Pre-workout supplements have become increasingly common among exercise enthusiasts during the last few years. As a fitness freak, you must have also thought about incorporating pre-workout supplements into your fitness routine. But the moment you think about buying one, you are confused due to the contrasting opinions on the efficacy and health impacts of the supplements.
The pros believe that the pre-workout supplements work wonders for gaining fitness and ensuring the energy you need during challenging workouts. On the other hand, many experts argue that pre-workout supplements are not only unnecessary but can even be hazardous to your health.
This article will discuss everything related to pre-workout supplements, from their pros and cons to the dangers of overuse. Before moving on to the impacts of pre-workout supplements on your health, let's go through the basics.
What are Pre-Workout Supplements?
Pre-workout supplements, also known as 'pre-workouts, are primarily designed to boost your athletic performance and energy levels to help you gain the most out of your workout. These are the multi-ingredient powdered formulas that you can mix in water and consume before you work out to maximize your energy and endurance levels.
The efficacy of pre-workout supplements is supported by a research study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition. The study reported that supplementing the high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with pre-workouts can increase lean body mass and speed up losing body fat.
While the research study proves the efficacy of the pre-workout supplements, you must research to consume them safely as per your body's needs. It is crucial to understand how pre-workout supplements work to learn more about the impact of the pre-workout supplements on your overall well-being.
How Do the Pre-Workout Supplements Work?
While different manufacturers claim the unique blend of ingredients causes the energy boost, the key ingredient in almost all pre-workout supplements is caffeine. Most pre-workout supplements are loaded with an intense dose of caffeine. The top-selling brands even contain 400 milligrams of caffeine per dose, equal to about 4 cups of coffee. Besides that, most of the brands contain about 150 mg to 300 mg caffeine per dose.
In addition to caffeine, the workout powder contains other ingredients such as creatine, L-arginine, taurine, betaine, and B-alanine. The efficacy of these ingredients are discussed below:
- Caffeine: It helps improve your endurance levels by increasing your metabolic rate and minimizing fatigue. Caffeine also helps enhance brain functions by stimulating the central nervous system, which helps improve your productivity levels during the workout. However, to avoid any side effects, it is best to consume caffeine in a moderate dose.
According to a review by European Food Safety Authority, a daily dose of 400 mg is safe for adults. However, adults who work out immediately after taking a pre-workout supplement should preferably restrict their dose to 200 mg.
- Creatine: It is one of the most effective bodybuilding supplements. Creatine is primarily synthesized from amino acids that help to gain quick bursts of energy. According to a research review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, creatine helps ensure muscle growth and enhance performance during a high-intensity interval workout.
- L-citrulline: It boosts the production of nitric oxide in your body which helps improve the oxygen flow in the body, and helps prevent diseases.
- Betaine Anhydrous: It speeds up the metabolism of a chemical, homocysteine. Homocysteine improves the functions of important body parts, such as bones, eyes, heart, nerves, muscles, and the brain.
- Alpha-GPC: It helps increase the release of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that facilitates memory and learning. Besides, it helps overcome exercise-induced reductions in choline levels, improves performance, and facilitates growth hormone secretion.
- L-arginine: It is the branch-chained amino acid crucial for protein synthesis. It helps relax your blood vessels by creating nitric oxide and ensures enhanced blood flow and oxygen.
- B-alanine: Also known as beta-alanine, it is a naturally occurring amino acid that ensures better nerve signal function. It helps overcome fatigue and improve athletic performance.
- Taurine: It works as a neurotransmitter, ensures the stability of the cell membrane, and helps transport nutrients throughout the body.
- Betaine: It helps ensure normal liver functions and process fat. According to a study, betaine enhances body composition, improves muscle size, and the capacity to perform work.
Now that you have learned the composition of most pre-workout supplements, it is time to look at the advantages of pre-workout supplements.
Pros of Pre-Workout Supplements
The pre-workout supplements consist of power ingredients that help enhance your muscle strength and workout performance while ensuring the following benefits:
- Enhanced Performance: The energy booster enhances the performance of individuals who regularly hit the gym. It helps overcome exhaustion and tiredness and helps you perform better and for a prolonged period.
- Improved Focus: Caffeine is famous for enhancing cognition, improving mood and concentration levels. Since pre-workout supplements are packed with caffeine, they can help you stay focused during a workout.
- Increases Workout Efficiency: According to research, pre-workout supplements consist of citrulline, which can help you perform 53 percent more reps of a bench press workout. Another study concluded that citrulline could help cyclists with a 12 percent longer ride. If you want to enhance your workout efficiency, pre-workout supplements can surely help!
