Pre-workout suppliment: Myth, Benefits, and side effect

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Recently the craziness among workout supplements is increased in athletes and youth. Approximately 70% of active youth take nutritional supplements, and pre-workout supplements are one of them. People take workout supplements for enhancing their performance and for muscle growth. Over the past few years, the demand for pre-workout supplements is also increasing. Along with popularity, the pre-workout supplement faces controversies also.

According to the research of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, pre-workout supplements enhance the performance for endurance by increasing time to exhaustion and also delaying the time of fatigue

Apart from this many physicians do not recommend it because the overdose of pre-workout supplements have some side effect also.

There are lots of rumors about it. Like it helps to increase muscle mass and helps to reduce fat. So, let’s see what this is and how it works. And does it have any bad results?

What is pre-workout supplement?

Pre-workout supplements are a blend of many ingredients. And the principal ingredients in pre-workout supplements are caffeine. Caffeine is a central nervous system (CNS) stimulant. According to the journal of nutrients studies caffeine improves performance in aerobic and anaerobic conditions (especially endurance sports). A balanced dose of caffeine (approx. 3mg/kg) enhances sprint performance, delaying fatigue time, reduces pain perception, and enhance focus. And the amount of caffeine in a scoop of pre-workout is 150-300mg. and This quantity varies according to the different brands.

Pre-workouts have contradictions about strength. Many physical trainers and athletes favor it. According to him, it enhances muscle strength just because of caffeine. But conversely, research has not followed this statement. In the journal of the international society of sports nutrition, researchers stated that caffeine does not show any effect on lower and upper body muscle strength at low to moderate doses.

So, it is almost proven that the caffeine in pre-workout supplements not enhance muscle strength. But it is possible when your blend has creatine. Because the study says creatine improves muscle strength.

it is also important to know that the effect of caffeine depends on person to person and their tolerance.

Other than caffeine many other ingredients also present in pre-workout supplements, like creatine, beta-alanine, vitamins, and beetroot. All of these ingredients have different effects and activities.

An important thing that you should know about pre-workout. That is not approved by the FDA. But most of the individual ingredients are approved. But as blend form, pre-workout supplements are not FDA approved.


List of major pre-workout ingredients and their use:

Ingredients Use
Caffeine Enhance the endurance (both aerobic and anaerobic condition), delay the onset of muscle fatigue, reduce exertion, enhance focus
Arginine Improve blood circulation
Creatine Improve muscle strength, helps to recover muscle more quickly during exercise, boost energy during high-intensity activities such as

sprinting or weight lifting.

Beta-alanine Provide muscle endurance in high-intensity exercise
Beetroot Improved blood flow, enhance performance
Vitamin B6 Energy production during a workout
Vitamin B12 Synthesis of new cells, such as the red blood cells, and for the repair of damaged cells
tyrosine Improve endurance

Is it really helpful?

Yeah, it is. But we think it is not necessary unconditionally. If you are an athlete or a heavy lifter or doing anything which needed endurance, like running, cycling, sprint, or swimming then it is a good option. Pre-workout is also more efficient in those sports that need endurance and power performance for a prolonged duration of time, like soccer, hockey, and rugby.

But if you do light-weight exercise, yoga, or stretching then we think, no need to take it. You can replace pre-workout with some fruits which give you energy at the time of light to moderate workout sessions.

One thing you should know. If you are a national or international athlete. Never take a pre-workout before your performance. Yes, there is no doubt, that the amount of caffeine is 12-15 micrograms per milliliter of urine is acceptable, by NCCA and IOC. But companies add some extra ingredients and not mention their name on the ingredient list. And maybe, those ingredients are banned by sports federations.

Overall benefits

  • Boost Endurance
  • Improve performance
  • Increase focus
  • Improve blood flow
  • Reduces pain perception
  • Creatine blended pre-workout supplements enhance muscle strength during a high-intensity workout
  • Improve recovery time

Myth about pre-workout

  • A cup of coffee is equivalent to pre-workout supplements: it is clearly a false statement. Because the amount of caffeine in pre-workout supplements is from 150mg to 300mg. And the total amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee is approximately 95mg.
  • Pre-workout helps to reduce fat: There no research evidence to favor this. So, it is not working for fat loss. But according to the Brazilian journal of medical and biological research if it was taken with high-intensity training then it improves performance and then it indirectly helps to reduce fat loss.
  • Pre-workout supplements help to build muscles: No, absolutely not. Pre-workout is only used to enhance performance. There is no effect seem on muscle development. But some pre-workout are present in the market which has creatine, so it may be possibilities to gives more upper body strength and fast recovery so helps to build muscle but if anybody says it grows muscle single handily then it is absolutely wrong.

Probable side effect

Pre-workouts have not major side effects. But as we said in starting pre-workout have caffeine as an active ingredient and its effect varies from person to person so, some people have felt some minor side effects during the taking of pre-workout.

And the potential side effects are:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Restlessness
  • Slightly negative effect on sleep
  • Impaired heart rate
  • Rarely causes a skin reaction

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When should it be taken?

Pre-workout is for enhancing the performance during the workout so it should be taken before 30 to 45 minutes before workout.

Does it cause insomnia?

If you take a moderate amount of pre-workout then it does not affect sleep or sleeping pattern. And of course, not cause insomnia. But if you take more doses than the recommended dose then it may affect you.

Can women also take it?

Yes, it is also taken by women and its recommended dose is safe and effective.

Does pre-workout affect the menstrual cycle?

A heavy dose of caffeine may affect the menstrual cycle. It can cause prolonged and heavy menses. So, if you take pre-workout then try to reduce other caffeinated products like coffee, tea, soft drink, and chocolates from your daily routine

Is it cause Dehydration?

Research studies showed it does not reduce water loss and not change the sweat rate. So, it does not cause dehydration

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