Why Does Pre-workout Make You Itch?

  • by Shane Crandall

Why does pre-workout make you itch?

Have you ever sipped on a pre-workout right before hitting the gym and ten minutes later felt an itch or tingle all over your body?  That’s not your Pantene tea tree oil shampoo, the culprit is Beta Alanine and it’s in almost every pre-workout worth its weight.  

Beta Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that aids in the production of carnosine which is a protein building block in the body.  It delays fatigue and increases endurance to allow you to do more volume.  More volume means you’re pushing your muscles longer and harder which in turn helps you build strength faster.  The concept is called progressive overload and it’s what moves the needle in increasing tone and muscle strength.  If you do the same workouts each day with the same load, same number of sets, and same rep count, you’ll get the same mediocre results.  What you want is to push your muscles a little more each week by adding reps, sets, or weight to bring the target muscle closer to failure.  Beta Alanine can help speed this process up by allowing your body to go a bit further each workout.  

If you’re able to do more it makes your normal workout easier, which is a goal in and of itself.  

If it sounds like fluff, a recent study in Pub Med* sited by renowned sports doctor, Andy Galpin, found that Beta Alanine supplementation increased physical performance AND executive function following endurance exercise in middle-aged individuals.   That’s science I can get behind.  We could all use some physical and cognitive help whether we’re at the gym or not, so adding Beta Alanine to our daily routine is a no-brainer.

Now back to that itch. Most studies show that people start to feel the itch with a dose over 1.5g, but everyone is a little different so thresholds for what gets your body tingling may differ.  Upper Limit’s pre-workouts are designed with this threshold in mind to keep the Beta Alanine induced itch to a minimum or eliminate it altogether while maximizing the effects of this wonderful little substance.  So get the most out of your workout and get the results you want by adding Beta Alanine to your regimen as a stand alone, or, better yet, incorporated at the right dose for you inside a pre-workout.  


Some people like the tingle.  It's a signal that your pre-workout has kicked in, but for those who find it uncomfortable can take solace in the fact that you can typically find a dose that works for you without the itch.

Looks like Beta Alanine and pre-workouts are an itch worth scratching.

Source:  *https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29996843/

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