Imagine you’ve had a long day and maybe even a long week and you know you have to work out but you feel so exhausted that you don’t even have the energy to start your work out. Well, the good news is that there are pre-workout supplements that can give you a boost. Even if you’re not necessarily exhausted, the supplements can also help you maximize your work out, but there is a catch! Doctors are warning that many pre-workout supplements are unregulated and are “like crack”.
Some of the caffeine levels in the supplements are as much as the equivalent of 20 cups of coffee!
“They all tend to have the same thing. One is beta alanine, which is great for dilation of blood vessels, and dilation is great for when you exercise; because it gives you great aerobic capacity. It brings blood through the heart,” said said Dr. Christopher Balgobin of Fairview Clinics.
He added: “The other one is alpha keto-glutarate. Another one is a vasodilator. It’s helps you really get pumped up.”
Another main ingredient in these supplements is caffeine.
“Some of these products have as much caffeine as three cups of coffee,” Balgobin said. “I’ve heard of products out there that have enough caffeine for 20 cups of coffee.”
Too much caffeine can lead to heart issues, difficulty sleeping and risk of stroke.
However, the most controversial ingredient in some is 1-3 dimethylamylamine or DMAA.
“1-3 dimethylamylamine is essentially like Adderall or Ritalin in a legalized form,” Balgobin said. “The supplement is available over the count still. It was banned by the government to be used in the military, and some professional groups do test for this as a legal substance. What it does: It helps you with focusing and energy…I like to be frank: It’s like crack. It gets you really just gone.”