When using certain pre-workout drinks its common for individuals to experience certain effects such as redness of the skin (flush effect) and itchiness, which is often mistaken for an allergic reaction.
The redness that you experienced is due to the B vitamin Niacin. This vitamin causes what is known as the Niacin flush which is a result of dilation of the tiny capillaries in the skin, this allows for a rapid increase in blood flow through skin tissue. The flush is not harmful in any way, it actually has health-promoting benefits as a result of increased circulation and is helpful in warming up for exercise.
It is well known that niacin is the safest way of reducing cholesterol counts — without any other medication. It’s also very inexpensive. However, you should know that high cholesterol readings are NOT a risk factor for heart disease. A great majority of doctors will tell you this, but it is not true. If you want to lower it anyway, Niacin will do that very safely.
First, what you have experienced is the very well known “niacin flush.” It is a very healthy action of niacin, as you’ll see as you read.
You get this action from niacin, but NOT from Niacinamide. Niacinamide was deliberately created to eliminate those factors in this B3 vitamin which cause the flush. While there are certain benefits from Niacinamide, the real winner here is B3, the niacin.
Niacin has the property of causing the small blood vessels to increase in size. These are the capillaries. Now, capillaries are often so small that the blood cells pass through them in single file. It is the capillaries that take care of the vast majority of all the cells in the body. You have large arteries near the heart, and they get smaller and smaller as they extend from the heart. But, at the end of every well-sized artery is a very large network of capillaries.
They all start from the heart — but at the end of the line, they are tiny tiny capillaries.
Just take an arbitrary number for the number of living cells in your body — perhaps one billion. The exact number is not critical for this purpose. Now, the question is: “How many of those billion cells are within a fraction of an inch away from one of the large arteries so that they can get rid of toxins directly into that artery, and to get nutrients from that artery?” I don’t know, but I’ll guess that it is less than 20% of all those cells.
Now, there are many miles of the small capillaries in your body — a vast network which gets within a small fraction of an inch of EVERY cell in the body. It is the capillaries which nourish the cells and which carry away the toxins.
Now, add into this equation the fact that most of the toxins in the body are stored in fat cells. These fat cells can hold on to toxins for years, never letting it go until some “event” (like sweating or exercise). Then, the fat cells give up their toxins and they start leaking out into the surrounding tissues. You can have a slow-leak batch of fat cells that are poisoning you constantly. Much of the disease that plagues mankind certainly comes from the constant slow leak of toxins from these fat cells.
These fat cells, like the millions of others, are all within a fraction of an inch of some capillary, but IF that capillary is clogged (as most often they are), and if the blood cells move through them only one cell at a time (single file), then you can see that there is not much chance for those toxins to be cleaned up by the flow of blood.
If you could find something that would increase the size of these capillaries, and not cause any harmful or adverse reaction, you can see how beneficial this would be.
In fact, niacin does this — it causes these miles of tiny capillaries to increase in size. It is the INCREASE in size, partly, which causes your skin to get red.
While there are miles of these capillaries all through your body, it is near the surface of your body where the arteries are NOT! So, as all the large surface of your body, your skin, is nourished by these small capillaries, and as the capillaries get larger, you can naturally see how the skin would show that increase in blood by getting red!
But, there is something else going on. I don’t know of very many researchers who have told this story in terms that the average person can understand.
There is another substance to learn a bit about — it is a hormone called “histamine.” You know of this substance when you buy “anti-histamine” medicines. Without getting into a long story on that, the “anti-histamine” substances are meant to reduce the action of histamine — this is usually not good!
What does histamine do in the body?
Well, first it can be produced by EVERY cell in the body. And, it is nature’s warning signal.
Whenever a cell is in danger (as, for instance, from a mosquito bite!), the cells that are in danger emit histamine. That wonderful hormone has the ability to send a message to those places in the body which change the blood flow — to send more blood (water) to that area to provide the nutrients needed to heal the problem, and to carry away the toxins.
So, when a mosquito bites you, the area around the bite itches and swells. That is the action of histamine coming to the rescue — bringing extra blood to supply nutrients to the cells that have been poisoned by the mosquito bite, and to carry away the poison.
When a cell is completely overwhelmed (as when it is loaded with toxins) it is in such apathy that it can’t even release histamine — in other words, it is so sick that it can’t even call for help.
Now, take a look at those cells near the capillaries. They are often loaded with toxins and there is never enough blood flowing near them to take the toxins away.
Now, put some niacin in your body!
The capillaries increase in size. How much? I don’t know exactly, but often at least double in size. Now, you have two blood cells going through the capillary, side-by-side.
The chances that this increased blood flow can take away some of those toxins is at least double what it had been.
As those poor cells start coming back to life — getting rid of toxins, they rise UP to the level where they can send out calls for help.
They send out small quantities of the hormone, histamine.
Histamine causes an itchy feeling anywhere it goes. It also causes the body to send more water (blood) to that area, but what YOU experience is the red skin and the itchy reaction from histamine.
If you take niacin and DON’T have a flush, it could be that your capillaries are too far gone to be helped, or more likely, you don’t have a lot of toxins ready to be removed just then.
So, you should seek the niacin flush. It does a great deal of good for your body — increasing blood flow, taking nutrients to areas that are starved, and taking AWAY some of those toxins that cause illness, tiredness, and disease.
Niacin is a vitamin that has a “getting used to” level. In other words, the first time you take niacin you may have the flush. If you keep taking the same amount each day, you will have the flush, maybe, on the second or third day, but by the fourth day, you won’t have any flush.
Then is when you should deliberately increase your niacin dose. There is a critically valuable detoxification method based on this increasing dose of niacin.