Nutritional Supplements: Pre-Workout Diets and Precautions


Dietary supplements are important to maintaining healthy and balanced nutrition whilst following your day-to-day gym or home workout routine. There are two categories of dietary supplements called pre-workout and post-workout supplements. The workout supplements are formulated to provide optimum nutrition and are easily digestible. 

Pre-workout supplements are produced in such a way that they can keep you energetic throughout the workout sessions. In this article, we will provide you with a complete idea about the pre-workout supplements. 

How Pre-Workout Supplements Work?

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Pre-workout supplements are multi-ingredient dietary supplements that can be taken before initiating your workout sessions at the gym. They are mostly powdered dietary formulas that can be prepared easily by dissolving into the water for drinking.  

The primary function of a pre-workout supplement is to provide you with energy and promote overall health. Often pre-workout supplements contain caffeine to enhance focus during workouts. 

Pre-workout health drinks can effectively reduce fatigue after an intense gym session. 

Pre-Workout Supplements Ingredients and its Risk Factor

They have multiple ingredients, mainly contributing to enhancing muscle growth and strength, keeping you focused, and evading fatigue. The ingredients are as follows, 


Caffeine is a more frequently used ingredient in pre-workout supplements. Caffeine is the ultimate energy booster as it prevents adenosine, a therapeutic agent, from binding with the brain receptors. An increased amount of adenosine bondage with certain brain receptors can lead a person to fall asleep. In this way, caffeine breaks the cycle of sleep and prompts more verve activity which is required during workouts. 

However, too much intake of caffeine can induce gastrointestinal troubles by increasing the production of stomach acid. A heavy caffeine intake can cause a faster heart rate, headaches, and palpitation. 


Beta-alanine is a type of amino acid that is included in several pre-workout supplements that induces acid build-ups in the muscle tissue. So that muscles can be strengthened enough to work out for a longer period of time. It reduces fatigue and enhances recovery. 

However, beta-alanine may also cause paraesthesia which is a tingling sensation induced by the damage to the peripheral nervous system. An abnormal sensation can be felt in the face, neck, and back of the hand with a deformed nerve response. Beta-alanine could be significantly damaging if taken at an ample amount, and its effect lasts after 60-90 minutes of consumption. 


Creatine is an ingredient found in some pre-workout supplements majorly popular among weightlifters, bodybuilders, and power athletes. Creatine is a naturally occurring chemical compound stored in the skeletal muscle. Creatine is responsible for producing energy and retaining muscular strength. 

However, intake of creatine may sometimes result in water retention and bloating. Creatine plays a huge role in carrying water to the muscle when the body is unable to absorb that extra water. Creatinine-containing pre-workout supplements often increase diastolic blood pressure in athletes. 

Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) 

Branched-chain amino acids are essential amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, found in meat, legumes, and dairy products. BCAAs are responsible for promoting muscle growth by decreasing soreness from an intense workout

We already intake an active amount of BCAAs through our normal diet regime. However, if your diet is plant-based, then it’s better to have BCAAs as supplements to promote muscle growth. 

What Kind Of Pre-Workout Supplements To Avoid? 

Pre-workout supplements containing artificial sweeteners, sugar, or alcohol should be avoided at any cost. Sometimes pre-workout supplements are flavored with artificial sweeteners, which you can actively avoid as it could lead to severe bloating, gas formation, and diarrhea.

Intake of workout supplements with sugar will lead to the accumulation of fat, heart diseases, and fatty liver disease in the long run. Consumption of too much sugar can also increase blood pressure and promote chronic inflammation. 

How To Take Pre-Workout Supplements? 

You may consult a nutritionist or talk to your doctor before initiating a pre-workout supplement regime. However, there are certain factors that you need to consider in order to let your supplement work prior to exercising.

  • You can drink the pre-workout supplement 20 minutes before you start exercising so that it gets enough time to kick in. 
  • After intake of the supplement, don’t expect iot to work right after. It takes a certain amount of time for the ingredients to work on your body. You might feel the difference after 3 weeks of intaking the supplement. 
  • Always take it in the amount that is prescribed. Since supplements can pose a health risk if taken too much. 
  • Stop taking the supplements if you encounter these issues, such as digestive symptoms, irregular heartbeat, bowel irritation, blood pressure rise, and rise in blood sugar levels.
  • Some pre-workout supplements have beta-alanine, so don’t worry if you feel a tingling sensation in the body. 
  • Always check if your pre-workout sample is approved by food inspectors of your respective country. Like in the United States, food supplements are checked mostly by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Dietary supplements can be consumed only if it is approved by the FDA. 
  • If the quality of the supplement is compromised to its market value, it must not be consumed. 


Pre-workout supplements can be a good healthy alternative if you are a hard-earned gym goer. But if you slack from time to time or don’t have time to go to the gym regularly, then you might consider your general physician before starting a pre-workout supplementary regime. If you are not working out after consuming pre-workout supplements, then the ingredients can accumulate in your body and can be stored in the adipose tissues. It can cause severe health problems such as heart disease, artery blockage, and palpitation. 

Workout supplements are not your regular dietary supplements. They are designed in such a way that you must work out to release the energy gained from the consumption. You must do thorough research before investing in workout supplements.  

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