Pre-workout supplements also called “pre-workouts,” are meant to give you energy for when you exercise. The main ingredient in most of them is caffeine. These supplements often come in pill or powder form. Some of the ingredients in certain pre-workouts can be good for your health and your workouts. But the supplements can bring on side effects that you’ll need to be aware of.
What Pre-Workout Supplements Do
You take the supplement before your exercise. Its purpose is to help you recover and ease the fatigue of an intense workout.
Some Common Ingredients in Pre-Workouts Supplements:
Caffeine: Product makers say pre-workouts can keep you focused, give you energy, and improve your overall performance. The main ingredient behind these promises is high levels of caffeine. Pre-Workout supplements have a range of 150 mg to 300 mg of caffeine per serving. This equals about three cups of coffee. That’s a lot. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may want to take a smaller amount or find natural ways to boost your energy before a workout.
Beta-Alanine: This ingredient is meant to help you do high-intensity exercises. It may help buffer your muscles during intense workouts. Beta-alanine has been shown to lower fatigue and enhance recovery in sprinters.
Creatine: When combined with exercise, this substance helps you gain strength. Creatine works to replenish your ATP stores, which gives your muscles energy to contract. Creatine can also help you increase your levels of lean body mass.
Amino Acids: Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) in pre-workout supplements help increase lean body mass. BCAA has also been shown to promote muscle growth. BCAA helps reduce damage to your muscles after an intense workout.