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Pre Workout Tingle – Why It Happens and How

Have you ever had an itchy and burning sensation after taking a supplement before heading to the gym? If so, you have likely experienced something known as a pre workout tingle.

This condition is typically completely harmless and occurs as a result of several popular ingredients in mens workout supplements. This article is going to explain what tingles are and how they typically progress. It will also offer tips for reducing the occurrence of tingles as well.

an illustration of the way a pre workout tingle works

5 Reasons Why Pre Workout Tingle Occurs

Pre workout tingles occur for a large variety of reasons. A common culprit is the stimulants that are included in many different workout supplements for men. This section is going to explore the top five reasons why workout tingles occur.

#1. Caffeine Effect

The most common stimulant you will find in virtually any workout supplement that advertises improved fat burning is caffeine anhydrous. This ingredient will cause your pulse to increase and can create a throbbing sensation for those who are sensitive to its effects.

The typical pre workout dosage contains around 200-250 mg of caffeine per serving. It is one of the most common causes of pre workout tingle.

#2. Guarana Extract Result

Another common ingredient that causes pre workout tingle is guarana extract. It is another stimulant that contains naturally occurring caffeine. Where it differs from caffeine anhydrous is that the caffeine is released more slowly. If you experience a tingle long after your workout has ended, guarana extract is likely the reason.

#3. Beta Alanine Effect

Beta Alanine is a naturally occurring beta amino acid in your body and is crucial in the synthesis of carnosine. This is why it is a very popular product in a wide range of workout supplements for men. As such, it is also one of the most common reasons you may experience a pre workout tingle.

Most people do not really understand the exact mechanism well. Researchers believe that it has to do with the firing of nerve endings shortly after one ingests the supplement. What we know for sure is that typical histamines like Benadryl do not provide relief.

#4. Niacin Result

One of the more common symptoms associated with pre workout tingle is increased facial flushing. The likely culprit behind this is niacin based on a well-documented study.

This particular side effect can prove to be particularly problematic for those with sensitive skin like rosacea. On the plus side, niacin induced flushing typically gets better with continued use as your body acclimates to your supplement.

an illustration of Vasoconstriction and Vasodilation processes

#5. Vasodilation

Certain ingredients in many popular supplements like L-arginine function as something known as vasodilators. These ingredients cause your blood vessels to expand and increase the blood flow to your extremities.

This does have many beneficial effects for things like muscle recovery and nutrient distribution. However, the dilation of your blood vessels is another leading cause of pre workout tingle.

How Does Pre Workout Tingle Develop & Manifests?

There are many symptoms associated with pre workout tingle. However, it typically occurs in a certain order for most individuals. This section will attempt to offer an overview of the ways this condition typically occurs.

#1. Increased Temperature

The first sign of pre workout tingle is usually an elevated body temperature. This is more of a feeling than an actual measurable increase in your body temperature. You may notice that you are bumping the A/C down in your home or sweating on the way to the gym.

#2. The Jitters

The next symptom that typically develops before tingling is the jittery sensation. This is the direct result of stimulants like caffeine taking effect in your nervous system. Your hands may begin shaking occasionally, and your heart rate will typically be elevated.

#3. Tingling in the Extremities

Shortly before you begin your workout, you will typically begin to feel a tingling sensation in your hands and feet. This is most likely caused by the beta alanine mentioned earlier. It is common for this particular symptom to manifest while stretching since you blood flow is beginning to increase to the extremities.

#4. Itching

As you start to work out, itching is the next progression. This symptom gets particularly worse as you start to perspire. This is a result of certain compounds further circulating throughout your bloodstream as your workout progresses.

#5. Flushing

Once your workout nears completion, flushing is the last symptom you will typically encounter. This is a combination of ingredients like niacin and the effects of your strenuous workout. As you cool down, the redness typically fades, and the tingles typically subside.

How to Prevent or Reduce Pre Workout Tingle

Pre workout tingles are generally harmless and typically fade away with time. However, they still present an unpleasant feeling that many of you would like to avoid. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce or eliminate them.

a man sitting at a table with plenty of workout supplements in front of him

1: Reduce Your Dose

One of the most effective strategies to try is to reduce the amount of supplement you are taking. Consider lowering your dose and building it up over a period of several days. This allows your body to adjust to the ingredients much more easily.

2: Avoid Supplements with Niacin

While niacin does have many health benefits, the flushing that it causes can turn your workout into a miserable experience. Consider trying a pre workout supplement without niacin to reduce the chances of flushing occurring.

3: Try Starting with a Snack

One last strategy worth trying is starting off with a snack before taking your supplement. This can provide a buffer in your stomach that slows the absorption of some of the ingredients that typically cause tingling sensations.

The Bottom Line

Experiencing a pre workout tingle is a very common occurrence with virtually any supplement you may try. Fortunately, this sensation is generally harmless and typically lessens as your body adapts to the supplement. Consider trying these tips for yourself and tell us how they helped you with your workout routine.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3

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