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What does beta-alanine do to the body?

Pre-workout powder contains beta-alanine, an ingredient that stimulates nerve receptors in your skin, causing the tingling or itching sensation. Learn what this ingredients does to the body.

Jabari Martin, Registered Dietitian, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Written and researched by Jabari Martin R.D., NASM C.P.T.

The itchy ingredient in pre-workout is called beta-alanine. And when you take it, the carnosine levels in your muscles increase.

The benefit: Beta-alanine allows you to run for longer and grind through more reps in the gym before feeling the burn of lactic acid running through your muscles.

…but there's a side effect!

Your body sees this boost in carnosine levels and releases histamines - the same thing that happens when you have an allergic reaction.

This is completely harmless but it leads to the itchy effect also called "paresthesia".

𝟮 𝗾𝘂𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝘁𝗶𝗽𝘀:

  • Because the beta alanine itch is caused by histamines, you can take benadryl to relieve the itching - this totally works!
  • Also, if you want to improve your endurance with beta alanine, you need to take it consistently every day like you do with creatine. Taking a scoop a few minutes before your workout won't work.

Performance Bites by GRIT Superfoods is the only food on the market that contains beta-alanine. By combining over 1,000mg of beta-alanine with extra virgin olive oil and fiber, these Peformance Bites help your body absorb beta-alanine more efficiently than taking powder on its own.