Pre-workout supplements are very popular because of their safety and effectiveness in enhancing physical and sports performance. Men and women love the way these products boost their workout productivity at the gym. In addition, research suggests that pre-workout supplements are safe even with long-term use.
There are different pre-workout ingredients for your different physical needs. Your workout routine determines the right pre-workout ingredients that you need. There are different formulas which suit your needs. Let’s find out about Pre-Workout Supplements Pros and Cons in this review.
Pre-Workout Supplements Pros
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements promote healthy blood circulation
Pre-workout supplements improve vascularity by increasing nitric oxide levels in your body. This means that taking pre-workout supplements allow you to train longer and harder while increasing muscle pumps. Improving vascularity gives you superior and consistent muscle performance to enhance your workout experience. In addition, it is also beneficial for your long-term cardiovascular health.
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements promotes nutrient uptake
As nitric oxide increases blood flow, it also increases the delivery of oxygen, essential nutrients, and amino acids to your muscles. Nutrient uptake increases muscle growth, improves physical performance, and shortens recovery time. You need essential nutrients for peak physical performance. However, your physical performance can only be at its best when your muscles absorb these essential nutrients and amino acids efficiently.
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements support muscle anabolism
Muscle anabolism is responsible for muscle growth. Whether you’re an athlete or bodybuilder, you need to either maintain or increase the anabolic state of your muscles. You would also like to ward off muscle catabolism because this is when your muscles break down. You can keep this at bay by taking pre-workout supplements because they promotes muscle protein synthesis to help you grow your muscles.
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements increase strength and stamina
Manufacturers designed re-workout supplements to improve your physical performance immediately after intake. Pre-workout supplements increase strength and stamina. That is why it is very appealing to athletes, bodybuilders, and runners (you can check out our Best Pre-Workout Supplements for Runners guide). Even if you are just beginning your fitness journey, there is definitely an ideal pre-workout formula for you.
Pre-workout supplements often supply the body with essential nutrients and electrolytes which, in turn, increase stamina. In addition, pre-workout supplements supply the body with amino acids and caffeine which improve anaerobic power performance. Runners and endurance athletes mainly take pre-workout supplements to enhance their aerobic capacity. Baking soda and BCAA are prime examples of clean performance-enhancing pre-workout supplements which help achieve peak physical performance.
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements boost brain power
You might think that you’re not using your mind that much while working out. Think again: you need focus and enough brain power to work out properly. Pre-workout supplements also help your brain function because like all other tissues in the body, the brain also benefits from increased vascularity. Pre-workouts boost your brain power by providing enough nutrients which act as a source of energy. In addition, some pre-workout ingredients double as nootropic ingredients.
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements increase fat loss and metabolism
Pre-workout ingredients may speed up your metabolism. As a result, pre-workout ingredients support fat loss. Pre-workout supplements allow your body to increase muscles and burn fat in the process. Most pre-workout supplements promote thermogenesis. In addition, some of them help manage appetite so you won’t gain fat altogether.
Metabolism increases your energy. That is why you feel more energetic after taking a pre-workout supplement. It fuels your work out session and delays fatigue. Pre-workout supplements increase your metabolism on a cellular level as it provides your cells with the energy molecule ATP.
PRO: Pre-Workout supplements keep you hydrated
You sweat a lot when you engage in physical activity. This also means that your body loses more than just water. Levels of essential minerals also deplete as you sweat (namely sodium, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and chloride). These essential minerals are called electrolytes, which are necessary for overall health and optimum physical performance. Pre-workout supplements keep your body hydrated at all times and ward off weakness and dehydration during your workout. You can continuously replenish water and electrolytes during your workout, too (you can also find electrolytes in many big-name post-workout supplements).
CON: Pre-workouts are considered unregulated dietary supplements
Pre-workout supplements are very popular among active people. However, these supplements are unregulated dietary supplements. In addition, the federal government doesn’t consider them as drugs, so it doesn’t treat them as such. However, some manufacturers taint these supplements with illicit substances to further enhance physical performance and please your taste buds (such as artificial food colorings). Some might even contain unlisted ingredients which might not be safe for you.
CON: Some Pre-workout ingredients may cause gastric discomfort
There are certain pre-workout ingredients which may cause gastric discomfort when you take them in high doses. A cheap and popular example of a pre-workout which may cause gastric discomfort is baking soda. Runners even call the use of baking soda as a pre-workout regimen as “soda-doping”. Some pre-workout formulas might be too much for your stomach to handle, so upon initial intake it might cause some level of discomfort depending on their ingredients. In addition, some pre-workout ingredients which are experts consider as salts may increase your risk of acquiring kidney stones.
CON: Some pre-workout supplements contain stimulants
We all know that stimulants have links to the common side effects of numerous dietary supplements. Pre-workout supplements might contain stimulants depending on the formula that you choose. However, you should remember that the intake of stimulants isn’t really risk-free (including caffeine). Some of the common side effects which stimulants have include:
- Coronary heart disease
- Arterial hypertension
- Arterial stiffness
- Elevated blood pressure
- Increased cholesterol and homocysteine plasma concentration
CON: Some pre-workout supplements don’t work well enough
Not all pre-workout supplements are the same. That is why some of them provide better results than others. In addition, the quality of their individual ingredients also varies. That is why you should opt for pre-workout supplements from reputable manufacturers to get the results you expect.
Conclusion on Pre-Workout Supplements Pros and Cons
Pre-workout supplements are very beneficial for active people. Their pros clearly outweigh the risks. In addition, experts attribute most pre-workout supplements’ side effects to the presence of stimulants. With that in mind, you can easily rectify the situation by opting for stim-free formulas. There are plenty of stim-free pre-workout supplements that are cheap, safe, and effective (a classic example is baking soda). You don’t have to break that bank to get an effective pre-workout regimen.
All dietary supplements have pros and cons and it all boils down to your supplement of choice. Pre-workout supplements exist to help you achieve your fitness goals (in conjunction with regular exercise, sound nutrition, and enough sleep). Opt for formulas which are beneficial for your body. There are products with multiple health benefits which can improve your quality of life upon long-term use. However, there are also formulas which are better for short-term use because of their potential health risks. Ultimately, you should pick a supplement which is beneficial for your long-term health or cycle your pre-workout supplements as necessary.