If you’ve ever taken a pre-workout supplement, you’re probably familiar with the “itch” or “tingle” sensation.Some people love the itchiness, for others it’s a bit uncomfortable. In general, it’s nothing to worry about, and is a sign that your pre-workout has one of the most well-researched and effective ingredients for supporting performance and delaying muscle fatigue: beta-alanine.
What Is Beta-Alanine?
While beta-alanine is an amino acid, it differs from most amino acids in the body.
Whereas many are used to make proteins, beta-alanine gains its benefits for improving exercise performance through a different mechanism.
In the body, beta-alanine combines with the amino acid histidine to form a molecule called carnosine. Carnosine supports muscular endurance, particularly during high-intensity exercise.
As a supplement, beta-alanine raises carnosine levels in the body, leading to its performance benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Beta-Alanine?
Beta-alanine has been extensively researched for sports performance. In particular it improves performance during high-intensity exercise lasting 1-10 minutes.1
This makes beta-alanine in particular suited to anaerobic training, like sprinting and weight training. By delaying muscle fatigue it can help you squeeze out a few more reps.
In mid-distance sprinting, it can help delay the inevitable fatigue and help you maintain your speed.
Because of its benefits, it’s popular for bodybuilding as well as for athletics.
Whether you’re going for a new personal record, trying to sprint faster, or aiming to build muscle by pushing to failure, beta-alanine can support your goal.
Why Does Beta-Alanine Cause a Tingly Sensation?
Beta-alanine has a long track-record of safety.2 The main drawback is the tingly sensation you get at high doses. However, this itchiness is a harmless side effect called paresthesia.
Paresthesia refers to many forms of odd tingling, like the feeling you get when your foot or arm “falls asleep.”
Although it may feel like a strange side effect and cause for concern, there’s nothing to worry about, and as your body metabolizes the beta-alanine, it will go away.
How to Reduce The Beta-Alanine Itch
With that said, the feeling can be uncomfortable, and you may want to take a few steps to limit it.
Start With Half a Scoop
Pre-Kaged and Pre-Kaged Sport each have 1.6 grams of beta-alanine per scoop. If you’re new to taking pre-workouts, you may want to start with half a scoop to assess tolerance, especially if you've felt uncomfortable with the “itch” in the past.
Space Out the Dose
Another method is to take the dose over a longer period of time. This is one of the reasons why we recommend you sip your pre-workout over the course of 30 minutes before training. If you drink it quickly, the effects will hit you all at once.
The paresthesia effect also tends to become less intense if you consistently take beta-alanine. Second, many users get used to the feeling and even enjoy the tingles.
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CarnoSyn®: A Patented Form of Beta-Alanine
Not all beta-alanine is created equal.
In all of our pre-workouts, we use a patented form of beta-alanine called CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine.
With this form, you know you’re getting the same, high-quality beta-alanine every scoop. It’s also the form that has been extensively researched for its performance benefits, with over 55 clinical studies to back it up.
It’s also a plant-based form, so it’s the ideal choice for vegans and vegetarians.
Want More? Demand More? Pre-Kaged Elite is For You
Many studies on beta-alanine use a higher dose, often up 3.2-6.4 grams. In Pre-Kaged Elite, we include double the dose of CarnoSyn® beta-alanine with 3.2 grams in every scoop.
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Deciding Which Pre-Workout is Right For You?
We have 4 different types of pre-workouts. Each one is designed with different goals in mind. To learn about their differences and decide which is best for you, read this article on the 4 types of Pre-Kaged®.
Do Any Other Ingredients Lead to the Tingling Sensation?
Niacin, a B vitamin, may also lead to some tingling sensations. As is the case with beta-alanine, this side effect is harmless and will go away.
Read why we include niacin in our pre-workouts in this article.
Do I Need to Get Beta-Alanine From Diet or Supplementation?
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. This means our body can make it on its own. However, for doses that are optimal for sports performance, you’ll want to focus on a diet with foods high in beta-alanine, or simply supplement with it.
Can I Get Beta-Alanine From Food?
Meat, chicken, and fish tend to have some of the highest levels of beta-alanine. In fact, meat eaters tend to have higher levels of carnosine overall.
If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, this may just mean one more reason to choose a pre-workout with an effective dose of beta-alanine.
What Dose Should I Take To Limit The Tingles?
As mentioned, you can start with half a scoop of Pre-Kaged or Pre-Kaged Sport, which would give you .8 grams of beta-alanine.
What Ingredients Does Beta-Alanine Stack Well With?
Beta-alanine works really well with other ingredients that support other areas of performance. For example, we also include BetaPower® betaine anhydrous in our pre-workouts because it supports power output and strength.
It also stacks well with l-citrulline, an amino acid that improves blood flow and muscle pumps.
By choosing an all-encompassing pre-workout like Pre-Kaged®, you’ll be checking off several boxes that improve your stamina, strength, energy, focus, and more.
Does Kaged Have a Caffeine-Free Pre-Workout?
Yes. If you train at night or you’re sensitive to caffeine, our stimulant-free Pre-Kaged® is for you.