The 5 Most Awkward Pre-Workout Supplement Side-Effects and the Science behind Them

You feel your head pulsating or your toes and palms tingling? You are going to find out why the supplements and shakes you drink sometimes make you feel strange and what you need to do about it.

Pre-workout supps are taken by gym goers to boost their performance for the upcoming training session and make it more efficient. So, why is it that sometimes you might feel a throbbing pain in your head, feel your palms itching or sweat profusely? Numerous studies have shown that this type of supplements is only safe when used for a short amount of time and it is indeed proven that they tremendously increase performance in the gym.

However, taking into account that the majority of these supplements have all kinds of compounds in them, it is no wonder that sometimes the body can react in a non-expected way to some of them. Sometimes the solution that alleviates the problem is as easy and simple as drinking it with a bit more water or choosing another product that may be better suited for you. In this article, we present to you the science behind many of these side-effects.

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1. Pre-workout supplements can very often cause headaches

The fact is that the majority of these supplements have all kinds of vasodilator substances or compounds inside that will cause the blood vessels to widen or expand. This goes for the blood vessels in the brain too, which can be the primary cause for a migraine. The most commonly found vasodilator is arginine, an amino acid that increases nitro oxide levels in your body. The reasoning behind this is that when you are resting, the majority of the vascular beds aren’t open.

If they do get opened, theoretically, one can take in more nutrients or get rid of waste products more effectively because of the larger amount of blood that is circulating. Some supplements advertise this as having anabolic properties, thus causing increased muscle tissue gain. But, if the migraines keep getting more painful, you should consult with your doctor and think about switching to a supplement that lacks the particular substance. One should read the labels carefully and make sure that the other brand doesn’t contain another vasodilator which could cause the same side-effect.


2. They can also cause bouts of insomnia

The fact is that the majority of pre-workout supps are filled with caffeine in order to provide you with enough energy to endure grueling training sessions. It is widely known that drinking caffeine increases alertness and focus and helps to keep you awake, but it’s less known that it’s also an activator of epinephrine and norepinephrine, the so-called “fight or flight” hormones, the ones that will make incredibly energized while they are moving throughout the body.

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Caffeine’s half-life or the amount of time it’s active in your body is around 3-4 hours, but every individual has a different response to how rapidly they can metabolize it. Rare are the people who wouldn’t have trouble falling asleep after they’ve taken a pre-workout supplement filled with caffeine ahead of their evening training session. But if you belong to the majority of people that don’t metabolize it as quickly, it won’t leave the system for a prolonged period of time which will inevitably impact your sleep.

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