To Pre-workout or Not to Pre-workout?


Pre-workout can be AMAZING! 

Especially when you don't feel like working out. It can give you that extra push to get you through a workout that you had no idea how you would finish after the day you had or at 5:30 in the morning when you didn't get to bed until midnight. If the alternative is not working out at all, pre-workout can be life-changing. 

BUT beware the side effects! People have reported insomnia, nausea, increased heart rate, drowsiness, headaches, anxiety, and jitters or restlessness to name a few. This doesn't include the itching and diarrhea which can be a HUGE problem in the gym! Some can even grow dependent on it and not realize it. Pre-workout can also increase blood pressure and heart rate so if you have any of those conditions, pre-workout may not be the best option and you should consult with a doctor. 

Some of these side effects can be reduced an even avoided by not making some of these common mistakes.  

How can we avoid some of these nasty side effects?

 But here are a few tips that can help you get started.

  1. If you are sensitive to caffeine, it's probably not a good idea to take the suggested dosage on the pack.  Start off with half and work your way up. IF NEEDED!
  2. The first time you take it, take it before a morning workout. That gives you a chance to see how long it takes to start working, how it feels during your workout, and also how long it takes to wear off. This will keep you from making the mistake of taking it too late and not being able to sleep at night.
  3. Always eat something before you take it. This will help avoid nausea.
  4. If you've taken it a few times and the side effects are just too extreme for you, just let it go! Your body is trying to tell you something. Don't ignore it.
  5. Don't take it every day.  Even if you love it, make sure you remember what a workout feels like without it. You're not always supposed to feel super human, you should be able to get through a workout normally without it.

My advice, like my advice on everything is to first do your research. Look at typical brands, the price, ingredients, the amount of caffeine per dose, and mentioned side effects before you buy anything. Remember, some people are just trying to make a sale, so be safe, and do the research yourself.  

People will tell you different things about pre-workout because they have different experiences. Just remember, most pre-workouts are caffeine based and caffeine has addictive qualities. Be conscious of that! There are all-natural pre-workout options available so if the regular stuff is to harsh for you, look for those options.  Just make sure you aren't trading one addictive ingredient for another. 

Listen to your body and like anything else, use responsibly! Nothing will ever replace a proper diet, regular exercise, and rest. Those are the original pre-workout supplements.

I'm India, a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and most importantly, an actual person who enjoys eating like everyone else! I'm here to help make your fitness journey more efficient for YOUR lifestyle...

Let's chat!