Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe For You?

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements

In recent years Multi-Ingredient Pre-workout Supplements (MIPS) have become increasingly popular among athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and researchers alike.

These supplements claim to improve your fitness and give you the energy you need before workouts. Intense workout sessions will not tire you down easily when you get your hands on these health supplements.

Pre-workout supplements are usually available in powder form that you mix in water and drink before exercise. Approximately 30 % of young adults consume these energy-boosting supplements regularly.

Let’s take a look at the ingredients, benefits, and side effects of pre-workout supplements.

Ingredient in Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements typically contain a blend of ingredients such as caffeine, amino acids, creatine, beta-alanine, and nitric oxide that are supposed to boost your energy during intense workout sessions.

Manufacturers of pre-workout supplements often combine caffeine with other selective ingredients to enhance physical performance. Let’s have a look at the six major ingredients and the multiple ways they help you with workouts and intense training. 

1. Caffeine in Pre-Workout Supplements

Caffeine is a mild nervous system stimulant and the main active ingredient in most pre-workout supplements.

It enhances performance as well as alertness, mental focus and perception during sports, and resistance exercise.

Caffeine can help you stay focused by delaying fatigue and enhancing your pain tolerance.

2. Amino acids and Amino-containing Compounds

Pre-workout supplements contain some essential amino acids and amino-containing compounds. Specifically, they contain some branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). These essential BCAAs boost muscle protein synthesis that helps for muscle building and reducing exercise-induced muscle damage.

In addition, pre-workout also contains Citrulline, an essential amino acid that increases blood flow to muscles. This process improves oxygen levels and carries extra nutrients to muscles as they feel the strain of training. As a result, muscles can work harder and longer for more intense workouts. 

Another amino-containing compound, Taurine as a part of pre-workout supplements improves muscular stamina during resistance exercise.

The combination of BCAAs, Citrulline and Taurine make for a powerful supplement for muscle gains. 

3. Nitric Oxide Operators

Nitric oxide is a vital compound that your body naturally produces. It relaxes blood vessels and improves blood flow to active muscles.

Several common components of pre-workouts such as arginine and citrulline are supposed to increase the levels of nitric oxide in your body. This in turn boosts nutrient transport to your muscles and enhances athletic performance.  

Some dietary sources of nitric oxide are beetroot, watermelon, leafy greens, pomegranate, and citrus foods. 

4. Creatine in Pre-Workout Supplements

Creatine is a compound that naturally occurs in your body. It’s mostly stored in skeletal muscle and helps in energy production and muscular strength.

Creatine supplementation is safe and is often included in pre-workout formulas. It is also sold as a standalone supplement.

Research shows that creatine can increase muscle strength, muscle mass, and high-intensity exercise performance. It’s very much popular among bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other power athletes.

5. Betaine

Betaine (trimethylglycine) is a naturally-occurring compound in your body. It can increase your endurance and resistance training performance.

Betaine improves exercise performance by increasing rates of creatine synthesis, blood nitric oxide level, and maintains fluid and body temperature. 

Before a workout, it can help you keep going longer since it pre-hydrates your muscle cells to be ready for all that sweat loss. After a workout, it replenishes the water lost. Endurance is closely tied to muscle strength; so by increasing muscle mass, Betaine improves endurance as well. 

6. Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is produced naturally in your body. It helps in the production of carnosine, which acts as an intramuscular buffer to maintain a stable pH level.

Beta-alanine is a common pre-workout ingredient and plays an important role in muscular endurance in high-intensity exercise.   It enhances performance by increasing exercise capacity and decreasing muscle fatigue.

What Are Benefit of Pre-Workout Supplements

The benefits of pre-workout supplements are many. Depending on the type of training you do pre-workouts are perfect for improving your workout performance.

With the combinations of various ingredients, these supplements help you in four major ways:

  • Muscle Building
  • Enhances Strength
  • Boost Endurance
  • Increase Focus

The main ingredients that benefit muscle building are amino acid while enhancing strength is Creatine. Creatine enhances strength, muscle mass, and endurance. 

Caffeine gives you energy and charges you up for motivation and stamina through an intense workout. 

Besides, Beta-alanine reduces muscle fatigue by eliminating acids from your body. As a result, you can push harder and longer through your workouts. 

Some pre-workouts contain a chemical called L-theanine, derived from green tea. This inhibits some of the effects of caffeine that cause anxiety. 

What are Side Effect of Pre-Workout Supplements

Some people may be sensitive to caffeine. Though the levels of caffeine in pre-workout supplements are well within the safe limit, some people may experience anxiety when consuming them.

Besides, beta-alanine present in pre-workouts may cause some rare allergies to some people. Some people can get mild stomach issues from Creatine.  

Several pre-workout supplements contain niacin. People with sensitivity to niacin may experience reddening of their skin.

These symptoms are not considered dangerous, but they can be uncomfortable. 

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe

Pre-workout supplements are normally considered safe. However, they aren’t completely risk-free. Short term supplementation is safe in otherwise healthy persons.

People with any medical issues such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, etc should completely avoid self supplementing pre-workouts.

It is very important to know how different ingredients in the supplements may interact with prescription or over the counter medications. So, consult your doctor before taking pre-workouts if you are under any medication.

Also, people intolerant to any of the numerous ingredients present in pre-workouts should be a little cautious with their consumption.

So, if you’re thinking about adding pre-workout supplements to your workout regimen, discuss specific products and dosages with a health professional or sports dietician before consumption.

When to Take Pre-Workout Supplements

Physical trainers suggest taking pre-workout supplements 30-60 minutes before you start your workout session for optimal benefit. This will allow the caffeine and other ingredients to enter your bloodstream and start energizing you.

If you take them too soon or too late, you will not get the full benefit during your training. Another point always remembers that pre-workout contains a significant amount of caffeine. So, you have to start your workout session as soon as they start working.     

Dosage of Pre-workout supplements

You can take pre- workouts in water as well as fruit juices, 30-60 minutes before exercise.

Choose the right supplement containing suitable ingredients as per discrete targets, to get the maximum benefits through it. 

The dosage differs from person to person, brand to brand, based on its ingredients. Hence, take advice from your gym diet experts before start taking pre-workouts.

Should You Take Pre-workout Supplements?

There are a few important points related to pre-workouts that you should know before deciding on for it:

  • Pre-workout supplements are not for everyone and they can’t replace a balanced diet, quality sleep and enough hydration. However, if you choose to take a pre-workout, it’s best to check its ingredients and consult your trainer.
  • Drink lots of water or fluids every day to keep you well hydrated while being on a pre-workout supplement.
  • Don’t self supplement an excessive amount of pre-workout than the recommended dosage. This may lead to uneasiness and increased heart rate due to unutilized energy in the body.
  • Females can also have pre-workouts, provided that they don’t have any hormonal or metabolic disorder.

Where to Buy Pre-workouts

There are literally hundreds of pre-workout supplements on the market, both online and offline. Pouring through the right choices can be difficult.

Do your proper research and read the labels before you buy. Make sure the product you choose contains the active ingredients listed above without any junk and extra sugar.

Always opt for an authentic brand. You can shop for some best pre-workout supplements online at amazon here.

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