GAIN MUSCLE

How Long Does The Tingling Last From Pre-Workout?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated August 1, 2023

If you've ever taken a pre-workout supplement, you're probably familiar with the tingling sensation that often follows.

This sensation, known as the "beta-alanine tingle," is a common side effect of many pre-workout supplements.

But what exactly is beta-alanine, and why does it cause this tingling sensation?

More importantly, how long does this sensation last, and is there anything you can do to manage it?

In this article, we'll dive into these questions and more.

How Long Does The Tingle Last In Pre-Workouts: Quick Answer

The tingling sensation experienced after consuming pre-workout supplements, often attributed to the ingredient Beta-Alanine, typically lasts between 15 to 90 minutes.

While this sensation, known as paresthesia, can be uncomfortable for some, it's generally harmless and can be managed by adjusting the dosage or consuming the supplement with a meal.

Understanding Beta-Alanine And Its Effects

Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid that your body uses to produce carnosine, a substance that helps improve muscle endurance during high-intensity exercise.

Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts take beta-alanine supplements to boost their carnosine levels and, in turn, their performance.

However, beta-alanine is perhaps best known for the tingling sensation it often causes, known as paresthesia.

This sensation typically starts 15 to 20 minutes after taking a beta-alanine supplement and is most commonly felt in the face, neck, and back of the hands.

It's not harmful, but it can be disconcerting if you're not expecting it.

Duration Of the Beta-Alanine Tingle

The duration of the beta-alanine tingle can vary widely from person to person.

For some, the sensation starts to fade within 30 minutes. For others, it can last an hour or more.

Some people may not experience the itch at all.

Research shows that the tingling sensation is more likely to occur and last longer when people take a high dose of beta-alanine.

For example, 40 milligrams per kilogram of body weight is more likely to cause a longer-lasting tingle than a smaller dose of 10 to 20 milligrams per kilogram.

Factors Influencing the Intensity And Duration Of Beta-Alanine Tingles

Here are some factors that may change the duration of the tingles in pre-workouts...

Dosage

The dosage of beta-alanine you consume significantly influences the intensity and duration of the tingles.

Higher doses of beta-alanine are more likely to cause a stronger and longer-lasting tingling sensation. According to a study, doses above 800mg are more likely to cause noticeable tingling.

Individual Sensitivity

Individual sensitivity to beta-alanine can also affect the intensity and duration of the tingles.

Some people may be more sensitive to beta-alanine and experience stronger, longer-lasting tingles than others.

This can be due to genetic factors, metabolic differences, or other individual characteristics.

Timing Of Consumption

The timing of beta-alanine consumption can also influence the tingles.

Consuming beta-alanine on an empty stomach may lead to more intense tingles compared to consuming it with food.

This is because beta-alanine absorption into the bloodstream can be faster when the stomach is empty, leading to a more immediate and intense tingling sensation.

Frequency Of Use

The frequency of beta-alanine use can also affect the tingles.

Regular beta-alanine users may experience less intense tingles as their bodies become accustomed to the supplement.

This phenomenon, known as habituation, can occur with regular use of many different types of supplements and medications.

Other Factors

Other factors that can influence the intensity and duration of beta-alanine tingles include the specific formulation of the supplement, the presence of other ingredients in the supplement, and the individual's overall health and fitness level.

For example, supplements that include slow-release formulations of beta-alanine may cause less intense tingles that last longer compared to supplements with immediate-release formulations.

Various factors, including dosage, individual sensitivity, timing of consumption, frequency of use, ethnicity, and other factors, can influence the intensity and duration of beta-alanine tingles.

Understanding these factors can help individuals manage and potentially reduce the tingling sensation associated with beta-alanine supplementation.

Managing The Beta-Alanine Tingle

If you're not a fan of beta-alanine tingle, you can use a few strategies to minimize or eliminate this sensation.

Adjusting Your Dosage

One of the simplest ways to manage the beta-alanine tingle is to adjust your dosage.

As mentioned earlier, higher doses of beta-alanine are more likely to cause a longer tingle.

By reducing your dosage, you can reduce the intensity and duration of the tingle.

Splitting Your Dose

Another strategy is to split your beta-alanine dose into smaller, more frequent daily doses.

This can help maintain a steady level of beta-alanine in your body without causing a sudden spike that can trigger the tinge.

Using Sustained-Release Supplements

Some beta-alanine supplements are designed to release the amino acid slowly over time.

These sustained-release supplements can help prevent the spike in beta-alanine levels that triggers the tingle.

Beta-alanine tingle is a common side effect of pre-workout supplements that contain this amino acid.

While the sensation is harmless, it can be disconcerting if you're not expecting it.

By understanding what causes the itch and how long it lasts, you can better manage this side effect and get the most out of your pre-workout supplement.

Pre-Workouts Without Beta-Alanine

If you find that you're particularly sensitive to the side effects of beta-alanine, you might want to consider using a pre-workout supplement that doesn't contain beta-alanine.

There are several brands available on the market that offer beta-alanine-free pre-workouts.

We have a list of some of the best pre-workouts without beta-alanine.

The Benefits of Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that has been shown to have several benefits, particularly for those engaged in high-intensity exercise.

Here, we delve into the research-backed benefits of this supplement.

Enhanced High-Intensity Exercise Performance

One of the key benefits of Beta-Alanine is its ability to enhance high-intensity exercise performance.

According to a review published in Nutrients, Beta-Alanine supplementation increases muscle carnosine concentrations, which can lead to improved performance in high-intensity, intermittent exercise.

The ergogenic effects of Beta-Alanine are primarily attributed to its ability to increase muscle buffering capacity, helping to delay the onset of muscle fatigue during intense workouts.

