10 Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements

It is no hidden secret that pre-workouts can boost your athletic performance and help you deliver your best at the gym. These pre-workouts contain ingredients in varying compositions that impact the body in different ways.

Different brands of pre-workout supplements contain different ingredients. Caffeine is an ingredient that is responsible for alertness and focus. L-citrulline and L-arginine are compounds that improve blood flow by increasing Nitric Oxide production in the body.

However, if not consumed properly, there might also be some side-effects of pre workout supplement consumption. For example, while some people experience nausea and jitters, others sense a prickling sensation underneath the skin. Sometimes, pre workouts can also give you an irresistible urge to poop.

This article will give you a brief idea about the different side effects that might be associated with the consumption of pre workout supplements. Although most of these pre-workout side effects are mild and do not have an adverse effect on the body, it is important to get them corrected early and prevent them from taking a fatal turn. Read on to find out.

Pre-workout side effects

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Your Body Might Get Dehydrated

Dehydration may be a risk even among those who do not consume pre workout supplements. When you indulge in strenuous physical activity, your body releases sweat for temperature regulation. In such a situation, it is important to replenish your body with water to avert the risk of dehydration and cramps.

Caffeine is an important component in pre-workout supplements. The main function of Caffeine is to boost energy levels and improve focus. However, Caffeine acts as a mild diuretic. It causes the kidney to work hard and flushes lots of water from the body. In simple words, Caffeine causes you to urinate more.

It is important to ensure that you have adequate quantities of water in your body so that your pre-workout supplement can work its magic on your body. It also keeps your body from getting dehydrated, which, in turn, can give vent to many other forms of discomfort like headache, nausea, jitters, parched mouth, pee with a strong odor, etc.

To counter the ill effects that Caffeine might have on your body, try to make sure that your pre-workout supplement has Creatine. Creatine helps to counter the effect of Caffeine by pulling water into the cells.

You May Be Experiencing Frequent Headaches

As has been mentioned above, when your body gets dehydrated, headache tags along. This may be because when your body gets dehydrated, the fluid that acts as a sheath around your brain gets thinner. This causes the brain to bump against the skull and results in headaches.

Headache can also be caused due to vasodilation. Ingredients like Beta-Alanine and Citrulline Malate promote vasodilation. Vasodilation is a phenomenon in which the blood vessels of the body expand to boost muscle strength.

However, this might also be a little uncomfortable as the expansion of the blood vessels in the head can give vent to headaches during and sometimes even before or after an exercise session.

Pre Workout Supplements can Make you Anxious

A number of ingredients in preworkout supplements may also lead to anxiety. Sometimes, these ergogenic drinks may contain natural ingredients like Yohimbine. Although natural ingredients might seem safe to consume, the side effects of Yohimbine may be a little concerning. Apart from some of the common side effects like heart risks, fluctuating blood pressure, etc, Yohimbine also tends to make you anxious.

Apart from Yohimbine, other ingredients like Caffeine and some hard-hitting stimulants may also trigger anxiety.

Flushed and Itchy Skin from Pre Workout Supplement Consumption

Pre-workouts contain a plethora of ingredients. The side effects that are associated with preworkout consumption vary from person to person. Sometimes, you may experience itch and skin redness after you drink your glass of ergogenic drink.

This side effect is triggered mainly due to Vitamin B (Niacin). Niacin gives vent to a phenomenon called “Niacin Flush,” which causes the capillaries to dilate. This helps in increasing the flow of blood through the skin tissue. As a result of this increased and improved circulation, your body gets warmed up before an exercise.

Although Niacin Flush can make your skin red and patchy, there is no fatality or harm associated with it.

Some Ingredients Might Trigger Nausea

One of the main reasons why you might be experiencing Nausea as a side effect of pre-workout supplement consumption is that you are not diluting your ergogenic health powder in enough water. Therefore, the first step that you can take to correct the condition is to make sure that your drink is properly diluted and not very concentrated.

You may also be sensitive to some ingredients, which might trigger an urge to vomit. For instance, you must be aware that some pre-workout supplements contain Bitter Orange Peel as an ingredient. Although it is a highly effective ingredient that can promote weight loss, there are some setbacks associated with it.

You should also try to steer clear of Caffeine and other stimulants. These ingredients have a considerable impact on your body which when coupled with intense exercising, can trigger an uneasy feeling in the body.

