller blood vessels near the surface of the skin.
Effectively Managing the Tingling or Itchy Sensation associated with Pre-workout Supplements
There are various ways of dealing with the tingling sensation when using pre-workout supplements. Here are some of these ideas.
1. Taking it Slow and Enduring the Discomfort
While the tingling sensation is harmless, it can become somewhat unbearable for some people. Unfortunately, many pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that cause this tingling sensation.
If you can’t entirely avoid such ingredients, the best thing that you can do is to take it slow. You can start with a smaller than the recommended dose of the pre-workout supplement and slowly work your way up as you feel comfortable enough to do so.
2. Staying Away from Beta Alanine or Niacin Containing Pre-workout Supplements
Another way to deal with the tingling sensation is to avoid those supplements that contain ingredients like beta-alanine or niacin.
This way, you can avoid the tingling or itchy sensation associated with such ingredients in pre-workout supplements.
3. Choose Alternative Yet Still Effective Ingredients
Yes, you do have the option to choose pre-workout supplements with alternative ingredients that work the same way as niacin or beta-alanine.
Instead of choosing supplements containing beta-alanine, you can opt for supplements that contain alternative ingredients that enhance muscular endurance without the associated tingling sensation or paresthesia.
These alternative ingredients include creatine monohydrate and caffeine. Creatine monohydrate improves strength and endurance while caffeine is a stimulant that boosts energy while working out.
4. Be Mindful of the Ingredients and Opt for Lower Doses
If you can’t totally avoid the supplement that contains beta-alanine or niacin, you should at least be mindful of the ingredients of your pre-workout supplements and make sure that they come in tolerable amounts that will not trigger the sensation.
You can check out the label of the pre-workout supplements and make sure that they contain an insubstantial amount of the ingredients so you will not experience any undesired itchiness or tingling sensation.