Please note: This article is to address the facts of both the advantages and disadvantages of pre-workout supplements and does not promote or encourage taking supplements of any kind. Before taking any supplements or pre-workout, please consult your physician.
The supplement industry in the U.S. is growing fast, with an estimated $32 billion in revenue in 2012 and will increase to $60 billion by 2021, according to Forbes. It can be difficult to fully understand what is safe and what is not safe when it comes your body and your workout. It’s a big industry, so keep in mind that there will be some good products that can help you and some that can damage you.
Advantages of pre-workout supplements:
- Increased focus
- Increased energy
- Increased Strength
- Increased fat burning
- Weight loss
Disadvantages of pre-workout supplements:
- Potential increased blood pressure
- Potential adrenal fatigue
- Possible drug test failure
- Potential feeling of racing heart combined with nausea and vomiting
Pre-workout is essential to many athletes for benefits in different areas of focus. Some of the benefits include mental focus, increased stamina, muscular strength, and muscular endurance. It’s important to most swimmers to have that mental focus or drive in the water to have a great workout and this can be produced by some pre-workout supplements, triggering a person’s stimulus. Another benefit of pre-workout is an increase in muscular strength and endurance. This has been proven effective to many swimmers.
However, pre-workout supplements have been known to damage a person’s performance and health as well. Some of the ingredients in pre-workout supplements, such as caffeine, can affect the pace of a person’s heart rate to a danger zone. There are events in the body like increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, and the kidneys working harder causing frequent urination and mental excitement. Furthermore, these ingredients can cause your heart to have an irregular beat during an aerobic exercise, which can be harmful. Thus, pre-workout supplements should only be used for anaerobic exercises. The supplements contain anywhere from 100 to 300 milligrams of caffeine in a serving. Just to compare, there are about 90 milligrams in one strong cup of coffee. But, when too much is consumed, it has been associated with such silent killers such as hypertension. After a while, people become tolerant and desensitized to the effects of caffeine, resorting to larger doses to achieve a mental high, which causes stress on the adrenal glands due to chronic caffeine and can lead to symptoms like adrenal fatigue.
Although caffeine is very strong, it can have some positive effects to your training when consumed properly, like how it can help you get through practice, and how it can help your overall performance in the water. The health benefits of caffeine are wide and it’s role in fitness is just starting to get notice. To read more on the positive effects of caffeine, click here.
Pre-workout supplements will continue to grow and be used in the fitness world, and will also improve any good product each year to minimize negative effects. Don’t be afraid to take pre-workout supplements; just do your research first.
- “Caffeine-Based Preworkout Supplements: Friend or Foe?” Caffeine-Based Preworkout Supplements: Friend or Foe? N.p., 6 Dec. 2012. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
- Marsh, Darius. “The Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements by Darius Marsh – Athletic Lab.” Athletic Lab. N.p., 24 Feb. 2015. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
- Lariviere, David. “Nutritional Supplements Flexing Muscles As Growth Industry.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 18 Apr. 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2015.
- White, Emilee. “The Key To A More Focused Practice: Caffeine.” SwimSwam. SwimSwam, 01 Oct. 2015. Web. 25 Oct. 2015.