Are pre workout drinks safe? This must certainly be a critical concern to exercise fanatics. Have you ever seriously considered the safety of such a popular workout supplement? Has your pre workout ever tasted like chemicals?
Have you ever felt unwanted effects from your own pre workout like tingling, dizzy headedness, anxiety or nausea? Have you looked at the ingredients on the label and wondered, just what does it all mean?
I am going to do my best to answer these appropriate questions by digging in and doing a bit of research and some input from my own experience. We are realizing realize that pre workout supplements will do wonders for just about any sport, but is it safe?
What Exactly Are the Safe Ingredients in a Pre Workout Drink
First of all, the FDA does not approve pre workout powders or other workout supplements. It’s an industry that is unregulated. Nonetheless, we’ll research the ingredients that are in your pre workout to see which ones have undergone scientific studies, or if they are approved by the Food And Drug Administration.
FDA approval doesn’t always mean an ingredient will work in the real way you would expect it to.
The pre workout Amino Acids that been examined by the Food and Drug Administration are as follows. L-Citulline which provides you a muscle pump by attracting more blood to your muscle tissue, therefore increasing performance and endurance.
Caffeine which has been studied far more than any other of the ingredients. Caffeine is regulated and provides a source that is clean stimulant.
L-Theanine, an Amino Acid helping the muscle tissue to break down energy. It also assists in maintaining the stimulant effects of Caffeine on a safe, manageable level. Nitric Oxide brings vascularity and additional muscle pump, helping you go longer and stronger.
L-Carnitine is an Amino Acid that is amino helps to improve calorie burning and help with muscle repair. Creatine improves recovery time, muscle mass, performance and power.
These are some of the “safe” ingredients to look for. Unfortunately, many brands have added fillers and artificial ingredients. For many workout enthusiasts, safe ingredients are very important when picking a pre workout.
For a pre workout without artificial ingredients, try All Natural Pre Workout Supplements. For a pre workout that are made without using pesticides and fertilizers, you can try an Organic Pre Workout Supplement. Lastly, for a pre workout that is Organic and does not contain any animal proteins, there are Vegan Pre Workout Supplements.
Why Does Your Pre Workout Supplement Taste Like Chemicals?
To begin with, there is nothing wrong with your pre workout tasting bitter or with a little bite. However some taste better than others, therefore I would suggest reading online reviews before purchasing them.
After all, pre workouts do contain chemical compounds (most of these happen naturally in your body). Some contain artificial sugars or Sucralose that can make a pre workout too sweet if the manufacturer doesn’t get it just right.
Caffeine could be the primary culprit for bitterness you are tasting, since it is a stimulant. Pre workouts are highly concentrated and not like other foods, that you taste the individual ingredients more prominently.
Coffee is just a much more watered down variation, so the Caffeine taste is undetectable. There is nothing harmful about this ingredient or this taste except for the fact that Caffeine is moderately addictive.
One serving of pre workouts will usually contain between 100-400mg of caffeine. That can be heavy hitting for some. To put this in perspective, this is equivalent to 5 cups of coffee. I would recommend a Caffeine Free Pre Workout in the event you could be Caffeine intolerant.
If your pre workout has a bad taste, is too sweet or just a little off, please let me know in the comment box below and I will give you some good tasting recommendations.
What Are Possible Pre Workout Side Effects?
The single reason for any discomfort from a pre workout is almost always caused by taking to much pre workout at one time. We fit folks tend to overdue many things in life, so be careful that this isn’t one of them.
It is possible to have a temporary side effect from your pre workout, as we discussed briefly in the introduction. This is usually just the first time trying a new pre workout, until your body gets used to these new ingredients.
It will pass soon and may never happen again, Switching brands is a great idea if one is not working for you. Nutritional supplements come with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee, so try as many of them until you find one ideal for your body.
Any possible headache is simply the Amino Acid working as a vasodilator, to bring more blood to your organs and muscles. This is L-Arginine which increases Nitric Oxide in your body. Increased Nitric Oxide is an important ingredient that encourages strength and muscle development.
If you do get any small side effects, the chances are that the second time it will not happen as your body acclimates to this new supplement. Go ahead and try it again, since it doesn’t matter how much you use in order to honor the return policy.
