Do Pre-Workout Supplements Actually Work?

workout supplements actually work

Meta: Pre-workout questions such as does pre-workout work, what are pre-workout side effects or pre-workout benefits, which is the best pre-workout drink or natural pre-workout have become popular, and we want to answer them. Are they as good/safe?

Many people across the world have grown health-conscious, and quite a number have become obsessed with health and fitness. The health and fitness industry is among those that have seen tremendous growth in recent years. Several developments have come with this growth and are centered on living a healthy lifestyle. It’s achieved through eating healthier foods and better exercise regimens. Commercializing in either of the two is good business, and many entrepreneurs have capitalized on it. Several companies have engineered supplements meant to boost your health and overall body performance. It’s for this reason that they are increasingly being introduced into the market in recent years. However, there’s great concern over their safety considering their composition isn’t regulated by the USA Food and Drug Authority (FDA). Popular search queries people ask include:

  • Does pre-workout work
  • Pre-workout side effects
  • Pre-workout benefits
  • Best pre-workout drink
  • Is there a natural pre-workout

Therefore, we’ll answer all your questions. We’ve focused on these supplements, what they are, and if they actually work or they are simply a fuss.

What “Pre-workout” Really Means

There’s no specific definition to the term “Pre-workout”. Different people offer various descriptions for the term. For some, it’s any powdered drink mixture supplement with the potential of boosting our workout performance. That’s as long as we consume them before exercising. Another description refers to pre-workouts as supplements that we take 30-40 minutes before we can exercise for better results thanks to boosted performance. What’s evident is that they are supplements meant to improve the results we get when we hit the gym. In some cases, they are the best muscle recovery supplements. These pre-workouts contain various ingredients that will be discussed in detail in the following section.

What Are the Main Ingredients in Pre-Workout

Several pre-workout are available on the market today. That’s probably because it’s considered to be the in thing right now. What’s interesting is that these supplements all have varied ingredient composition, and no single pre-workout is similar to another in any way. The primary reason for different composition is that every nutrition, health, and fitness brand out there has its very own supplement. To get a clearer picture of this scenario, think of the phone industry. We have iPhones, Samsung, Tecno, and Nokia, among other brands. While they are all phones, they are engineered differently, giving each its unique design.

Despite the differences in the contents of pre-workouts, they all serve to boost performance. Therefore, what’s common is that these supplements all contain ingredients that serve that purpose. Popularly found in pre-workouts include:

  • Beetroot juice
  • Betaine
  • Caffeine
  • Carbohydrates
  • Creatine
  • Ornithine
  • L-Arginine
  • Taurine
  • Citrulline,
  • β-alanine (beta-alanine)

Note, however, that not all supplements will contain the above. The majority are carb and calorie-free. Most contain caffeine as it’s a well-known stimulator. It will boost your endurance, increase the metabolic rate, lower fatigue, and stimulates the CNS (central nervous system). The above ingredients generally stimulate our fight or flight response. It’s because of the increased blood flow to the muscles thanks to the dilated blood vessels.

Are There Pre-Workout Benefits? How Effective Are These Supplements?

As a result of their growing popularity, it’s no doubt that their effectiveness has been brought into question. Many individuals wonder “what are some of the pre-workout benefits” or “does pre-workout work”? The assumption the majority of the people who consume them hold is that they are safe because of their composition. Well, most are ingredients that would naturally be produced by the body when we exercise. Although, the natural body nutrition can be sufficient enough to give us the same results that we desire when we exercise, we have become so obsessed with things coming in “tub”.

Yes, most of the Pre-workout is good for the body and will enhance our performance. It will improve our endurance and even build muscle. However, not all will get to see these results because a large percentage of these supplements only have caffeine with very little of the other beneficial ingredients.

What Are The “Pre-workout” Side Effects; Are They Safe?

Yes, there are pre-workout side effects. Because they aren’t classified as drugs, the US FDA doesn’t regulate their composition. They are classified as foods, and therefore their safety is only of concern when cases of their adverse side effects get reported to the authority. Although we assume that their ingredients are suitable for the body, which is indeed true. It’s essential to recognize that only in small amounts. Overdosing can lead to issues such as;

  • Diarrhea (Gastrointestinal distress)
  • Nosebleeds because of increased blood flow
  • High risk of lung and heart cancer
  • Muscle cramps
  • Weight gain
  • Liver and kidney damage
  • Cardiac problems
  • And weight gain among others

Take, for instance, some researchers have found that some pre-workouts contain deer antlers velvet. Yes in controlled amounts it’s beneficial to the body but which can have dire consequences in unregulated quantities.

What Are the Alternatives to “Pre-workout”?

Nutritional experts recommend that if you have healthy nutrition, doing away with pre-workouts might be better. Well, before they got to the market, we had a natural pre-workout. A cup of caffeine 30 minutes before a workout was good enough. While fueling with some carbohydrates, protein, small amounts of fiber, and fat. They are perfect without the risks that come with consuming the ones manufactured.


There’s no single best pre workout drink, but you can go for the ones that have the right nutrients in controlled amounts. Should a brand not label its compositions, it’s safe to stay away. Although the FDA does not regulate, there are other bodies with strict codes that offer some guidance.


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