- Helps Gain Muscle Strength: Most pre-workout supplements contain Creatine Monohydrate. Creatine facilitates muscles in producing and circulating more ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP allows muscle contractions which ensures muscle strength within a shorter period.
Cons of Pre-Workout Supplements
Despite several advantages of the pre-work supplements, they can negatively impact your body, especially when taken in excessive amounts. Some of the major health issues that are likely to be caused due to overstimulation are discussed below:
- Sleep Disturbance: Overstimulation from the pre-workout supplements can result in sleep disturbance. If the jitters constantly interrupt your sleep, it is better to miss your pre-workouts for a while.
- Causes Digestive Problems: The ingredients such as creatine, caffeine, sodium bicarbonate, and magnesium, when combined, can cause digestive problems. It is better to find a pre-workout that suits you and take it in moderate amounts.
- Increased Blood Pressure: When taken in excessive quantities, the pre-workout supplement can increase blood pressure, especially for those with pre-existing hypertensive or heart conditions. It is highly recommended to consult a healthcare professional if you have a medical condition before taking the supplements.
- May cause water retention: Creatine is a common ingredient in the pre-workout supplement, which may cause side effects such as bloating, water retention, and weight gain.
- Addition: Regular intake of the pre-workout supplements can make your body used to caffeine and other stimulants; therefore, it is important to take it in a moderate quantity.
Why You May Want to Take the Pre-Workout Supplements?
While the overdose or misuse of the pre-workout supplements may result in several health issues, as discussed above, a moderate amount of the pre-workout supplements can benefit you in many ways.
If you want to enhance your workout capacity, pre-workout supplements can work wonders for you. The supplements can help you push yourself harder and gain strength within a limited period. However, finding a pre-workout supplement that consists of proper nutrients and is scientifically validated is important. You may try the DMoose pre-workout supplement as it contains the perfect blend of ingredients such as Creatine Monohydrate, caffeine, nitric oxide, and L-citrulline.
The benefits of some of the ingredients have already been discussed above. The other ingredient, L-citrulline, helps increase nitric oxide in your body. The enhanced levels of nitric oxide allow the widening of blood muscles, improving the blood and oxygen glow.
DMoose pre-workout supplements ensure perfect nutrients and higher oxygen to your working muscles, which will cause a powerful muscle pump that you need during an intensive exercise. The amazing DMoose pre-workout supplements support strength building, improves endurance level, increases your concentration level, and stimulates faster muscle contractions.
If you are looking for a reliable product, try DMoose pre-workout supplements to get the energy and boost you need for working out.
Alternates for Getting Energy Before Working Out
Apart from taking supplements, a few things can help you gain the exact energy you need to prepare your muscles for exercise. If you perform a high-intensity workout regularly, a healthy and nutritious body is the first thing you need to ensure to enhance your workout capacity and performance.
In addition to this, it is crucial to stay hydrated even before reaching for a pre-workout. There is no alternative for a proper water intake; therefore, staying hydrated is essential for best performance in the gym.
Moreover, a night of proper sleep is a must if you want to improve your energy levels for working out in the morning. So give your body the rest it needs to perform the next day!
Instead of instantly switching to supplements when you lack the energy to work out, it is recommended that you change your food choices. Trying some superfoods before hitting a gym, such as apples, a bowl of oatmeal, and peanut butter, can ensure you have all the energy you need for your workouts. Anti-inflammatory foods, especially yogurt, can also help you gain all the energy you need to work out.
Even if you go for a pre-workout supplement, you must never underestimate the benefits of taking a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Pre-workout supplements are commonly used for enhancing energy levels and physical performance. However, they must be taken in a moderate quantity to avoid side effects, such as digestive problems, sleep disturbance, over-reliance and addiction, water retention, bloating, etc.
Remember, a nutritious and energy-boosting diet, plenty of water, and adequate sleep are some of the best alternatives that can help you improve your workout performance. Most importantly, once you have made up your mind to incorporate pre-workout supplements into your daily routine, check the ingredients and make sure that the pre-workout supplement you choose is third-party tested.
- Cholewa, Jason M., et al. “Effects of Betaine on Body Composition, Performance, and Homocysteine Thiolactone.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 10, no. 1, Aug. 2013, p. 39. BioMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-10-39
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- Suzuki, Takashi, et al. “Oral L-Citrulline Supplementation Enhances Cycling Time Trial Performance in Healthy Trained Men: Double-Blind Randomized Placebo-Controlled 2-Way Crossover Study.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, vol. 13, no. 1, Feb. 2016, p. 6. BioMed Central, https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-016-0117-z