The dark side of pre-workouts
The pre-workout formulas are portrayed like magical powders which can keep you going forever in the gym. While it is true that some of these formulas can give you a good kick start which can last for 6-8 hours in the gym, overdosing or becoming too reliant on pre-workouts might not be a great idea after all. The reason for this skeptic approach to pre-workouts? Their dangerous side effects don’t get highlighted often, more often than not masked by the illustriousness of the brilliant advertising campaigns intending to sell these products in Public. There are probably a thousand articles out there that discuss the effectiveness and efficacy of pre-workouts, but only a few highlight the problems that are associated with pre-workout formulas. This discussion is from the former tribe of articles!
Are you doing the basics right?
Before we talk about the side effects that are normally associated with pre-workout formulas, we would like to ask you a simple question. Have you incorporated into your gym routine, the basic principles which every fitness geek must be aware of? In case you are a complete novice to the field, let us recap these principles for you. Any athlete who wishes to hit the gym hard daily must get enough sleep, drink adequate amounts of water and incorporate adequate amounts of carbs and proteins in his or her diet. It is advisable to switch to pre-workouts only when you have got these basics covered!
Caffeine’s role in pre-workouts
The main ingredient in almost every pre-workout formula is caffeine. And it does a great job in awakening your body and preparing it for a gym workout! The only bug that we have got with caffeine is that too much of it as a stimulant is never good. Unfortunately, many of the popular brands in the market are adding too much caffeine to their formulas. As a consequence, the sleep patterns and appetite levels of athletes who guzzle down such formulas are affected drastically. This little piece of information deserves all the attention in the world since most athletes who are addicted to pre-workouts have two scoops of them before they hit the gym hard. It is estimated that one scoop of a quality pre-workout is supposed to contain as much as 130mg. The amounts are ridiculously high in the substandard formulas. It doesn’t take a genius to gauge the impact of such formulas on the human body!
Ingredients to watch out for in your formula
Caffeine is only one of the many possible things that could go wrong when it comes down to pre-workouts affecting your nervous and metabolic systems. Take proprietary blends as an example. When you don’t know the quantity of something you are taking before hitting the gym, you are just not being fair to your own body. Gosh, we sound a tad touchy, but please, we don’t want you to be killed! Never fall for products that are too ambiguous about the dosage. Similarly, some pre-workouts claim to be the strongest formula in the market, simply because they have added mythical elements to their formula. Sorry to say, but what utter crap! Get away from that shelf right now. We shouldn’t be even saying this, but please oh please, read the label carefully before you run your credit card for a pre-workout formula. Oh, and we almost forgot it, creatinine is another ingredient you have to look out for. Some are fine, too much is bad!
The psychological angle
It amazes us that this angle of the pre-workouts doesn’t get talked about often. We mean to say, why doesn’t it bother you that a substandard pre-workout formula can make your heart clock at an incredibly dangerous pace? Things can worsen to the extent of a cardiac arrest, we ain’t kidding here mate! But hey, that’s physiological.
We are talking about the psychological angle here. And the upshot of what we are about to discuss is that you can become dependent on these substances for that little extra boost you search in the gym for. After all, that’s the purpose of the exercise, isn’t it? Filling your life with that little extra boost? But is it worth it if you ignore all the parameters and become addicted to a particular product so much that it can break you down, mentally? Athletes who relied too much on pre-workout formulas reported that they couldn’t cope up with the addiction that slowly increased in amplitude with every scoop. There came a point in their gym routine when they could no longer function without a scoop properly! And that’s what scares us the most about pre-workouts. You think a formula can help you hit the gym harder, but what if it just turns out to be another case of substance abuse?
Can pre-workouts kill you?
Despite the fears and concerns that we have shared with you, we don’t think pre-workouts can kill you. Again, this is valid only as long as you are exercising moderation. The moment you sell your body to pre-workout merchants, you lose the autonomy that empowers you to make decisions about your gym routine. What is moderate? What are the rules that define moderation? We outline them for you in the last section of this discussion.
The golden rules of drinking pre-workouts you should never forget!
Let’s do it the old style i.e. by numbering them, shall we?
1- Don’t play the pro and double your pre-workout doses. Just stick with the numbers your trainer gave you, and we think you should be fine.
2- Cycling this stuff is extremely important as well. This will help your body in the longer term, we can promise you that much.
3- It is ok to take an occasional break from pre-workouts. Too much of them can desensitize your body to caffeine, which is never a good idea.
4- Please don’t make a potpourri by mixing your formula with other stimulants you might have come across on YouTube.
5- Buy standard products only