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  1. VG Kelly1,2,
  2. DG Jenkins1,
  3. MD Leveritt1,
  4. GJ Slater3
  1. 1School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  2. 2UQ Sport Academy, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
  3. 3School of Health and Sport Sciences, University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia


Oral β-alanine doses larger than 800 mg commonly result in side effects known as paraesthesia. However, the side effects experienced when consuming an absolute or a dose relative to body weight of β-alanine have not been examined. The aim of this study was to report all of the side effects experienced and to determine if the symptoms of paraesthesia differed between the two doses and to determine if body mass and composition were related to these side effects. 25 healthy male subjects completed three supplementation treatments: a placebo; a relative dose of 0.02 g·kg−1 body weight and an absolute dose of 1.6 g β-alanine. For 90 min following supplementation in each condition, participants completed a questionnaire relating to various sensations. Symptoms peaked after 20 min and the combined incidence rate for both β-alanine conditions was 29% (“pins and needles”), 19% (“tickling, itching”), 16% (‘‘flush and/or shiver’’), 8% (‘‘tactile hypersensitivity and/or irritation’’), and 6% (‘‘numbness and/or insensitivity’’). No significant relationships were found between body fat, lean mass or body mass and symptoms of paraesthesia. The present investigation found subjects weighing less than 75 kg experienced a higher incidence of side effects when taking an absolute dose of β-alanine, whereas for participants over 85 kg the dose relative to body weight resulted in a greater incidence of side effects. The results of the current investigation may be useful in providing guidelines to reduce side effects for specific individuals following β-alanine supplementation.

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