This Is What Drinking Pre-Workout Before The Gym Is Really Doing To Your Body

by Georgina Berbari

You know when you're so sleep-deprived, you're pretty sure you're hearing colors?

I feel this on a spiritual level, as I may or may not be writing this article as we speak on two hours of sleep.

And TBH, when I think of the HIIT circuit I have planned for later, I'm pretty sure the only way I'll be able to make it through the sluggishness is with the magic of a pre-workout supplement.

When it comes to these pre-workout products, there are lots of competing opinions on whether or not they're actually good for your body, and whether they actually help you maintain energy for a workout.

Some people swear by this often sugar-infused substance, while others opt for a more natural alternative to fuel their sweat sesh.

Elite Daily spoke with personal trainer Greer Rothermel to get the literal scoop on this caffeinated craze.

She begins by asking a rather important question:

First things first, have you ever actually looked at the ingredient list on the side of a pre-workout supplement? If so, you probably can't understand even half of what's listed, which is a clear indication that you probably shouldn't be putting it into your body.

Rothermel explains there are two things that most pre-workout supplements contain: vasodilators and stimulants -- both of which can put a really heavy load on your heart and your blood pressure.

These ingredients dilate your blood vessels, which gives you great aerobic capacity (especially during exercise) and helps you get pumped up and energetic for your workout.

But stimulants in particular actually have the potential for abuse and addiction.

So if you start feeling like you need your magic pre-workout juice to get you through that HIIT circuit, you're probably not wrong.

But it's also your body's way of sending you a huge red flag.

Plus, the typical recommended amount of pre-workout to take is often not actually safe for all individuals.

According to a New York Times article, army private Michael Lee Sparling collapsed after taking a pre-workout supplement while running with his unit in 2011.

He went into cardiac arrest and passed away later that day.

This just goes to show how an elevated heart rate brought on by these types of pre-workout supplements, combined with strenuous cardiovascular activity, can put way too much of an unnecessary strain on the heart.

Clearly, a single scoop may be a lot more serious than you'd think.

Rothermel tells Elite Daily that other side effects of taking pre-workout supplements include dehydration, kidney problems, and high blood pressure:

The best advice I can give to fueling a good workout is a combination of natural foods in the form of carbohydrates (like bananas or oatmeal), protein, and definitely water -- rather than consuming a pre-workout supplement.

Bottom line: It's probably best to toss your pre-lift powder. It's not doing you or your body any real favors.

Peace out, pre-workout.