At some point in your workout career, you’ve probably at least thought about using pre-workout supplements to kickstart or exponentially improve those muscle gains. Maybe you saw some of the other guys at the gym drinking some kind of shake or popping some supplement. Now you think you might give it a try. What harm could it do? Well, there are some side-effects that come with the pre-workout supplement, and in this article I will bring your attention to some of these so you’ll be better informed when you go out to buy a supplement.
Pre-Workout Supplements Can Cause Headaches
Most of these muscle supplements are vasodilators. This means that they expand your blood vessels to improve blood flow to your muscles. And while this is effective for gaining muscle, it can also cause some problems. Dilated vessels in your head can cause headaches, but it depends on the person. This is the result of an amino acid called arginine, which boosts nitric oxide, the vessel widening chemical. If you keep getting headaches when you use vasodilators, it’s best to stop using them, or at least see a doctor about the issue.
Can Supplements Cause Insomnia?
One reason that people use these pre-workout supplements is because they really give the boost of energy that you want to get you motivated throughout an intense workout. Well, this isn’t some magical chemical compound in the supplement formula. Most of these pre-workout supplements use simple caffeine to deliver the energy. As you probably realize, caffeine is no friend of sleep. This is because caffeine jumpstarts epinephrine and norepinephrine, two hormones which will keep you up for hours. If you’re experiencing trouble sleeping, you might try taking the supplement and doing your workout earlier in the day to avoid insomnia.
The Harmless Tingle
Some people have experienced a heightened sensitivity to some common ingredients found in these supplements. These include Niacin and beta-alinine. Some trials suggest that beta-alinine keeps you from feeling that awful burn while working through those tough reps. A side effect of beta-alinine, however, is tingling for those who are sensitive. This isn’t dangerous, but if it annoys you or gets in the way of an active workout, it’s good to keep in mind. Some people take a niacin supplement to support overall health, but you may have seen someone take too much Niacin. This causes a flushing and irritation of the skin that’s very noticeable. Studies have also shown that Niacin inhibits the mobilization of fat, meaning that it will be harder to burn fat.
The Harmful Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements
There are more harmful side effects than tingling and insomnia, however. For example, frequent supplement users may experience dehydration because of the diuretic ingredients in supplements, like caffeine and creatine. As people have also known for a long time, creatine is a dangerous supplement because extended use causes kidney damage. This is because creatine is something the body already produces on its own. Extra creatine can stop your body from producing it on its own. Because many pre-workout supplements contain stimulant components, they can cause high blood pressure as well. Lifting already spikes your blood pressure, so taking stimulants with it will only aggravate your blood pressure. Before using any supplement, it’s important to take a look at the ingredients and do your research to make sure it’s safe.