Pre Workout Itch: Causes 2024 (& How To Get Rid Of)

Have you ever experienced an itchy sensation after taking pre workout? If so, you’re not alone. This common side effect, known as pre workout itch, affects many gym-lovers. While it can be uncomfortable, it’s usually harmless and goes away on its own.

Pre workout itch is typically caused by an ingredient called beta-alanine. This amino acid is often found in pre workout supplements and can induce a tingling or itching sensation in the skin.

While it may be alarming at first, it’s important to note that pre workout itch is not dangerous and is actually a sign that the supplement is working.

Understanding Pre-Workout Itchiness

Pre workout itch is a normal, temporary, and non-harmful result of certain ingredients found in pre-workout supplements. The most common culprits are beta-alanine and niacin, which are amino acids and B vitamins, respectively.

Beta-alanine is known to cause paresthesia, which is a tingling sensation on the skin. This tingling sensation is not harmful and usually lasts for about 15 to 20 minutes. Symptoms of pre workout kick in after 20 to 30 minutes most of the time. Niacin, on the other hand, can cause skin flushing, which is a temporary reddening of the skin.

If you’re bothered by a pre workout itch, there are a few things you can do to reduce the intensity of the sensation:

  • Split your beta-alanine dosage into smaller amounts
  • Consume them throughout the day
  • Consuming your pre workout supplement with food
  • Stay hydrated and avoiding high doses

It’s important to note that pre-workout itchiness is not the same as an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can cause symptoms such as hives, dry skin, numbness, and a burning sensation. If you experience any of these symptoms after taking pre-workout supplements, you should stop using them immediately and consult a healthcare professional.

Key Ingredients Causing Pre Workout Itch

One of the most common ingredients found in pre workout supplements is beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps to increase muscle endurance and reduce fatigue during exercise. However, when beta-alanine is ingested, it binds to nerve receptors in the skin, causing a tingling or itching sensation.

Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is another common ingredient found in pre workout supplements that can cause itching. Niacin is often added to pre workout supplements to improve blood flow and increase energy levels. However, it can also cause a flushing sensation on the skin, which can be mistaken for itching.

why does pre workout itch?
Most common ingredients causing pre workout itch.

Caffeine is another ingredient found in pre workout supplements that can cause itching. Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase energy levels and improve focus during exercise. However, it can also cause a tingling or itching sensation on the skin.

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Effects of Pre Workout Supplements

Pre workout supplements are made to give us an extra boost of energy and focus during our workouts. These supplements typically contain a blend of ingredients, including caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, and nitric oxide boosters.

One of the main ways that pre workout supplements function is by increasing blood flow and oxygen delivery to our muscles. This helps to improve endurance, power, and pump during our workouts.

Pre-Workout IngredientFunction in the Body
CaffeineIncreases alertness and energy levels.
CreatineEnhances ATP production for increased strength.
Beta-AlanineDelays muscle fatigue, improving endurance.
CitrullineBoosts nitric oxide production for better blood flow.
Amino AcidsSupports muscle growth and reduces muscle breakdown.
NitratesExpands blood vessels, aiding oxygen delivery.
VitaminsContribute to overall energy metabolism and health.
Function of Pre-Workout Ingredients

Another way that pre workout supplements help is by giving your body a little boost. Many of these supplements have things like caffeine, which wakes you up, makes you more focused, and gives you extra energy. This helps you work harder during your workouts and keeps tiredness at bay.

Pre workout supplements can also help you bounce back faster between sets and do more exercises during your workout. Some of them contain stuff like creatine, which helps your muscles grow stronger over time.

Pre-workout supplements can be an effective way to improve workout performance and help you achieve your fitness goals. However, it is important to be aware of the potential side effects, such as pre workout itch, and to use these supplements as directed.

Pre-Workout Dosage and Side Effects

When it comes to pre-workout, it’s important to take the right dosage to avoid any unwanted side effects. Taking too much pre-workout can lead to jitters, flushing, and even an allergic reaction. On the other hand, taking too little pre-workout may not give you the desired energy boost you need for your workout.

dose of pre workout itch
The dosage of your pre workout is essential to understand side effects.

It’s important to read the label and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended dosage. Overdosing on pre workout can be very dangerous. The dosage may vary depending on the brand and the ingredients used in the pre-workout supplement. Some pre-workout supplements may recommend taking one scoop, while others may recommend taking two scoops.

It’s also important to note that taking pre-workout supplements can lead to tolerance over time. This means that your body may become accustomed to the dosage and may require more for the same effect. It’s recommended to take a break from pre-workout supplements every few weeks to avoid developing a tolerance.

In addition to dosage, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects of pre-workout supplements. Some common side effects include:

  • Pre Workout itch
  • Jitters
  • Flushing
  • Nausea

It’s also important to be aware of any allergic reactions to pre-workout supplements. If you experience symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat, seek medical attention immediately.

Alternatives to Common Pre-Workout Supplements

When it comes to pre-workout supplements, many people turn to the same set of ingredients, such as beta-alanine, caffeine, and creatine. However, these common pre-workout supplements can cause side effects, including the pre workout itch. If you’re looking for alternatives to these supplements, there are several options to consider.


