Are Pre-Workouts Bad For You?

Clients come to Prime Fitness in Totowa, New Jersey, and want guidance with their exercise program, diet and whether supplements like pre-workouts are good for you. Why use pre-workouts and what are they exactly? They’re a combination of carbs and protein you consume before you workout that helps provide the nutrients and calories to give you the energy you need to build muscle tissue and provide the calories for energy. Of course, a combination of protein and carbs, like fruit and yogurt, will provide the same benefits as a pre-workout food.

It’s all about convenience.

Making sure you have the right combination of carbs to protein is important for a great workout. That’s what pre-workouts do and you don’t even have to think about it. Even though they’re created to add ease and make sure you get the energy boost, you still have to read the label. Some contain more than just macro nutrients and calories, which can include everything from caffeine or vitamins, like B-complex. Both can help metabolism and energy. Some, however, can contain chemicals and/or sugar, so read your label and avoid those.

Reading the label can help you make the decision.

Are you lactose intolerant? Avoid those pre-workouts that have lactose. If you have IBS, you need to avoid many of the supplements that contain creatine, carnitine, inulin and artificial sweeteners. They can irritate your problem and cause diarrhea, gas, nausea and stomach pain. There’s nothing worse than trying to do a press, jumping jacks or other exercise with a belly full of gas and a potential for explosive diarrhea.

Some pre-workouts are better than others.

Some contain superfoods, such as dehydrated beets or beet juice. That can boost your body’s nitric acid production. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to dilate and increases the blood flow to all parts of the body. Dilated blood vessels can boost your endurance and take some of the stress off your heart. Some contain creatine, which is in all muscle tissue. The creatine helps improve strength and build muscle tissue, plus improves your performance.

  • Pre-workouts aren’t regulated by the FDA, so make sure you get what you’re paying for. Organizations like NSF or Informed-Choice are third party groups that rate the quality of the supplement and then places certification on the label.
  • If you have high blood pressure or a fast heart rate, avoid products with creatine or caffeine. Both can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate, plus can cause stomach distress and dehydration.
  • One study showed that using pre-workouts did boost strength by as much as eight percent. Supplements with caffeine were the ones that increased it the most.
  • You can save money and make your own snack at home. A PB&J on whole wheat bread is a good combination that can be made ahead, takes very little time to make and costs pennies.

For more information, contact us today at Prime Performance Fitness!

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