Pre-workout Supplements: Good or Bad?

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Pre-workout Supplements: Good or Bad?
Pre-workout Supplements: Good or Bad?

If you’re edging yourself into the world of fitness, you may have heard whispers about pre-workout powder. Whether you’re looking to build muscle or lose fat, pre-workout powder can help with any aspect of your workout. Let’s discuss these supplements.

What is Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout is a supplement that gives you energy before your workout. It’s different from an energy drink because it’s formulated towards working out itself. It may give you better strength, improve your endurance, and give you an overall better performance at the gym.

Many bodybuilders will swear by pre-workout, and casual goers may try some if they feel tired at the gym. Pre-workout usually comes in powdered form, and you mix it with your drink. Usually, pre-workout supplements can come in many different flavors, usually, fruit or candy-related. For example, you can get pre-workout that tastes like sour gummy worms, or strawberry kiwi.

However, other types of pre-workout do exist out there.

Are They for You?

If you’re looking to improve your workout, you may look into pre-workout. When you look for some, you can find pre-workout of all types and prices. However, are they for you, or should you stay away? It depends on what type of pre-workout you’re purchasing and what it contains. Also, it depends on how well you handle stimulants.

The Good of Pre-Workout

Pre-workout supplements can have many benefits. Let’s break them down.

Improves Energy

Obviously, you need energy for a good workout, but there are many reasons why you may not be doing your best today. Perhaps you didn’t get the best sleep or are recovering from an illness. Or, you just want more to your workout. Either way, pre-workout can help.

You’ll feel a rush of energy and lift better, and you’ll be more alert as you do so. Many pre-workout supplements have BCAA, or branched-chain amino acids, and these can help you to synthesize your muscle proteins, adding more to your workout.

Boosts Metabolism

If you’re looking to give yourself a boost to your metabolism when you workout, pre-workout supplements can help. With their b-vitamins and other ingredients, they may help your body burn fat much faster. This is great if your metabolism isn’t the greatest and you just want to lose fat.

Improves Your Cardiovascular System

Some pre-workout supplements have beetroot juice, which can increase your blood flow and help your heart when it’s stressed during a workout. You may feel more endurance without using too much of your heart to do so.

Improves Your Muscle Strength

If you’re lifting weights, pre-workout may be able to help you lift more. This is due to the creatine found in many pre-workout supplements. It can jumpstart your muscles and allow you to lift more for much longer.

The Downsides to Pre-workout

With a substance such as pre-workout, there are going to be side-effects. While some who take pre-workout might not feel anything, some people may experience some side-effects, such as:

Too Much Sugar

This one is going to depend on what pre-workout supplement you choose. Some of them don’t contain any calories, but other supplements may be loaded with sugar, which you may not want to take. Besides that, you may have pre-workout that contains preservatives and other ingredients you may not want.

No FDA Regulation

These drinks are not regulated by the FDA, so their exact safety is still not known. This doesn’t mean that aren’t effective or safe, but it is a concern that you may want to consider.

Too Much Caffeine

Pre-workout contains a lot of caffeine, and if you’re sensitive to that, you may have some unpleasant side effects. Your heart may race, and you may have an anxiety episode due to the caffeine. If you’re under 18, we don’t recommend trying it.

With caffeine, you also have to worry about taking it too close to your bedtime, as it may affect when you fall asleep. Working out can have many benefits for your sleep schedule, and you don’t want pre-workout to counteract its effects.

Your Stomach May Not Like it

Sometimes, you may feel a little nauseous when you take pre-workout, or you may end up going to the bathroom. Instead of lifting at the gym, you may be busy in the gym bathroom for a little bit! This can happen especially if your stomach is empty.

Dehydration

Caffeine and creatine are two substances that are diuretics, meaning that more water will leave your body during urination. Because of this, stay hydrated whenever you have pre-workout. You should hydrate yourself accordingly with every workout session, anyway.

Is it Worth it?

It all depends. Here are some situations where it may be worth it:

  • You find yourself worn out during your workout, and getting more sleep didn’t help. If you do need more sleep, and you’re not getting it, seek help from therapy or improve your sleep hygiene.
  • You’re doing an extra-tough workout and you need a little boost in energy.
  • The supplement has helpful ingredients like creatine, beetroot juice, or caffeine. It also doesn’t have any sugars, either.
  • You understand the risks that come with taking pre-workout, and you can follow the directions on a label quite well. Don’t take more than recommended.
  • You don’t have any heart problems or any other issues that may be stimulated due to pre-workout supplements.
  • You realize that this isn’t going to turn you into the Hulk. It may give you a boost of energy to allow you to do more during your workout, but it’s not going to make you superhuman.

Conclusion

Pre-workout can be a nice boost to your workout, but they’re not magic, and their effects haven’t been fully studied yet. You can find some supplements for fairly cheap, so they are worth trying if you’re into fitness and can handle some extra caffeine. You should find it in most stores that sell any workout supplies, so give it a go and see if it’s for you.

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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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