Pre-workout supplements are dietary supplements that people can take before an exercise to help them get the most out of their workout. Manufacturers formulate these substances to improve energy levels and focus as premixed drinks, powders, tablets, and snack bars. While pre-workout supplements have some advantages, they can also have negative side effects like nausea and cardiac irregularities.
People may consider taking pre-workout vitamins to aid boost sports performance. Pre-workout ingredients and amounts vary, but they usually include a blend of chemicals that some research says may help with energy and focus. Ingredients that are commonly used include:
While most of these substances are unlikely to cause harm if used according to the instructions, some people may develop negative effects. However, the majority are likely to be minor and only cause temporary discomfort. People can also take efforts to limit the risk of negative side effects.
The risks and benefits of pre-workout are discussed in this article. It also goes over what to think about while buying these vitamins.
Side effects and risks
According to EvidenceTrusted Source, eating pre-workout is typically safe for healthy people and does not appear to cause any medical problems. Some people, however, may still encounter negative effects.
In a 2019 research of adults who routinely use pre-workout, 54 percent of subjects reported nausea, skin responses, and cardiac irregularities as side effects. However, according to the study, those who drink more than the suggested serving size are more likely to have these negative effects.
Many pre-workout supplements contain caffeine. The chemical blocks adenosine from attaching to specific brain receptors, resulting in increased nerve activity and a boost in alertness and energy. Caffeine consumption in the late afternoon or evening, on the other hand, might cause sleep issues in certain people, especially those who metabolize caffeine slowly.
People who consume too much coffee may develop anxiety, a higher heart rate, and headaches. As a result, caffeine-sensitive individuals should avoid pre-workout supplements containing this component.
Several chemicals in pre-workout supplements have been linked to gastrointestinal distress. Caffeine can upset your stomach by boosting the production of stomach acid, which can lead to acid reflux. Although sodium bicarbonate is less common than caffeine, some pre-workout supplements may contain it, which can induce bloating, nausea, and abdominal pain. However, evidenceTrusted Source claims that this is not a typical occurrence.
Niacin, often known as vitamin B3, is found in some pre-workouts. It causes tiny blood vessel dilatation, which causes flushing of the skin, usually on the face, chest, or arms, after consumption.
Beta-alanineTrusted Source is an amino acid that can cause paraesthesia, or a tingling sensation in the face, neck, or back of the hands. This neurological effect, on the other hand, is unlikely to be hazardous and usually fades away 60–90 minutes after consumption.
Creatine can cause bloating and water retention. This happens because creatine transports water into the muscles, and the body can’t always absorb all of it. However, according to studies, this only happens for the first few days after taking creatine and is unlikely to last long.
In a 2018 study on the effects of multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements (MIPS) on recreationally active females, researchers discovered that MIPS did not significantly raise heart rate or systolic blood pressure, but did boost diastolic blood pressure.
The pressure in a person’s arteries between heartbeats is measured by diastolic blood pressure. Although the data imply that ingesting MIPs is generally safe, persons with diseases that can cause greater diastolic blood pressure should be cautious.
1. Pre-workouts are generally made up of a variety of components that have been studied for their ability to improve athletic performance.
2. Creatine is a well-known and well-studied supplement for sports performance. The substance is the most effective nutritional supplement for enhancing performance in high-intensity exercise and growing lean body mass, according to the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN)Trusted Source. According to ISSN study, creatine may help with recuperation after a workout, muscular damage reduction, and injury rehabilitation.
3. Many individuals believe that caffeine is responsible for some of the benefits of pre-workout supplements. It can aid with focus and alertness, and it works swiftly, reaching a peak in the bloodstream in just 60 minutes. Caffeine use may greatly increase muscle strength and power, according to a 2018 reviewTrusted Source. Caffeine’s most evident athletic effect, according to the study, is enhancing upper body strength.
Other common MIP constituents may potentially have health benefits. Beta-alanine supplementation in levels of 4–6 grams per day was linked to endurance and strength advantages in another ISSN studyTrusted Source.
While several common components may provide some athletic benefit on their own, recent study has focused on the effects of pre-workout supplements combining multiple substances. Although further research is needed, ingesting MIPs can improve athletic performance and increase strength and endurance, according to a 2018 paperTrusted Source.
Consider the following:
Some pre-workout supplements may label ingredients as a “proprietary blend” without specifying the amounts. To avoid consuming an unhealthy amount of a certain substance, people interested in taking pre-workouts should look for goods that mention accurate doses and have proof from a reliable source.
Some pre-workout supplement chemicals may interfere with certain drugs. Seek medical guidance before taking them to completely grasp how their pre-workout can influence their medicine.
Caffeine is present in many pre-workout supplements, which some people may find difficult to tolerate. Caffeine is metabolized differently by everyone, and some people may be more sensitive to its effects than others. Those who are more caffeine sensitive may develop nausea, anxiety and jitteriness, as well as insomnia, even at lesser dosages.
People with health issues including diabetes, sleeplessness, anxiety, or heart disease should think about how pre-workout chemicals may impact them and get medical advice before using these products.
Alternatives and methods for minimizing adverse effects
People can limit the risk of pre-workout adverse effects by following the dosage recommendations on the product label or packaging.
According to research into pre-workout supplement consumption patterns, 14 percent of consumers took two or more dosages, and 18 percent used them more than once a day. People can either lower the dose or divide the dose into many smaller quantities to reduce some negative effects.
If you’re having stomach problems after starting a pre-workout, look for a product that doesn’t contain potential triggers like caffeine or sodium bicarbonate. They could also experiment with reducing the dose.
Pre-workouts, which include caffeine, can be taken earlier in the day to ensure the stimulant has worn off before going to bed, avoiding any sleep difficulties.
If you don’t want to use pre-workout supplements, typical chemicals like creatine and beta-alanine can be found in foods like red meat, fish, and chicken. Without pre-workout pills, a person can improve their workout by focusing on their food before and after training. Experts recommend that you:
consuming a meal within two hours of completing a workout
consuming complex carbohydrates and protein snacks beforehand
remaining hydrated before, during, and after a workout
after an exercise, eat a balanced supper that includes protein
While taking pre-workout supplements isn’t necessary to boost athletic performance, some data suggests they may have some advantages, such as greater strength, endurance, and focus. However, some people may be allergic to particular substances in pre-workout and develop nausea, headaches, and jitters as a result.
Individuals should not take more than the suggested dosage and should choose a lesser dosage to lessen the risk of negative effects. Certain ingredients may also need to be avoided.
People with pre-existing medical conditions, those on prescriptions, and those experiencing pre-workout side effects should seek medical guidance before choosing the proper supplement.