I’m curious to know if you have had any pre workout side effect, so please tell us about it in the comment box below.
Too Much Caffeine
Pre workouts are loaded with Caffeine giving you sufficient energy to power through a workout. The amount of Caffeine taken will some times give you a headache that is temporary.
This can happen the initial time you try a brand new supplement, so don’t simply take too much at first. Start slow and work your way up. I’ve overdone this a few times myself, ending up with a short term headache. More is not always better.
Caffeine can disturb your sleep also habits, once again if you take too much. Be sure not to take your pre workout to two early in the evening. Take is several hours before bed, and most of the caffeine will burn off during your workout.
If this continues to interrupt your sleep try a brand that is different. Different brands have many different quantities of Caffeine, so pick one that’s right for you.
If you are Caffeine intolerant, I suggest that you try a Caffeine Free Pre Workout. These pre workouts substitute other ingredients for what you are missing in the Caffeine.
Your pre workout powder may give you a small tingling in your head. If this occurs, it is merely an Amino Acid called Beta Alanine or the Niacin. There is nothing wrong with this feeling, it is just a safe and natural reaction that occurs temporarily in your nervous system. This is part of your pre workout experience, and many of us enjoy it because we know the Amino Acids are working.
Are There Any “Bad” Ingredients in a Pre Workout?
The number one ingredient to look for is DMAA or Dimethylamylamine. That is an amphetamine sometimes found in weight loss products and workout supplements. Luckily, it is not found as much as it used to be. DMAA can boost blood pressure and lead to problems that are cardiovascular from shortness of breath and tightening in the chest to coronary arrest. Read the ingredients, and do not purchase this.
Proprietary Blends. Some manufacturers will hide dosages of individual ingredients or to avoid listing the ingredients within the label. This is so no one really knows what components are actually in it.
They also can fill the blend with cheaper ingredients that will end in symptoms and complications. Actually, I’ve purchased brands in the past with proprietary blends, but with no side effects. However, it’s best to stay away from these.
Yohimbe can be a pre workout ingredient that can have a negative reaction in some, even though this is actually a healthy product. I know a couple of people in my circle of fit friends that have a reaction to Yohimbe. Bad effects usually come from taking larger dosages of this. It is possible to have nausea and dizziness if you are sensitive to this.
Synthetic sweeteners and food coloring. It is difficult to totally get away from these. Most pre workouts and post workouts are flavored with Sucralose, which is made from sugar through several processes.
Most brands of pre workouts on the market also contain food coloring as well. There is some proof that food coloring could affect your body in a negative way, but one scoop of pre workout powder, 3 times a week will be a very small quantity going through your system.
In recent years, supplement manufacturers have started making some great chemical free pre workouts. These categories include “All Natural Pre Workouts“, “Organic Pre Workouts” and also Vegan Pre Workouts. These are without artificial sugars, flavors, pesticides and fertilizers.
The Safe Pre Workout Conclusion
When it comes down to it, pre workout is a nutritional supplement that is meant to be safe and healthy for the fitness community. Oddly enough most supplements are not FDA approved, and they are not required to be. The research still shows that nutritional supplements, if taken correctly are very safe.
However, beware of some of the weight loss supplements since these are known to have had problems. If you do want to shed some pounds, taking a pre workout supplement in combination with exercise is proven to be the best way to burn calories and lose weight.
Please don’t forget that a lot of problems from pre workout supplements are from taking excessively, Are pre workouts bad, not when taken properly. It is important to utilize the serving that is suggested.
We talked about some possible side effects that can come from pre workouts. Most of time these happen because either your body is just getting used to new ingredients, or from taking more than the recommended amount. Your body can take a few days to figure out a new supplement.
If you continue to have any issues, nutritional supplements come with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. Simply return it and try another one that works better for your body. And as far as taking too much, be patient and slowly work up to a higher amount.
Lastly, watch out for a few of the bad ingredients that we discussed. Now you will know what to look out for. For the more natural, healthy alternatives, keep in mind “All Natural Pre Workouts“, “Organic Pre Workouts” and Vegan Pre Workouts. These are great products, and also tend to contain less Caffeine.
If you have any questions on pre workout safety of anything else regarding nutritional supplements, please leave a comment below and I will respond.