Why Pre-Workout Supplements are Wrecking Your Body
Start writing a post
Food Drink

Why Pre-Workout Supplements are Wrecking Your Body

A summary of the many reasons not to take pre-workout supplements.

Why Pre-Workout Supplements are Wrecking Your Body

In 2011, Army Private Michael Sparling was on a run while training with his unit. He had taken a pre-workout supplement prior to exercising, and within 10 minutes he found himself passed out, collapsed, in cardiac arrest, and later died. The elevation of his heart rate due to the combined effects of the supplement and the running pushed his body beyond what it was capable of, and his passing is a tragedy.

There are too many reports of medical emergencies caused by ingestion of pre-workout supplements to be ignored, and there are too many consumers buying these products without looking at the labels. Most pre-workouts contain about 300 milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of about four cups of coffee. Not only will this elevate your heart rate to an abnormal level, but it will leave you with little to no energy for the rest of the day.

When taken with taurine (another common ingredient), caffeine can even accelerate instead of delay muscle fatigue. Some also contain agmatine sulfate. If you're taking pre-workout, chances are that you're also taking creatine, and it's not recommended to take these two supplements together. Additionally, almost all pre-workouts contain beta alanine. There is evidence showing that beta-alanine can postpone one's feeling of exhaustion during high-intensity training, but normal to high doses of this drug often overstimulates nerve cells and causes a scary, itchy, tingling sensation throughout the skin known as paresthesia. I've only mentioned a few ingredients, but I could go on and on.

In my opinion, the worst ingredient commonly found in pre-workout supplements is L-carnitine. L-carnitine is an amino acid that, when taken in large doses, not only damages your liver and kidneys but causes a horrible fishy body odor. I experimented with L-carnitine about a year ago and stopped taking it within a week just because of the fishy body odor. Please, I'm begging you, don't put yourself through that. It's terrible.

If you do read the labels and still choose to purchase these supplements, you should know that a lot of the advertised effects aren't entirely accurate. Nootropics, drugs that claim to increase an individual's mental awareness and focus, are a common ingredient in pre-workouts. While you may be able to find a couple of studies out there to back up these claims, the reality is that no significant evidence exists to support the validity of nootropics.

Ultimately, the additional energy and one or two reps in your sets are not worth the many, MANY health problems associated with pre-workout supplements. As long as you are getting a solid amount of complex carbohydrates in your diet, there's no need for these products.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Alone At The Met

I survive a day alone in NYC.

Wikimedia Commons

It was six in the evening. I was sitting in the courtyard of a Renaissance-era Italian villa, glancing around at the statues, most notably one of a boy removing a thorn from his foot. Despite the supposedly relaxing setting, I was incredibly anxious. My phone was at less than 5 percent battery, and once it died I would be completely disconnected from my family and peers, alone in one of the largest art museums in the country.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

College 101: How To Ease The Back To School Blues

Getting back into the school groove when you just can't seem to let go of summer.

Beyond The States

With fall classes just beginning, many of us find ourselves struck with summer withdrawals. Especially for those who refrained from taking courses over the summer, it can be quite difficult to get back in the swing of things. Fortunately, there are various ways to help make the transition back to college as smooth as possible.

Keep Reading... Show less
Dating Apps

We Met At A Bar

Salvage what you can; if you can't, it's alright to walk away.

We Met At A Bar
Anne Waldon

We met at a bar.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Mets And Me

They may be the worst sometimes, but this baseball team has given me more than I could ask for.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images

On September 3rd, 2001, a sea of children littered my home's navy-carpeted den to watch baseball during my dad's 40th birthday extravaganza. A baseball game flickered on the TV, and a red and blue bubble of a scoreboard sat in the bottom right corner of the screen. The New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies were in a wild game at Veterans' Stadium. As I, a five-year-old boy with a jumble of curly blonde hair, sat in the back of the kid clump, I wondered which team I should root for. After a long debate with myself, I decided that I should root for the team that's winning (duh). But, as the ninth inning rolled around with the Phils maintaining a 7-5 lead, some magic occurred. The Mets put up five runs in one frame, stunning the Phillie fans in the room and winning the game 10-7.

Keep Reading... Show less

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

If you love BTS, I'm sure you relate to one or many of them in several ways. This star test will help you learn more about which member you are most connected to.

Which BTS Member You Are Based On Your Star Sign

Astrological signs tell a lot about a person. Do you ever wonder what your BTS bias star sign is? Is it the same as yours, or or are you more like one of the other amazing members? Take a look and find out what yours (and the members of Bangtan) says about you.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments