Does Pre-Workout Have Side Effects?

Pre-workout supplements are designed to help you get the most out of your workout, but they can sometimes come with side effects. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the most common side effects of pre-workout supplements and how to avoid them.


Exercising can be an effective way to boost your health and wellness, but pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular amongst athletes as a means to enhance their performance. Pre-workout supplements can help you get the most out of your workouts by providing a boost in energy, increased alertness, and improved focus. However, like any supplementation plan, it’s important to recognize the potential side effects of pre-workout supplements.

Before taking any type of supplement, it’s always important to learn about what it contains so that you can be aware of possible side effects that may occur. This guide will go over the potential side effects associated with pre-workout supplements and how they might affect your short and long term health.

What is Pre-Workout?

Pre-workout supplements are popular among athletes and gym-goers alike, but what exactly are they? Pre-workout supplements are specially formulated products meant to provide energy, alertness, focus, and endurance before a workout or physical activity. Pre-workouts contain varying degrees of different ingredients like caffeine, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and herbs intended to enhance performance in a variety of ways. They come in both powder and pill form so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and lifestyle.

While pre-workout supplements can be beneficial for achieving peak performance during workouts or physical activity, they can also come with some potential side effects. It’s important to understand these potential risks before taking any supplement to ensure your safety and health. Common pre-workout side effects include jitters or anxiety; insomnia; nausea; abdominal pain; an irregular heartbeat; palpitations; raised blood pressure; headaches or migraines; dizziness; dehydration due to diuretics in the product; as well as other possible risks that may occur from excessive use of pre-workouts like dependence or addiction. Always make sure to read the label before taking any type of supplement to know what is in it and make sure it is safe for you personally.

Types of Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are designed to give your body an energy boost before a workout in order to improve your performance. These supplements often contain stimulants, amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other ingredients that are thought to aid in the body’s physical performance. Knowing the different types of pre-workout supplements will help you decide which one is right for you.


Stimulants are a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements, designed to increase alertness and performance. Common stimulants found in pre-workout supplements are caffeine, ephedrine, synephrine, and Yohimbe. They work by stimulating the central nervous system and increasing heart rate and adrenaline levels.

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, chocolate and other food sources but is often added to pre-workout formulas for its ability to increase energy levels. High doses of caffeine may cause jitteriness, headaches or other symptoms of overexcitement. Ephedrine is a naturally occurring stimulant derived from the herb Ma Huang (Ephedra sinica) that increases heart rate and body temperature. It has been used in combination with caffeine as an appetite suppressant or weight loss supplement but may also lead to increased blood pressure or heart rate irregularities if taken at high doses. Synephrine is an alkaloid derived from Citrus aurantium (bitter orange) that works as a metabolic stimulator and thermogenic fat burner at higher doses than those found in pre-workout supplements. It should be taken with caution as it can increase blood pressure and cause adverse cardiovascular effects when taken in large amounts over time. Yohimbe is an herbal stimulant derived from the bark of the Yohimbe tree that has been linked to anxiety, insomnia and increased heart rate when taken at high doses over prolonged periods of time.

The potential risks associated with stimulants need to be weighed against their potential benefits before use to ensure safe use of these pre-workout ingredients. Consult your doctor if you have any concerns regarding the safety of these supplements before trying them out for yourself.

Nitric Oxide Boosters

Nitric oxide boosters, also called NO2 supplements, are a type of pre-workout supplement that helps increase blood flow and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles during a workout. This increased oxygen can help improve muscular strength and endurance, as well as reduce fatigue and muscle pain post-exercise. Nitric oxide boosters typically contain ingredients such as arginine, citrulline malate, agmatine sulfate and glycocyamine. While these supplements can increase muscle power and endurance for athletes engaging in both cardio and strength training activities, some users experience side effects such as headaches or dizziness from the high levels of nitric oxide present in the supplements. Additionally, it is important to not overdo it on pre-workout NO2 supplements; too much may cause excess fatigue that could hinder exercise performance the next day.


Creatine is one of the most widely used pre-workout supplements, and it is also one of the most studied. It is intended to increase energy levels, muscle strength, and performance during anaerobic exercise. Creatine can be found naturally in some foods such as meat and fish, and it can be synthesized in a lab to create supplemental forms.

Creatine has been shown to help athletes of all levels improve their performance in short bursts of activity by increasing energy production in cells. It also helps muscles maintain their size by optimizing protein synthesis and increasing the amount of water stored inside the muscle cells. Although beneficial for many athletes in providing increased energy levels for intense workouts or athletic events, creatine use may have some side effects including bloating, cramping, dizziness or fatigue. Additionally, long-term use may cause kidney issues if used at high doses that are not recommended by a medical professional.


Beta-alanine is an amino acid found naturally in the body, and it is often used as a supplement to enhance exercise performance. It has been shown to improve muscular endurance, strength, and power output during exercise. It may also reduce fatigue during workouts and delay the onset of muscle soreness.

Beta-alanine may be combined with other pre-workout supplements like caffeine, creatine, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), or nitric oxide boosters for maximum performance benefits. Supplemental doses may range from 2–6 grams per day, depending on the intended use; however, excessive doses can cause paraesthesia (a tingling sensation) in your extremities. Therefore, it is important to follow directions regarding dosing when using pre-workout supplements containing beta-alanine.

Although its safety has been well documented in scientific studies and medical trials, there are some potential side effects associated with beta-alanine supplementation—though these are rare if taken as part of a pre-workout stack that contains recommended dosages as directed. These potential adverse effects include nausea and headaches. Additionally, consuming too much beta alanine can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance due to excessive water loss through increased urine output.

Side Effects of Pre-Workout

Pre-workout supplements can provide an energy boost and help increase endurance for athletes who need an edge during their workout. However, these supplements can have a range of side effects, from mild to more serious. It’s important to educate yourself on the potential side effects that pre-workout supplements can have before deciding to take them. Let’s take a look at some of the potential side effects of taking pre-workout supplements.

Cardiovascular Issues

Pre-workout supplements, which are designed to give athletes a boost of energy before exercise, may come with some associated risks. One of the potentially serious side effects is cardiovascular impacts, such as increased heart rate, increased blood pressure and changes in cardiac rhythm. It is important for under consumers to be aware of these risks before using pre-workout supplements.

Consumers should consult a physician or health care provider if they have any existing cardiovascular risk factors or conditions. If you do decide to use a pre-workout supplement, it’s important to pay attention to the ingredients list and start with small doses to gauge your individual reaction. It’s also important not to mix the supplement with other stimulants like caffeine or alcohol.

Common pre-workout ingredients have been linked to potential cardiovascular side effects:
-Caffeine and other stimulants can result in increased heart rate and increased blood pressure
-B vitamins may lead to an increase in homocysteine (an amino acid) levels which can damage the walls of blood vessels
-Creatine may increase cholesterol levels, leading to an increased risk for cardiovascular problems

In general, moderation is key when it comes to taking any type of supplement. Following the recommended dosage on any pre-workout product will help reduce your risk for potential heart related issues. Speak with your doctor about whether it’s safe for you take pre-workouts before starting any supplement regimen.

Kidney Damage

Kidney damage is a potential side effect of taking pre-workout supplements. Although it is relatively rare, some people have experienced changes in their kidney function after taking pre-workout supplements. This is because certain ingredients found in these supplements, such as creatine and caffeine, can be hard on the kidneys when taken in excess.

The best way to protect your kidneys while taking pre-workout is to make sure you’re drinking plenty of water before and during your workout. You should also avoid taking more than the recommended dosage of any ingredients listed on the supplement bottle, especially if they contain high amounts of creatine or caffeine. Lastly, if you have any pre-existing health conditions that affect your kidneys, you should make sure to talk to your doctor before starting a pre-workout routine.

Gastrointestinal Issues

Gastrointestinal distress is a commonly reported side effect of pre-workout supplements. This can include general stomach pain, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. These symptoms can be caused by the large amounts of caffeine included in pre-workout supplements in addition to other stimulants such as yohimbe and bitter orange extract. Additionally, some of the artificial dyes used to color the supplement may also cause upset stomach or more severe gastrointestinal issues. It is important to read ingredient labels on pre-workout supplements and be aware of any potential allergens or other sensitivities you may have. In some cases, stopping use of the supplement will cause any associated gastrointestinal symptoms to dissipate over time. If you experience any serious or prolonged GI issues while using pre-workout supplements consult your doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.

Nervous System Issues

Using pre-workout supplements can present certain risks to brain function and mental health. Specifically, concerns arise when it comes to ingredients found in pre-workouts like caffeine, β-methylphenylethylamine (BMPEA) and other stimulants.

Caffeine is the active ingredient in most pre-workout supplements. When consumed in excessive amounts, it can cause feelings of jitteriness and overstimulation due to an increase in energy levels or heart rate. Large doses of caffeine can also lead to issues such as insomnia, headaches, anxiety or depression. Caffeine sensitivity is not the same for everyone – what may be an acceptable dose for one person could result in nervous system issues for another person.

BMPEA is another ingredient commonly used as a stimulant in pre-workout products which are not regulated by the FDA and may contain compounds with unknown side effects. BMPEA has been linked to numerous side effects related to the nervous system including confusion, agitation, dizziness or hallucinations. Again, individuals react differently depending on their sensitivity so it’s important to be aware of your own body’s reaction before taking any type of supplement.

Additionally, some pre-workout ingredients have long term effects on the nervous system such as damage to nerve cells that can decrease cognitive functionality or contribute to circulatory problems such as strangling arterial walls due to extended overuse of stimulants like caffeine or other enhancements like DMAA (dimethylamylamine). If a pre-workout supplement has a warning label attached stating that you should consult your physician before taking it then you should take this medical advice seriously in order keep yourself safe from potential harm caused by prolonged use of these products.


Ultimately, pre-workout supplements can offer short-term benefits for those looking to increase their exercise performance. However, many people experience side effects such as jitteriness and headaches when using these types of products. Users should speak with their doctor before taking any type of pre-workout supplement to ensure they have an understanding of any potential risks or health consequences that may be associated with it. Additionally, people should take the time to research different products and ingredients to determine which combination is right for them, as well as follow instructions on recommended doses while taking supplements. By following these guidelines, consumers may be able to safely use pre-workout supplements without experiencing adverse side effects.

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