Beta-alanine supplements are popular with athletes and fitness enthusiasts because they help improve performance, delay muscular fatigue, and increase overall endurance. However, some people have reported an immediate side effect after using beta-alanine supplements: the tingling sensation.
Taking excessive dosages of beta-alanine may cause paraesthesia, an abnormal skin sensation many people describe as tingling of the skin. Others describe the sensation as pins and needles poking under the skin, which can worry people who have not used beta-alanine before.
You can experience it in the back of the hands, face, and neck. However, such side effects have not been reported with moderate doses.
What causes the tingling sensation?
Although scientists have not found enough proof to explain why beta-alanine causes the tingling sensation, there is proof to support one hypothesis. Some researchers suggest that beta-alanine triggers G protein-coupled receptors, which play the role of transmitting signals throughout the nervous system, including the skin.
Therefore beta-alanine activates your nerve endings in a way that causes the tingling sensation but not enough to cause pain. Many studies say that it is a side effect rather than the main effect.
Remember that beta-alanine works on the cellular level by increasing carnosine to regulate the PH in the muscles from getting too acidic, causing fatigue. In other words, beta-alanine delays neuromuscular fatigue, producing performance benefits. Besides, the tingling sensation is something you have to deal with on your way to achieving beta alanine’s benefits.
There is a misconception that this tingling sensation can cause long-term damage to the nerves or muscles, but it is not true even at higher doses because it is not scientifically proven.
How long does it last?
Although the length of time the tingling sensation lasts varies from one individual to another, the intensity of the tingling increases with dosage. Some people may feel the sensation just for a few minutes, others for an hour, while the higher percentage do not experience it at all.
In most cases, the tingling sensation begins on the neck 15minutes after taking the supplement, then to the shoulder and arms. Many people report that the sensation declines after around 30minutes.
How can you stop the tingling sensation?
When you take beta-alanine supplements and you can’t seem to get used to that tingling sensation, there are ways to minimize it or stop it completely. The main approach is to split your doses into smaller amounts throughout the day rather than taking a high dose at a time. That should significantly reduce the tingling sensation of beta-alanine.
Another strategy is to reduce your overall dosage. For instance, if you usually take 6gms a day, you can reduce the dosage to 4gms a day. The good thing is that beta-alanine is a scientifically proven supplement that lives up to its expectations, so it is worth playing around with its use and still get results without the side effect.
Beta-alanine is entirely safe when taken orally appropriately for a short time.