While I don’t believe the individual ingredients in the common pre-workout supplements are unhealthy (like niacin, taurine, beta-alanine, arginine, yohimbe, creatine, caffeine etc) – the reality is that most of the pre-workout supplements out there contain a smorgasbord of vasodilators and CNS stimulants, in unknown amounts (unless actually tested) – which can be detrimental to your health if used in excess.
When using a pre-workout supplement, it is important to be aware that the labelling of ingredients may not always be correct (and it may contain other ingredients used as fillers that you may not have even thought were in there), but it is also important to be aware of following the labels when it comes to dosages/usage.
If the supplement calls to mix the powder with x amount of water – mix the supplement with x amount of water.
If you don’t mix the supplement with enough water, your body will pull water out of your cells to break down the supplement (due to osmosis) and you will likely experience nausea/diarrhea due to too much water entering the intestinal walls.
If the supplement says 1 scoop, it is probably best to follow the label and stick to 1 scoop as most of these supplements contain 300mg of caffeine – which is equivalent to 4 coffees. Taking 2 scoops before the gym would be equivalent to having 8 coffees, when put in context sounds a bit ridiculous.
I personally just stick to a black coffee before my workout!
What’s your take on pre-workout?