In this article, I will share different ways you can avoid pre-workout side effects and cure them if you are experiencing any.
Along with offering promising outcomes like enhanced endurance and boosted energy, pre-workouts are also associated with some negative health outcomes.
But quitting their use due to the fear of those consequences isn’t an option.
You can avoid pre-workout side effects by choosing the right supplement, taking smaller doses, and staying away from dangerous trends like dry scooping. And to get rid of negative effects, stay hydrated, meditate, and increase your intake of herbs and probiotics.
Next up, I have discussed these methods in detail with evidence from scientific research.
So stay along till the end to get all related insights.
How do avoid pre-workout side effects?
Following are some tips that can save you from going through the hassle of bearing pre-workout side effects and curing them.
1. Take smaller servings
Side effects of pre-workouts are mostly caused due to overdosing on different ingredients.
Especially when you start taking supplements, and there is a sudden boost in the blood levels of citrulline, arginine, caffeine, nitric oxide, beta-alanine, etc.; therefore, your body may show severe reactions.
You can escape most of these adversities by starting with small doses and gradually. Begin with half or 1/4th scoop and gradually increase your dose. But it is recommended that you do not take more than 2 scoops a day.
2. Avoid proprietary blends
Sometimes companies do not disclose the exact proportion of all ingredients added to their products; such formulations are called proprietary blends.
A piece of advice? Please avoid such pre-workouts because you don’t know how many stimulants or allergic compounds they have included.
Hence the risk of overdosage is high if your supplement includes a proprietary blend.
3. Choose low caffeine products
Many of the pre-workout negative effects are the consequence of consuming a high amount of concentrated caffeine. These problems include anxiety, jitters, hypertension, and disturbance of sleep.
About 150 mg to 400mg of caffeine anhydrous is added to most formulations as an energy-boosting compound.
It is a very concentrated form of caffeine, as per FDA findings, and you will be prone to caffeine toxicity if you choose a supplement with high caffeine content.
That is why it is necessary that you opt only for those products which have low to moderate amounts of caffeine.
And if you are among the population of caffeine-sensitive people, you should completely avoid caffeinated products and choose a stimulant-free pre-workout.
4. Lookout for allergens
When you are buying any supplement, you should check the ingredient rundown before making a purchase because it is necessary that you have a clear idea of what you are taking inside your body.
This becomes even more important if you have a history of any food allergy like lactose intolerance or caffeine sensitivity.
If your stomach gets upset by consuming dairy products or you are diagnosed with lactase deficiency. Avoid pre-workouts that list milk sugar or lactose in their supplements charts.
Similarly, opt for caffeine-free products if you are sensitive to caffeine and feel stress or depression after taking a cup of tea or coffee.
In case you have got sensitive skin or any diseases like dermatitis, you should look for a formulation that does not contain beta-alanine or niacin, as both of these compounds trigger itchiness and skin flush.
5. Do not dry scoop
All supplements usually come with “How to use?” instructions, and it is wise advice to follow along.
The traditional method of consuming pre-workouts requires you to shake the powder with water and take it in liquid form.
But recently, a TikTok trend, “dry scooping,” has become very famous. According to this method, Pre-workout powder is directly dumped into the mouth, followed by a gulp of water.
This method is quick and hassle-free, but its efficacy is not established, and neither is it a safe technique. It is associated with a risk of choking, cardiovascular arrest, and even brain injury (in severe cases).
So, it is better to stick with the traditional way and follow the mixing procedure prescribed by the brand.
5 Ways to Get Rid of Pre-workout Side effects
Water can help you cure headaches, insomnia, or digestive issues developing from pre-workout usage.
When you work out, you sweat and lose plenty of water and electrolytes. In addition, pre-workouts have diuretic effects due to caffeine content.
So, it is necessary that you drink water more often to compensate for this loss.
Increasing your water intake can help you deal with pre-workout headaches. As data from this study reports that when migraine patients increased their water consumption, the intensity and duration of headaches were significantly reduced.
In a research paper, high water intake is also found beneficial for improving mood and sleep quality. Thus, you should drink water in plenty to calm your mind, let go of anxiety and fall asleep sooner.
Moreover, water has positive effects in dermatological terms. This analysis shows that it improves skin physiology. So, your skin rash and tingling troubles may be reduced by frequent hydration.
