Pre-workout Supplements and their Side-effects

Pre-workout refers to dietary supplements that people can take before a workout to help maximize their training, boost energy levels and focus. They are available as premixed drinks, powders, pills, and snack bars.

Common ingredients might include – beta-alanine, caffeine, citrulline, tyrosine, taurine, creatine, niacin. While most of these ingredients are unlikely to cause harm if people follow the correct dosage guidance, individuals may experience some side effects mostly mild and cause short-term discomfort.

Side-effects of Pre-workouts

two measuring spoons of protein and creatine close-up on a black background

Restlessness : Caffeine is one of the primary ingredients in many pre-workout supplements. If you consume too much. These include insomnia, nausea, increased heart rate, drowsiness, headaches, anxiety, and jitteriness or restlessness.

Water-retention : The main side effects associated with creatine are fairly mild but include water retention, bloating, weight gain, and digestive issues.

Mild reactions : Reactions like parathesia from Beta-alanine, skin-flushing from niacin may occur. They are relatively mild but some people may find them uncomfortable.

Digestive issues : Sodium bicarbonate, magnesium, creatine, and caffeine may cause side-effects like diarrhea.

Headaches : Citrulline works by boosting nitric oxide levels in your blood which improves blood flow to the muscles. However, this also affects your brain, leading some people to experience headaches and migraines.


Pre-workouts are often a blend of many different ingredients that researchers have investigated for their potential athletic performance benefits. However, you don’t need to take a supplement to benefit from exercise.

If you’re interested in trying a formula, look for a stamp from an independent lab that ensures quality. It’s always recommended to check ingredient lists for anything you may react to. You may also want to avoid proprietary blends, as these conceal the specific amounts of each ingredient used.

Sources : https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/pre-workout-side-effects#TOC_TITLE_HDR_7

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/pre-workout-side-effects#summary


Author: Pallabi Sinha

I am a Nutritionist with 6 years of expertise in the field. I have a knack of convincing people to switch to a healthier lifestyle.