Disturbed Sleep Cycle

The Caffeine in Pre-workout supplements provides you with a gush of throbbing energy so that you can utilize your optimum potential at the gym. However, we also know that Caffeine can keep you awake for longer. We are all aware of the trick that sipping on coffee on the night before meeting your deadline will provide you with the energy you need to complete your task.

The amount of Caffeine that your pre-workout supplement contains is nearly 4.5 times the amount of Caffeine that your cup of coffee contains. Therefore, it is evident that pre-workout supplements contain notoriously high levels of Caffeine.

Overdosing on Caffeine can disturb your sleep cycle and lead to insomnia. Therefore, it is advisable not to drink your pre-workout supplement before you go to bed at night.

Pre-Workouts can Lead to Hypertension

Hypertension may be one of the serious side effects of pre-workout that you can experience due to pre-workout supplement consumption. Some ingredients in preworkout supplements can cause your blood pressure to spike. This may not be threatening for healthy adults, but it can pose an immense threat to those who have a pre-existing hypertension condition.

High blood pressure is mainly caused due to the inclusion of Caffeine. People who are not used to Caffeine consumption may also experience jitters and anxiety.

If you indulge in high-intensity interval workouts after consuming a pre-workout supplement, your blood pressure is more likely to skyrocket. An increase in blood pressure exposes you to the risk of acquiring cardiac arrest. Therefore, make sure that you do not overdose on any ingredient and consume them in clinically approved quantities to avert any risk and yet experience the benefits.

Apart from that, some quantity of L-Citrulline can help as it widens the blood vessels and creates a passage for smooth blood flow. This will mitigate the risk of a heart attack.

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Your Hands and Fingers Might Feel Tingly

Different ingredients act differently on your body. For instance, Beta-Alanine improves muscle endurance and improves the performance of athletes. It is one of the key ingredients that has gained immense popularity and is being extensively used in preworkout supplements.

Sometimes, pre-workout supplements may give vent to a “pins and needles” like sensation underneath your skin. This side effect may be associated with the ingredients Niacin and Beta-Alanine. This happens due to the reaction of these ingredients on the nervous system.

This side effect is harmless and gradually subsides over a period of time. However, it also depends on how you perceive it. While this prickly sensation may be bothersome to a few people, others might find it enjoyable, for this imparts an impression that the pre-workout supplement is acting on the body.

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You May Get an Upset Tummy

This is probably the most embarrassing side effect that your preworkout supplement can give you. Imagine having an irresistible urge to poop while you are putting in your best effort at the gym. This is indicative of the fact that your ergogenic dietary drink is giving you runs.

You may also experience untimely stomach aches. All these are clear indications that the ingredients infused in your pre-workout supplement are causing you trouble.

An upset tummy can result from many ingredients like Creatine, Caffeine, Sodium Bicarbonate, and Magnesium. It is of the utmost necessity to make sure that we consume all the ingredients in clinically approved doses. For instance, if you consume 200-500 mg/kg body weight of Sodium bicarbonate, you may experience tummy ache.

Similarly, Magnesium Citrate may also result in diarrhoea. Therefore, it is important to know what you are stuffing your body with. Check the ingredients thoroughly always before investing in a bottle of a pre-workout.

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You May Tend to Lose Your Appetite

Pre-workout supplements also tend to promote weight loss. Certain ingredients in pre-workout supplements such as Vitamin B3 and B6 act as fat burners and help you cut down your stubborn fat. These ingredients can effectively curb your hunger and make sure that you do not indulge in unhealthy snacking.

However, if you overdose on these ingredients, the outcome can be unhealthy. It may lead to a severe loss of appetite. Therefore, it is important to consume all the ingredients in clinically approved doses.

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Although pre-workout supplements can reward you with tremendous energy and help you shred like a beast at the gym, it is ideally advised not to opt for a tub of pre-workout unless you are absolutely sure about the ingredients it contains and the effect that each ingredient will have on your body.

However, none of these side effects of pre-workout supplements is very adverse and does not create havoc on your body.

  • The best way to mitigate these side effects is by limiting the quantity of ingredients in each scoop of the supplement. You can start by consuming half a scoop and then gradually move to fuller scoops.
  • You can also break your dosage into multiple small doses instead of one large dosage.
  • Last but not least, DRINK PLENTY OF WATER! That will help to mitigate most side effects.