A frequent misunderstanding I run into all the time is the worry about pre workouts being detrimental to your health.
Is a pre workout safe to consume? I heard that pre workouts are bad for you, is that true?
Well ladies and gentlemen, I am here to provide the answers for you. So please sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
What Is It?
In order to answer if pre workouts are good or bad for you, I first want to get into some general background information.
Pre workouts are scientifically formulated to enhance your training. They help do this in four simple ways.
- Boost energy
- Heighten focus
- Increase strength
- Elevate endurance
First, we will discuss how a pre workout boosts your energy. Caffeine and other types of natural energy formulas are typically major ingredients in pre workouts. More energy allows you to stay awake while you train at a harder pace for a longer period. You are the Energizer Bunny.
Along with excess amounts, there are some ingredients that I would recommend you avoid. Some of these include:
- Excess caffeine (over 250mg of caffeine in a day is a bit much)
- DMAA (1-3 dimethylamylamine)
- Artificial dyes (not the worst since certain consumables contain them, but if you can avoid them then even better)
If you research the ingredients and you stumble upon one of these listed above, it may be best to avoid the pre workout altogether. If you are unsure about the ingredient, it might be beneficial to do some research to put your wandering mind at ease.
Secondly, pre workouts help to heighten your focus. This allows you to concentrate on your workout while blocking out any distractions. Plus, you can pay close attention to your form and guarantee you are properly working out the specific muscle you are targeting.
Your focus on your form is key when working out. Bad form can cause injuries and minimal results to the areas you are concentrating on.
When deciding between lower weight and solid form verses heavier weight and compromised form, stick with the lower weight option. Duh! You can lift heavy weights, but you want to ensure your form is intact. If it isn’t, then decrease the weight please!
Next, we have the increased strength perk, which does what it sounds like it would do, and that’s increase your strength. Be able to lift heavier weight for more reps so you can build bigger and more toned muscle in a quicker time frame.
Yup, that’s about it for the increased strength part. Not much more to elaborate on here.
Last but not least, pre workouts will elevate your endurance. This permits you to workout for longer periods of time at a more intense level. Have the stamina to continue on even if you become fatigued.
Be able to increase the amount of repetitions and the time spent on your workout. You are unstoppable and able to train until you can’t train any more.
A pre workout won’t automatically make you swole, but it does provide you with the necessary tools/ingredients in order to help push you during a workout so you can get the most out of each training session.
Typically, pre workouts are a powder that you mix into a liquid and consume roughly 20-30 minutes prior to your workout.
Just so that you are aware, pre workouts also come in other forms, such as pills. I would not recommend this due to the fact that not enough ingredients are formulated in a pill to make a significant difference to your training, so I wouldn’t even waste my time with them. But if you didn’t know, then now you know.
Don’t Overdo It
The main issue with pre workouts is that some people believe they provide an extreme amount of caffeine. As I said earlier, don’t exceed 250mg of caffeine.
As with anything in life, don’t overdo it and go abusing a pre workout. Only take your supplement before your workout, and stick to the guidelines that are presented to you in the directions.
Some people unfortunately use pre workouts multiple times a day in order to amplify their energy, or because they may enjoy the taste over a coffee or tea. This is a similar problem with energy drinks, which ultimately can lead to heart issues or worse.
Simply put, just read the directions and follow them appropriately.
These products have been tested, typically for many years, to allow you to get the most out of your training, while ensuring your safety is the number one priority and not in any peril whatsoever.
If these products were dangerous, not many people would purchase them, which in turn would cause the companies to go out of business. The domino effect would continue even more so because I would definitely not be using pre workouts if they did cause harm, resulting in these reviews to not even exist, and you to not actually be reading this. Everybody would be affected!
Moral of the story, read and listen to the directions. Don’t overuse and abuse pre workouts. Save the sweet energy boost for your workout so you can help better your body.
The Good, The Bad, and The Unknown
Not all pre workouts are healthy/safe for you.
Boom, case closed. I’m only kidding.
The truth of the matter is that the FDA does not regulate pre workouts. Again, pre workouts are not regulated. But neither are most vitamins and other supplements.
Be careful which products you are buying and consuming. You have been warned!
Companies sometimes formulate pre workouts that may include ingredients that could potentially be harmful to you. After a while, they may get discovered and are forced to change the formula. If they don’t, then these companies could face penalties such as a lawsuit and having the distribution of the product ceased.
Typically, it is a smaller company who gets away with this for a little while since larger companies don’t want to ruin their reputation.
A somewhat recent formula change-up (and probably the most well-known) occurred with the product known as Jack3d by the company USPlabs.
It gained widespread traction since it contained DMAA, which is one of the ingredients I recommend you avoid. Eventually the authorities caught on and forced the company to reformulate; otherwise they would shut down the distribution.
USPlabs cooperated allowing Jack3d to still exist today, but the formula no longer includes the stimulant DMAA.
Many times people simply buy a product without doing research or asking questions about the ingredients. You will usually be fine without any concern, but if you want to be certain, then stay in the know.
Again, not all pre workouts are bad for you. In fact, the large majority are good and safe. Read the directions, follow them precisely, and you will be golden, pony boy.
Let’s just rapid fire off some questions, and I’ll reveal the truth behind them.
1) Will pre workouts cause me to get jittery?
It honestly depends on the person and how they react to the pre workout. Some products might cause you to be jittery, but another person might feel fine. This may also depend on if you take a full serving compared to a half serving.
2) Will pre workouts keep me up at night?
Again, it truly depends person to person. Some people have a much greater caffeine tolerance compared to others. I would recommend you not take a pre workout three hours or less before bed because it could potentially be more difficult to fall asleep, but again, everyone is affected differently.
3) Can pre workouts be harmful to my health?
Yes, but typically only if you take larger than recommended dosages, multiple dosages per day, or have a preexisting health condition. If none of these things apply to you, then you should be alright, alright, alright.
4) How can I ensure pre workouts won’t be detrimental to my health?
Don’t take more than the recommended amounts/dosages. Also, visit a doctor if you believe your health would be affected due to some type of condition that would cause a negative impact if a pre workout if taken. If you do have a health condition, pre workouts might not be safe to consume at all, so it may be best to check with your doc first.
5) Are pre workouts similar to steroids?
Nope, not at all. Not even close. Although like I said earlier, you may want to do some research on the ingredients within your pre workout to ensure there are no banned substances or sketchy elements.
The fact of the matter is that pre workout supplements are here to help attain your fitness goals just a little faster. In a day and age when people want things quick and instantaneous, these supplements do the trick.
Time to Wrap Things Up
I hope I was proficient in offering you some useful information as well as answering the question is my pre workout safe to drink or not.
You see, pre workouts aren’t as bad as some people make them out to be. The world isn’t out to get you, and neither are pre workouts. In fact, pre workouts are here to lend a helping hand. What more could you ask for?
If you are concerned about your own health or an ingredient, you can definitely speak with your physician first before consuming a pre workout.
If there are any additional questions that I missed, or you are still unsure about something, please feel free to leave your questions and comments in the comment section. I will be sure to address your inquiry with absolute precision.