Citrulline in pre workout is an amino acid that can help improve blood flow and reduce fatigue during exercise. It works by increasing levels of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to the muscles. This can help improve endurance and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.


Taurine is an amino acid that can help improve exercise performance by reducing fatigue and increasing endurance. Taurine in pre workout works by helping to regulate electrolyte balance in the body, which can help improve muscle function and reduce muscle cramps during exercise.

alternative supplements against pre workout itch
There are alternatives for supplements not causing the common pre workout itch.

Nitric Oxide Boosters

Nitric oxide boosters are supplements that can help improve blood flow and increase muscle pump during exercise. They work by increasing levels of nitric oxide in the body, which helps to dilate blood vessels and increase blood flow to the muscles. Some popular nitric oxide boosters include L-arginine, L-citrulline, and beetroot powder.

Honey and Salt

Honey and salt can make a surprisingly effective pre-workout combo. The natural sugars in honey provide a quick energy boost, while the sodium in salt helps maintain electrolyte balance and prevent muscle cramps during exercise. Mixing a spoonful of honey with a pinch of salt in warm water can give you that extra kick you need before a workout.

Pre-Workout Supplements Without Beta-Alanine

If you’re looking for a pre-workout supplement that doesn’t contain beta-alanine, there are several options to consider. Many pre-workout supplements now offer the alternative ingredients, such as citrulline, taurine, and nitric oxide boosters.

Tips for Gym Enthusiasts

As fitness enthusiasts, we all know the importance of a good pre-workout routine. But what happens when that routine leaves us with the pre workout itch feeling? It’s not uncommon to experience an itching sensation after taking your pre workout supplement. Fortunately, there are practical ways to prevent it and still achieve our fitness goals.

tips against pre workout itch
Try different things to get rid of your pre workout itch.

One key takeaway is to make sure we’re properly hydrated before our workout. Drinking water not only helps to reduce acidity in our muscles but also helps to prevent dehydration, which can lead to muscle fatigue and cramping. Additionally, it’s essential to eat a balanced meal that includes carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats to provide our bodies with the energy needed for a successful workout.

It’s also important to consider the impact of our workout routine on our nervous system. High-intensity workouts can put a lot of stress on our bodies, leading to increased cortisol levels, which can contribute to muscle breakdown and delayed recovery times. Incorporating low-impact exercises and stretching can help to reduce stress on our bodies and promote faster recovery.

Scientific Studies and Research

We wanted to know if there is any scientific evidence to support the idea that pre-workout supplements can cause itchy skin. Our search revealed a few studies that explored the effects of pre-workout supplements on the body.

One study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements (MIPS) can improve exercise performance in trained athletes. The study also found that MIPS can cause adverse effects, such as headaches, nausea, and restlessness. However, the study did not mention itchy skin as a side effect of MIPS.

Qin Liu

National Library of Medicine

Beta-alanine, a popular supplement for muscle building, induces itch and tingling after consumption.

While we could not find any studies that specifically explored the link between supplements and pre workout itch, we did find a few studies that explored the effects of individual ingredients found in pre-workout supplements.

For example, a study published in the National Library of Medicine found that beta-alanine supplementation can improve exercise performance and lean body mass. The study mentioned itchy skin as a side effect of beta-alanine.

Our Experience with Pre Workout Itchiness

As fitness enthusiasts, we have tried various pre-workout supplements over the years. While these supplements can provide an extra boost of energy and focus during workouts, we have also experienced a common side effect: the pre workout itch.

To minimize the discomfort of pre-workout itchiness, we have found that drinking plenty of water and avoiding consuming pre-workouts on an empty stomach can help.

The sensation of itchiness can be uncomfortable and distracting, but it is important to understand that it is a common occurrence and not necessarily a cause for concern.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is it OK to be itchy after taking pre-workout?

It is generally safe to experience itching after taking pre-workout supplements. The itching sensation is caused by the ingredient beta-alanine, which is commonly found in pre-workout supplements. Beta-alanine is an amino acid that helps to increase muscle endurance and reduce fatigue during exercise.

How long does pre-workout itch last?

The duration of pre-workout itch varies from person to person. Generally, the itching sensation lasts for about 15 to 30 minutes after taking pre-workout supplements. However, it can last for up to an hour in some cases. The intensity of the itching sensation also varies from person to person. Some people experience mild itching, while others may experience more intense itching.

Does pre-workout make you itch every time?

Pre-workout supplements containing beta-alanine can cause itching every time you take them. This is because beta-alanine is the ingredient that causes the itching sensation. However, the intensity of the itching sensation may vary from person to person and from one brand of pre-workout supplement to another.

How do you stop pre-workout itching fast?

You can either take beta-alanine in lower doses, try taking an antihistamine, drink plenty of water, or simply wait it out.

Did you experience a pre workout itch before? Let me know in the comments. You for sure also like reading about 10 tricks to prevent pre workout from expiration or 7 ways to reduce the risk of pre workout nausea.

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