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What Are Some Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements

What Are Some Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements
Image by Gergo Jaksa from Pixabay

Many people (as they should) include fitness as part of their wellness regimens. Some, however, push their routines to the nth degree in intensity, whether for personal achievement or competition. To reach the necessary goals, these individuals often need pre-workout supplements to help them push beyond the normal limits. Varied and countless brands comprise an ever-growing market, with many sharing some common ingredients like caffeine, among the most specific. 

With ingredients like these, some users experience sensitivities and, thereby, side effects to those specific elements. Of course, the degree of your response will depend on the dosage taken and body type, size, and sensitivity level. 

When choosing pre-workout supplements to aid your exercise plan, the suggestion is to start with a small serving to see how the product responds to your body. Slowly build-up to the manufacturer’s recommendation, stopping if there are any noticeable reactions.

What Are Some Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements

While most people include fitness as part of a good self-care routine, some make this component of wellness a much more integral element by pushing up the intensity. That kind of effort can be challenging to accomplish even with a nutrient-rich diet plan. 

Pre-workout supplements are often included to boost energy, increase stamina, and enhance endurance so users can push the extra mile. 

Many of these share common ingredients that can create some sensitivities or responses in people depending on your particular body chemistry, sensitivity level, body type, plus the amount of each compound in the product, such as caffeine.  

Go to https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/pre-workout-side-effects/ to learn about potential adverse responses. Let’s look at some of the more common reactions.

Jitters and anxiousness

One of the more common adverse responses when consuming pre-workouts is often related to caffeine. The ingredient finds its way into most supplements, with the expected result being to provide boosts of energy, motivation, and an increased sense of alertness and focus.

Unfortunately, when consumed in excess, the compound can negatively affect anyone, especially creating anxiety, jitters, and increased agitation. Every individual will experience symptoms at different levels since we’re all built uniquely.

To avoid the effect, it’s critical to know your sensitivity and learn the amount in the pre-workouts you’re considering for your wellness program so you can accommodate accordingly. 

That also means that you avoid caffeine in other forms like drinking cups of coffee, sodas, eating chocolate on days that you consume the supplements. You can also prevent the symptoms altogether by choosing a stimulant-free workout aid.


One ingredient that you might find in many of the products is L-citrulline in a category of amino acids that are “non-essential,” albeit strength trainers will beg to differ, thus the inclusion in many of these products. 

The L-citrulline (malate) boasts the capacity to increase nitric oxide, helping the blood flow increase to the tissues due to expansion in the blood vessels, which bodybuilders equate to a “pump.”

The increased blood flow with expanded blood vessels to the brain with nitric oxide can cause headaches to develop. That same symptom can also be the result of an overabundance of caffeine – once again.

 In all likelihood, that is the culprit because the suggestion is that L-citrulline is generally too minimal in these products to either bring adverse responses or create a positive reaction, for that matter.


If you find magnesium as an ingredient in your pre-workout, it’s helpful to know that this same mineral is often used with diuretics for over-the-counters. That doesn’t mean it will create this same reaction for you to the degree you’ll find it in pre-workouts, but it’s something to pay attention to. Plus, it’s not in all of the brands.

There are often sugar alcohols that claim to be natural, but these are, in fact, synthetic ingredients that can create gastric upset, diarrhea, and gas. You’ll find these ingredients in many powders, drinks, supplements, or artificial sweeteners since they help with the unfortunate flavor. 

The way to tell these are in the brand is when you see words with (-ol) on the end, like mannitol, erythritol, sorbitol, maltitol, lactitol, xylitol. Artificial sweeteners are always culprits for causing diarrhea since most bodies are challenged in digesting these.

victor freitas nA0UDNDbxys unsplash - What Are Some Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements
Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash


Unfortunately, the ingredients in the workout aids tend to get the rap for causing dehydration among the workout community, especially caffeine. Whether taking pre-workouts or not, a recommended daily allowance for everyone is eight cups at 8 ounces each day. 

Of course, when you’re exerting, sweating, and using your reserve, that amount should increase. Perhaps magnesium and sugar alcohols act in the sense of diuretics, and maybe you’ll want to attempt to avoid products that create this response for you. Caffeine might make you urinate, but it doesn’t dehydrate. 

The expectation is that when you’re exuding more effort, releasing more body fluid, you’ll replenish that with extra amounts of water than you would typically take in. In other terms, intense exercise regimens require greater hydration, bottom line.

Final Thought

When developing an adequate fitness regimen to go along with a self-care program, research into the varied products is necessary to familiarize yourself with the ingredients to learn what each is responsible for and if they’re genuinely an essential component.

The manufacturer’s suggested serving size is a goal you can work towards, but it isn’t where you should start. The recommendation is always to begin small to see how the substance will respond to your body. Click for scientific explanations of some odd reactions.

If there’s a reaction, it takes time and effort to determine which ingredient is causing that response instead of merely changing brands without knowing where the problem lies. You could have the same thing happen since you don’t know what’s causing it.

Remember, the most valuable part of any self-care program is your primary care physician. A doctor can guide you towards adequate products and help you determine which ingredients are causing possible issues.


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