Increased Muscle Carnosine

Beta-Alanine supplementation has been shown to increase muscle carnosine levels significantly.

Carnosine is a molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, thus increasing physical performance during high-intensity exercise.

A study published in Sports Medicine found that Beta-Alanine supplementation increased muscle carnosine content by 20-80%, enhancing the muscle's ability to handle lactic acid build-up during intense exercise.

Improved Training Adaptations

Beta-Alanine supplementation can also lead to improved training adaptations.

A study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology found that Beta-Alanine supplementation increased aerobic energy contribution during high-intensity exercise, reducing oxygen deficit and muscle lactate accumulation.

This suggests that Beta-Alanine can enhance the body's ability to adapt to high-intensity training, improving performance over time.

Potential Synergistic Effects Of Creatine

Some research has investigated the potential benefits of co-ingesting Beta-Alanine with other supplements, such as creatine monohydrate.

While the specific outcomes of such combinations can vary, there is a theoretical rationale that combining these supplements could lead to additive or even synergistic benefits.

For instance, while Beta-Alanine enhances the body's buffering capacity, creatine increases the body's phosphocreatine stores, which can provide additional energy during high-intensity exercise.

However, more research is needed to understand such combinations' potential benefits fully.

See this article for the pre-workouts with creatine.

Reduced Muscle Fatigue

Increasing muscle carnosine concentrations, Beta-Alanine can help reduce muscle fatigue during intense exercise.

Carnosine acts as a buffer against the acid produced during high-intensity exercise, helping to delay the onset of muscle fatigue.

This can allow longer, more intense training sessions, potentially leading to improved performance and greater strength and muscle mass gains.

In conclusion, Beta-Alanine is a powerful supplement with several benefits for high-intensity exercise performance.

From enhancing muscle buffering capacity to reducing muscle fatigue, this supplement can be a valuable addition to the training regimen of athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

However, as with any supplement, it's important to consult a healthcare professional before starting any new regimen.

Beta-Alanine Dosing

Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally in the body.

It's a popular supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts because it enhances muscular endurance.

When consumed, beta-alanine can increase the concentration of carnosine in muscles, which helps buffer acid in the muscle, a common cause of muscle fatigue.

study found that beta-alanine supplementation can significantly enhance athletic performance, especially during high-intensity exercise and strength training.

It can also delay muscular fatigue, allowing for more intense and prolonged workouts.

The recommended dosage for beta-alanine is between 2 to 5 grams daily, taken in smaller doses throughout the day.

This is because beta-alanine has a saturation point, and consuming more than the body can use at one time can lead to a tingling sensation in the skin.

Beta-alanine is generally safe for healthy individuals when consumed in recommended amounts.

However, some people may experience minor side effects such as a tingling sensation or flushing, known as paresthesia.

This is a harmless side effect and usually subsides on its own.

It's important to note that while beta-alanine can improve exercise performance, it should be used with a balanced diet and regular exercise program.

As with any supplement, it's recommended to consult a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does pre-workout make me tingle?

The tingling sensation you feel after taking a pre-workout supplement is likely due to Beta-Alanine, a common ingredient in these products. This sensation, known as paresthesia, is harmless and usually subsides within 60 to 90 minutes.

How long does the tingling from pre-workout last?

The tingling sensation from pre-workout typically lasts between 15 to 90 minutes, but this can vary depending on the individual and the amount of Beta-Alanine in the supplement.

Can I prevent the tingling sensation from pre-workout?

Yes, there are a few strategies to reduce the tingling sensation. One is to take a smaller dose of your pre-workout supplement and gradually increase it over time. Another is to take your supplement with a meal, as food can slow the absorption of Beta-Alanine and reduce the intensity of the tingling.

Is the tingling sensation from pre-workout harmful?

No, the tingling sensation from pre-workout is not harmful. It's a side effect of Beta-Alanine, a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements. However, if the sensation is uncomfortable or persists for a long time, you may consider switching to a pre-workout supplement without Beta-Alanine.

What are the benefits of Beta-Alanine in pre-workout supplements?

Beta-Alanine can enhance high-intensity exercise performance, increase muscle carnosine levels, improve training adaptations, and reduce muscle fatigue. These benefits can lead to longer, more intense training sessions and potentially greater strength and muscle mass gains.

Can I take Beta-Alanine on its own?

Yes, Beta-Alanine can be taken on its own as a standalone supplement. However, pre-workout formulas often include it because it enhances exercise performance.

Does Beta-Alanine interact with other supplements?

Some evidence suggests that Beta-Alanine may have synergistic effects when combined with other supplements like creatine. However, more research is needed to understand these potential interactions fully.

Who should avoid taking Beta-Alanine?

While Beta-Alanine is generally safe for most people, those with a history of heart disease or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding should consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplementation regimen.

Can Beta-Alanine help with weight loss?

While Beta-Alanine can enhance exercise performance and potentially lead to greater gains in muscle mass, it's not specifically a weight loss supplement. However, enhancing your workouts could indirectly support your weight loss goals as part of a comprehensive fitness and nutrition plan.

What is the recommended dosage of Beta-Alanine?

The commonly recommended dosage of Beta-Alanine is between 2 to 5 grams per day. However, it's always best to follow the manufacturer's instructions on the supplement label or consult a healthcare professional.

Bottom Line

The tingling sensation from pre-workouts is a common experience for many fitness enthusiasts.

It's primarily caused by beta-alanine, a popular ingredient in these supplements known for its performance-enhancing benefits.

While the tingling can be surprising if you're not expecting it, it's generally harmless and fades within 60 to 90 minutes.

As with any supplement, it's important to use pre-workouts as directed and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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