Pre-Workout is a rising trend for gym-goers these days and for good reason too. Widely accepted as safe to take, these supplements are a great source of energy, they do wonder increasing our endurance and contain ingredients that increase our muscle mass. These supplements are reliable aid for those people who want to achieve a certain goal in terms of their training in a limited time frame.
However, nothing can be too good to be true and pre-workout supplements are no exception. The very first thing anyone who wants to opt for pre-workout should be cautioned is that most pre-workout supplements are not FDA approved. While core ingredients are well researched and considered safe, that is a wide umbrella statement we’re making. You’ll learn that most companies are vague about their formulas beyond the common ingredients they use. And because of this ambiguity, there is a question mark in terms of just how much one should take of the supplement and the exact effect they have on our bodies.
That’s not to say that one should not use pre-workout supplements. You must be careful of is how much you’re taking and must monitor the effects it might have on your body.
Ingredients used in Pre-workout
A major loophole in the use of pre-workout is the simple fact that even though core ingredients might be similar, no two pre-workout formulas are the same. Some ingredients such as caffeine or beta-alanine are disclosed on the label and others are as vague as “propriety blend” or “explosive energy blend.” And even if the ingredients are disclosed, the quantity at which they are blended into the supplement might not be accurately disclosed. Thus because of these factors just how many scoops one should take off their pre-workout supplement can’t be determined completely.
So then how do you know if you’ve taken too much of the supplement or haven’t taken enough? And as a rule of thumb, we always suggest starting off with the least possible amount. That way if the supplement is too strong or if your body doesn’t react well to the supplement, you’ll be able to handle the situation better. To start off with most supplements recommended dosage for pre-workout is no more than 2 scoops. Taking three scoops might be overdoing it. There are also other ways to determine whether you’ve taken too much of the pre-workout and to determine whether the supplements are working or not.
Signs that the pre-workout is working
The three telltale signs that pre-workout is working are as follows:
- Increased mental focus
- A sudden energy boost
- A tingling or itchy feeling
Since the core ingredients have been so thoroughly researched, we do have a general idea of just how much a person should be taking on average which will give us a rough estimate of how much is considered a safe amount to take per scoop.
Caffeine’s recommended dose is between 110mg to 200mg per day. If you try to go beyond the 200mg dose, you’ll end up feeling overstimulated and you’ll start shaking or won’t be able to sleep. All these things will negatively impact your workout regime.
Citrulline Malate is what is needed to increase the blood flow in your body during the workout as well as the nutrients your body needs. It also removes lactic acid from the body which is what makes us feel tired. The recommended dose is 2g and you can work your way up to 6mg.
Creatine helps build muscle mass and is a cell volumizer. If you take 5g of creatine a day you’ll be able to reach the maximum muscle mass in 6 weeks. However, if you’re looking for quicker results 5g 4 times a day for five days should do the trick.
Beta-Alanine increases endurances and fights fatigue. The recommended dose for beta-alanine is 800mg to 2000mg. You have to be careful with the beta-alanine dosages. Normal dosages lead to an intense tingling sensation as it is. If you overdo it, the results will be enough to drive you crazy.
You’re probably now wondering that how do you know if you’ve taken too much of the pre-workout supplement. There are also telltale signs for this as well which include:
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Tingling lasting more than an hour
Another reason why you need to be careful with pre-workout supplements is the dependency factor you might feel on them. Psychologically we start to believe that without these supplements we can’t work out for longer, can’t increase our lifting weights and achieve those gains we’re working out so hard for. As a result, we start to self-medicate with these supplements, increasing our dosage without looking into the possible health risks involved. We also tend to ignore choosing natural products that are far healthier and less risky because in our minds we think they can’t help us the way pre-workout can. Soon enough we crash and burn.
We need to ask ourselves why we’re taking these supplements. Are the goals we set for ourselves achievable without putting unnecessary stress on ourselves and who are we trying to satisfy by trying to achieve these body goals? If we are doing all of this for ourselves, we need to remember our health always takes the front seat and that we need to exercise self-control when getting involved with these supplements.
It’s not difficult to play it safe as far as pre-workout is concerned. First and foremost, you need to do proper research before buying any supplement. And before taking it, make sure you consult a professional such as your gym trainer on what the recommended dose for you will be. There are a lot of factors they will consider before prescribing you with how much to take. Another tip is to alternate the days you take pre-workout. You don’t have to take it every single day, even if you go to the gym daily. Lastly, find alternates like fruits, green tea, and nuts as energy boosters.