Why Do Pre Workout Supplements Cause A Tingling Sensation?

If you’re looking to optimize your physical performance, pre-workout supplements are definitely worth considering. Most products contain ingredients that are relatively safe and devoid of side effects. Still, a good number of people experience an itchy, prickly sensation when they use pre-workout shakes. While this is largely harmless, a good insight into the tingly feeling could be of great help for affected individuals.

What Causes the Tingling?

Also known as paresthesia, the prickly sensation felt throughout the body can be attributed to ingredients found in most pre-workout shakes. If the product you’re taking contain ingredients like beta-alanine and niacin, you’re more likely to get the itchy feeling. This will however depend on your sensitivity to the said ingredients; some people don’t feel it at all.


This is a non-essential amino acid produced naturally by the body. In muscles, beta-alanine combines with histamine to create carnosine, which is the key buffering agent that neutralizes ions that cause fatigue. Increasing the amount of carnosine in muscles results in more endurance at high levels of performance, in addition to accelerated recovery. The prickly sensation occurs when nerves beneath the skin get activated at a high rate, as the beta-alanine attaches itself to them.


Niacin, in addition to other components of the B-Vitamin complex, primarily help in processing the food one consumes. Part of their function relates to the production of energy in the human body. Because niacin also helps expand the capillaries located close to the surface of skin, one can experience an itchy feeling when they take it in substantial amounts.

How to Reduce the Tingly Sensation

Most people expect to feel something when they use pre workout supplements. In fact, products that don’t create an energetic feeling characterized by a tingly sensation are usually considered to be ineffective. Still, taking pre-workout shakes in higher doses is known to amplify these effects. Some people also don’t like the feeling at all.

It’s important to note that itchiness will always be more pronounced in new users. The feeling will become less powerful with continued use, as the body acclimates to the different ingredients. In most cases, one doesn’t feel it at all after several weeks of supplementation.

If you’re still concerned, however, dividing your dosage into smaller servings and taking them throughout the day could work to reduce the effect. Taking your supplements alongside a meal/snack could also help. You could also opt to avoid supplements that contain these ingredients altogether. To find the best pre workout supplement that uses a different formulation, do some research and seek help from a fitness specialist. Other solutions include taking less of the supplement each day, and noting how the body reacts to the change in dosage.