Slow beta-alanine works better and no “Pincushion Effect”
Beta Alanine is a great supplement available for strength athletes. It isn’t used nearly as much creatine. The number one complaint of Beta Alanine is the thousand needles to the face feeling it gives most users. Nestle researchers claim that slow Beta Alanine not only doesn’t have this side effect, it works better as well.
The pins and needles to the face feeling is known in medicine as parasthesia. The flushing and prickly feeling has an onset of about 20 minutes and a duration of 60 minutes. This usually affects the ears, forehead and scalp, in that order. Then it is followed by the upper torso, arms, hands, spine, and then buttocks. There are even reports of pain by some Beta Alanine users.
Researchers were trying to figure out if slow Beta Alanine caused parasthesia. Humans ingest roughly.8 g beta-alanine daily from fish and meat. Most people don’t experience parasthesia when eating these foods. Supplementing with Beta Alanine in small divided doses of .8 grams also present no problems. They hypothesized that a slow Beta Alanine supplement may not cause parasthesia at all.
They gave 1.6 g beta-alanine to 11 subjects on an empty stomach. One time the subjects took regular beta-alanine, another time they ingested slow release Beta Alanine. The third time, they took placebo.
The total amount of beta-alanine that made it into bloodstream was the same for both the regular Beta Alanine and the slow-release. The serum level doesn’t peak due to the slow release. The subjects reported the same side effects taking the placebo and the slow-release Beta Alanine.