Is Pre-Workout Bad For You? Experts consider powdered supplements.

Pre-workout powder is booming on social media.

Powder supplements to mix with your drinks of choice, from gym attendants, influencer-promoted brands to viral dry recovery techniques, are everywhere online, do you need them?

Google Trends shows that the number of searches for pre-workout powder increased in 2021 compared to the previous year, and the hashtag #preworkoutpowder was used over 38 million times on TikTok.

“Everyone’s looking for the next perk to improve their fitness… and (the pre-workout powder) is just one sold to speed the process up a bit further. “Certified nutritionist Jonathan Patel told Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “The rise of Instagram and fitness influencers and the use of these influencers by these companies shows that these pre-workouts are still strongly supported.”

But are these supplements just the epidemic and serious fitness fuels on the market? We asked an expert to determine if you should start your routine with them.

Need pre-workout powder?

Pre-workout powder “explodes” on social media, but “absolutely not necessary” for workouts, says Dennis A. Cardone, orthopedic sports medicine expert and physician at NYU Langone Health. ..

Extreme athletes may need more supplements, but he avoids powders that can have “potentially harmful effects” on the average person and instead gets his energy from the food I recommend.

“We can save money,” he says. “A regular diet is enough. You don’t need to supplement a balanced diet because you can get everything you need like protein, carbohydrates, and caffeine if you need it.

By focusing on food, people “can control and know exactly what they are putting into their body,” he adds.

Purtell agrees that good nutrition and a strong workout routine are paramount.

“I don’t need all of these supplements at all. That’s what the name means, they’re there to complement a healthy lifestyle, ”he says.

However, pre-workouts can be beneficial, said Abbey E. Smith Ryan, associate professor of exercise physiology in the Faculty of Exercise and Sport Sciences at UNC Chapel Hill and an active researcher in sports nutrition. and in physical performance. to augment.

“Do you need it? No, probably not. Does it improve performance? Potentially,” she says, and many people fight fatigue with the stimulants in these powders. average. “So that may help, but I’m not saying it’s necessary.”

She says that a well-designed pre-workout not only helps give you an energy boost, but “can help you recover and get tired over time.”

“Other components of pre-workout also provide lower fatigue and higher intensity, with the idea that they can exercise harder, for longer and indirectly see better results over time.” She says.

Risks and tips for ensuring safety

However, not all pre-workouts are the same. Others can be more harmful than good.

Over the years, companies have made headlines for increasing pre-workout supplements with dangerous chemicals and ingredients. The Food and Drug Administration has also warned of certain, sometimes illegal, ingredients that appear in these products.

Cardone shared his concerns about pre-workout powders not being transparent.

“We don’t really know the substances or the ingredients because they are not controlled by the FDA,” he says. “So even though something might say ‘performance enhancement’, they have their own unique combination, whatever it is. “

Fortunately, Smith-Ryan says there are more regulations than most people realize.

“I want to find a seal that has been tested by a third party,” she advises.

These companies measure the content of their products to make sure they match the content on the label. Some even check for banned substances. General certifications include NSF Certified for Sport and Informed Choice.

“Third party tested seals are really important because I want to know what I’m buying is actually there,” she says. “These companies cost a lot of money to do this, which also shows that they are spending time and money on their products.”

Even for pre-workout powders with that added stamp of approval, consumers still need to be hyper-aware when using them.

For example, caffeine, a popular stimulant ingredient used in pre-workout powders, can cause potential side effects if overdosed.

“It can make them jerk and make their hearts beat a bit,” Cardone explains. “And if someone has a heart problem or a heart problem, it can even lead to other possible side effects.”

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Smith-Ryan says some people take more than they need.

“Most people think it’s better, but not always,” she says, explaining that if there is only one serving, someone might take three scoops. And, for example, in caffeine, “you worry about that overstimulation”.

“Too many can certainly be dangerous,” Purtell adds, advising people to be careful of the right dose.

“Drinking too much caffeine at once can lead to serious complications, so follow the directions… I don’t want to have a heart attack. “

Thanks to social media and fitness influencers, teens are looking for pre-workout powders, but Smith-Ryan is warning young people to take powders.

“Most of the time, their diet is very poor. The first thing they should do is see what they are actually eating. Often times, fatigue is due to overeating and overeating in sugar all day long. It’s because you don’t have the right nutrients, ”she says. ..

Pre-workout options

In our busy and stressful world, it’s no surprise that some people are looking for a pre-workout boost, but there are alternatives to pre-workout powder.

“Everyone is very tired now from the lack of sleep and food,” says Smith-Ryan. “Often times one of the best ways to prepare for exercise is to draw blood, so you move around and do a dynamic warm-up.”

If you are looking to fuel your workouts, eat carbohydrates and protein.

Purtell offers chicken breast, ground turkey, lean meat like fish, or vegetable protein like tofu and tempeh. And if you are looking for some energy, you can just have a cup of coffee or tea.

Finally, maintain a balanced diet and a good sleep routine.

Patel isn’t just for the average gym attendant, but also for young people interested in fitness: “Before you consider a pre-workout, focus on a good routine and on healthy eating and exercise habits. . It is recommended to “do”.

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Is Pre-Workout Bad For You? Experts consider powdered supplements.

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