It used to be that you ate a banana or piece of toast before a tough workout and that was sufficient. But now, everyone in the gym is talking about a pre-workout supplement.
Turns out, while some pre-workouts may contain safe, energy-boosting ingredients, but others can be pointless—or potentially harmful. Here's what you need to know. ***Carbohydrates, beetroot juice, and creatine monohydrate (a popular muscle-building supplement) are all common pre-workout ingredients that have been shown to improve exercise performance.
Carbs are your body’s go-to source of energy and what experts recommend eating before a workout to properly fuel.
Caffeine obviously is a stimulant known for boosting energy, alertness and research shows it can help improve sports performance, too.
Creatine monohydrate is often included in pre-workout formulas. Creatine is a derivative of three amino acids that’s naturally produced in the body and stored in the muscles as a source of quick energy.
All workout-performance questions aside, safety is a big concern here since pre-workout supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
Like all supplements, pre-workout formulas are not regulated by the FDA for safety, so products can be stocked on shelves and sold until there’s a reason for the FDA to pull them (e.g., enough people report concerns). Meanwhile, some of the ingredients that are safe in normal amounts can become harmful in the high concentrations found in supplements. And again, since they’re not regulated, there’s no way to know if the concentration used was tested for various potential side effects. For example, some women experience increased heart rate and blood pressure, diarrhea, nausea, and jitters when they consume high amounts of caffeine. High doses of B vitamins, antioxidants, and nitric oxide can dilate blood vessels to the point that you can get nosebleeds or headaches. While every person’s tolerance level is different, it is best the first consult your doctor before taking ANY supplements. General rule of thumb: AVOID any supplements that contain more than 100 % of your recommended daily allowance of any one nutrient. #womeninmedicine #medicine #health