Workout Supplements and Their Effects on your Body

The bottom line on the two most popular workout supplements.


Zoe Leigh, Author


What is Pre-Workout?

Pre is a multi-ingredient dietary formula which is made to give you a large energy boost before a workout and therefore boost athletic performance.

Most are a powdered substance that you mix with water and drink before exercising to increase your energy and strength. 

The main ingredients: Caffeine, Amino acids, B vitamins and Creatine


So what are the risks of taking Pre-Workout?

Nearly all Pre’s contain artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols, although this is not a big risk in moderation, too much can lead to intestinal distress, bloating and diarrhea.

The excess caffeine in Pre-Workout can lead to increased blood pressure, stress levels, anxiety levels and disturbed sleep patterns.  


The bottom line on Pre-Workout

Pre is not a necessary supplement. However keeping that in mind, if it helps you achieve more in your workouts then it is completely okay to take in moderation. Just be aware of the ingredients and ensure that the one you buy is approved by a third-party source such as USP or NSF International as there are no strict regulations on ingredients in the US.



What is Creatine?

Creatine is naturally found in your body’s cells (95% in your muscles and 5% in your brain, kidneys and liver), it is  produced within your body from the amino acids glycerin and arginine. One of it’s jobs is to help produce energy during high-intensity training or heavy lifting. 

When you supplement it, your stores of phosphocreatine are increased and your body produces more ATP high-energy molecules. This leads to increased strength, muscle mass and helps speed up the process of muscle recovery.


So what are the risks of taking Creatine Supplements?

Creatine is one of the best researched supplements and should cause little to no issues for people with healthy livers and kidneys (If you have pre-existing conditions in these areas then you should consult your doctor before supplementation).

A study found that excess creatine can contribute to hair loss due to an increase in the hormone DHT.

Although not fully proven, side effects reported by users are dehydration and cramps.


The bottom line on Creatine

Creatine is a very well researched supplement that has no proven harmful side-effects. If you are trying to increase your muscle mass and energy levels to support you in the gym I would recommend it. However, creatine mono-hydrate is the best researched one sothe most recommendable.