Using lukewarm water instead of cold water can also enhance digestive efficiency. Warmth will release the strain on gastrointestinal muscles and speed up digestion.
Hence, it may reduce bloating and abdominal pain.
Probiotics, aka healthy bacteria, can also help you recover from pre-workout ailments.
Probiotics play supportive roles in intestinal digestion, and their efficacy in the treatment of functional gastrointestinal disorders is evident in this research paper. It suggests the use of probiotics for various kinds of diarrheas, irritable bowel syndrome, and enterocolitis.
A review study conducted in 2015 shows that probiotic bacterio-therapy tends to prevent and treat skin diseases like hypersensitivity, eczema, dermatitis, and allergic inflammation.
These microbial agents also help in the better management of psychiatric ailments.
As indicated by systematic research, probiotics have a positive effect on the central nervous system. They may help you reduce pre-workout-induced anxiety and depression.
Use Ginger and Garlic
Pre-workout side effects can also be shooked off using herbal extracts.
A 2016 systematic review concludes that garlic preparations are effective for lowering systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Therefore, if caffeine causes a spike in your blood pressure, using garlic as a cure might just serve as a lifesaver!
It may act as an immunomodulator as well, reducing the sensitivity of skin neurons to itch-causing substances in pre-workouts.
So, spice up your meal with a little garlic powder, and the tingle and flush will likely fade away sooner.
Adding natural herbs to your diet will also help you avoid pre-workout bloating and diarrhea.
According to a study, extracts from Ginger and Artichoke were found effective as to improve symptoms of chronic gastrointestinal disease, and functional dyspepsia.
You can also indulge in mindfulness practices to get rid of pre-workout ailments. Because mindfulness meditation can help improve your cognitive abilities. Not to mention that effective stress management is the most obvious benefit of such practices.
A clinical study reports that when migraine patients practiced yoga for a period of three months, they experienced a reduction in pain intensity and frequency of headaches.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is an 8-week meditation program recommended as a treatment for chronic insomnia. This randomized trial infers that MBSR decreased the duration and quality of sleep.
Similarly, yoga can help you deal with hypertension, as a study found it an effective intervention for lowering blood pressure.
Also read: Best Pre-Workouts for Yoga
Mild physical activity can also help you cure anxiety, insomnia, or bloating caused by pre-workouts.
Research trial confirms that light exercise enhances gas clearance and ameliorates symptoms of abdominal bloating.
Likewise, mild exercise like a brisk walk or a bike ride will help you have a good sleep at night. A study of sleep medicine demonstrated that aerobic exercises are an effective treatment for chronic insomnia.
It also has anxiolytic effects and reduces the severity of stress-related disorders, as suggested by Psychiatric research.
FAQs on getting rid of workout supplement effects
How to get rid of pre-workout headaches?
Drinking more water and yoga aids in curing migraine and other headaches. An increase in water intake is likely to make your headache less painful and short-lived. Similarly, if you practice breathing exercises and meditation, headaches will soon fade away.
How much pre-workout should I take?
Generally, it is recommended that you take maximum of 2 scoops daily.
But it depends!
Because every pre-workout supplement is different; they have different ingredients in different proportions. So it is better to stick with the company’s instructions.
How long does pre-workout last?
It varies but mostly you will experience pre-workout effects for 30 minutes to 2 hours after you took them.
Every compound in pre-workout formulation stays in the body for a different time and this duration also varies from person to person.
Scientific studies show that the half-life of caffeine is 5 hours, beta-alanine is 25 minutes, creatine is 3.85 hours, while that of arginine is only 3.7-8.4 minutes.
Is pre-workout bad for your body?
No, if you take small doses of pre-workouts, they won’t cause you any harm but would enhance your performance at the gym. There are some mild side effects, though, like itching and redness of the skin.
But if you overdose on these supplements, they can certainly damage your health to a greater extent.
Overconsumption of pre-workout can cause headaches, bloating, diarrhea, hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, jitters, and even liver damage.
Pre-workouts lift up your energy and power, but they do come with their fair share of cons.
We can escape from these adversities by avoiding overconsumption and choosing products with fewer stimulants and allergens.
If you are suffering from headaches, rashes, stress, or insomnia due to pre-workouts, use more probiotics and herbs like ginger, garlic, and peppermint in your diet.
Moreover, you can inculcate meditation in your lifestyle to improve sleep quality and overall emotional well-being.