It's your pre-workout.
And don't worry; it's an entirely harmless sensation, and we're about to explain why it happens.
So, if you've ever wondered why your skin starts to feel like it's hosting a party of ants after you down your pre-workout shake, you're in the right place.
Read on to learn why this happens…
Pre-workout supplements often contain beta-alanine, an amino acid that can cause a tingling sensation known as paresthesia. 
This is a harmless side effect and is typically a sign that the supplement is starting to work.
This sensation is a common side effect of beta-alanine supplementation and is caused by the acute elevation in plasma beta-alanine concentration after a single dose.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential and non-proteinogenic amino acid produced endogenously in the liver.
It is a precursor, along with l-histidine, to carnosine synthesis in skeletal muscle.
Carnosine is a cytoplasmic dipeptide abundantly found in excitable tissues, such as skeletal muscle, heart, and brain regions.
Carnosine has several physiological functions in skeletal muscle:
The last function is essential for exercise.
Carnosine's side chain (i.e., the imidazole ring) has a pKa of 6.83, making carnosine an obligatory physicochemical buffer.
This means that carnosine can help buffer the pH in your muscles during high-intensity exercise, which can delay the onset of muscle fatigue. 
Beta-alanine supplementation (over 2 weeks or longer) induces significant increases in muscle carnosine content.
The typical increase in muscle carnosine following beta-alanine supplementation is 60–80%.
This increase is estimated to elevate the contribution of carnosine to whole muscle H+ buffering by ~2.7–5.3 mEq H+/kg dry mass over the exercise pH range, corresponding to an ~3–5% increase in muscle buffering capacity. 
Beta-Alanine works by increasing carnosine levels in muscles, which helps buffer acid in the body, thus delaying the onset of muscle fatigue and failure. 
This process allows for more prolonged and intense workouts.
During high-intensity exercise, your muscles produce a large amount of hydrogen ions, which cause your muscles to become more acidic.
This increase in acidity can reduce muscle function and lead to fatigue.
Carnosine acts as a buffer against these hydrogen ions, reducing the acidity in your muscles during high-intensity exercise. 
This can help delay the onset of muscle fatigue and improve total muscular work.
However, the tingling sensation, known as paresthesia, is a common side effect of Beta-Alanine intake.
This sensation is not harmful and is often seen as a sign that the supplement works.
Learn more: Comprehensive Guide to Pre Workouts
To reap the full benefits of Beta-Alanine, consistent supplementation is necessary.
The effective dose of Beta-Alanine is between 2-6g daily.
It's important to note that the tingling sensation does not indicate the supplement's effectiveness, and it may take up to two weeks of consistent use to notice significant improvements in workout capacity.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is produced naturally in the body.
It's not used in the building of proteins.
Instead, it's primarily used to produce carnosine, a compound that plays a role in muscle endurance in high-intensity exercise.
Here's a detailed breakdown of how beta-alanine works:
Beta-alanine is a key component in synthesizing carnosine, a dipeptide molecule that helps buffer acid in muscles, improving physical performance during high-intensity exercise. 
Carnosine is synthesized in the body by combining beta-alanine and histidine, another amino acid.
The concentration of carnosine in muscles, which can be increased by supplementing with beta-alanine, is thought to be a limiting factor for carnosine production.
Beta-alanine supplementation is thought to help enhance exercise performance by increasing muscle carnosine concentrations. 
It's particularly effective in exercises lasting one to several minutes.
A review of 23 studies concluded that supplementing with beta-alanine can slightly improve endurance during exercise.
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Beta-alanine also functions as a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that transmits signals in the brain.
It has been associated with improving mood and cognitive function.
However, more research is needed to understand these effects fully.
Beta-alanine is generally safe for healthy individuals.
The most common side effect is a tingling sensation in the skin, known as paresthesia. 
This is harmless and usually subsides on its own.
It's important to note that while beta-alanine supplementation can increase muscle carnosine content and improve exercise performance, it's most effective in conjunction with a balanced exercise program and a healthy diet.
The tingling sensation associated with beta-alanine is not harmful and usually subsides once your body becomes accustomed to the supplement. 
However, if the sensation is uncomfortable, you can try the following:
These strategies can help manage the tingling sensation while allowing you to benefit from the performance-enhancing effects of beta-alanine. 
Beta-Alanine is the primary ingredient responsible for the itching sensation, a non-essential amino acid found in many pre-workout supplements.
When consumed, Beta-Alanine combines with the amino acid histidine to form a compound called carnosine, which plays a crucial role in muscle endurance during high-intensity exercise.
Niacin, or Vitamin B3, is another common ingredient in pre-workout supplements that can cause a tingling or flushing sensation.
Niacin plays a vital role in energy production and fat metabolism.
However, high doses can lead to skin flushing, which can feel like a mild sunburn.
The recommended daily intake of Niacin for adults is around 14-16mg, but pre-workout supplements can contain anywhere from 15mg-31mg per serving.
It's crucial to monitor your Niacin intake to avoid potential adverse effects.
If the tingling or itching sensation is uncomfortable, there are several strategies you can employ:
The tingling sensation you might feel after taking a pre-workout supplement is due to a non-essential amino acid called beta-alanine.
This compound is commonly found in these supplements and is known to cause paresthesia, a harmless tingling sensation.
Your body tells you that the beta-alanine in your pre-workout is getting to work.
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