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Common Side Effects of Pre-workout Supplements and how to avoid them.

Pre-workouts are popular among fitness enthusiasts for their positive impact on energy levels, exercise performance, and fatigue-fighting effects.

Even though these supplements are completely safe, some people may experience mild side effects from taking them.

In this blog, we discuss the top 3 side-effects of using Pre-workouts and tips on how you can avoid them.

May increase Crankiness and Jitteriness

One ingredient common to most pre-workout supplements is Caffeine.

Now research supports that this stimulant increases energy levels and output during exercise while reducing fatigue levels. [1][2]

Thus, caffeine helps you get more out of a workout.

But there’s a dark side to caffeine-loaded pre-workouts that may catch you off-guard.  Consuming too much caffeine can lead to potential side effects such as insomnia, nausea, increased heart rate, drowsiness, headaches, anxiety, and jitteriness or restlessness [3] [4]

What’s worse: many pre-workouts pack high amounts of caffeine – up to 500 mg per serving. To give you a fair comparison, one cup of coffee contains just 95 mg of caffeine!

How to tackle this:

Caffeine tolerance varies from person to person. Some people can tolerate it better than others. The best way to reduce side effects from caffeinated pre-workout supplements is to start with a small dose gradually work your way up and gauge how your body responds.

Another thing you can do is to go for a caffeine-free pre-workout.

May cause Mild Reactions

Two other ingredients commonly found in pre-workouts are Beta-Alanine and Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Beta-Alanine is an amino acid scientifically proven to increase exercise performance and reduce fatigue in short-lasting high-intensity exercise. [5][6]

However, too much of Beta-Alanine may cause paresthesia (a tingling sensation in hands and feet) in some people. While paresthesia is completely harmless, one may find it discomforting. [7]

Niacin (Vitamin B3) to has a mild downside. High doses of over 500 mg, it can cause blood to rush to the surface of the skin resulting in flushing and red patches.

How to tackle this:

To combat Paresthesia caused by Beta-Alanine, you can divide the daily dosage to into 2 separate ones. Or, you can go for a sustained-release formula. [8]

The side-effects of Niacin can be prevented by keeping your daily dose below 500 mg, or opting for Niacin-free pre-workout supplements. [9]

May cause Headache

Amino acid Citrulline present in many pre-workout supplements increases blood flow to the muscles during exercise thereby enhancing the muscle-building process. [10]

However, this increase in blood flow can result in some people experiencing headaches or migraines.

How to tackle this:

The best way to reduce Citrulline-induced headaches is to decrease your daily dose or find a pre-workout without Citrulline.

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