More and more fitness enthusiasts are working pre-workout gummies into their daily routines. Made with natural compounds, including a whole lot of nutrients, these gummies can fuel your fire while you aim to reach your fitness goals.
In general, they’re considered safe for most people to take (although you should talk to your doctor anyway, especially if you have underlying conditions or are on medications), but what about middle-aged people and seniors, who may have more advanced needs?
What’s in a Pre-Workout Gummy?
Before we dive into the key question at hand, let’s take a look at what’s in most pre-workout gummies, because that has everything to do with whether or not they’re advisable for people above a certain age.
Keep in mind, too, that every company that makes pre-workout gummies is free to use any combination of gummies and slap “pre-workout” on the label. This means that we can’t speak for every single product out there, but there are some ingredients that you’re very likely to find in most of these gummies.
- Caffeine: Some pre-workout gummies contain caffeine, and that remains a very common ingredient on the fitness market. Caffeine, as we all know, is a natural stimulant that can give the mind and body the boost it needs to push itself harder when you’re going running. Caffeine can increase energy levels by acting on the body’s central nervous system, while increasing alertness and focus, to help us “stay in the game”. In general, the body tolerates caffeine just fine, and as an added bonus, it can support the body’s anabolic process, which serves the purpose of repairing broken muscle tissue – something that occurs when we exercise.
- Creatine: An incredibly popular option for pre-workout gummies, and it’s one of the most highly rated supplements among avid fitness enthusiasts. Creatine plays a major role in the production of adenosine triphosphate, which is energy, and it boosts muscle recovery as well as muscle mass, so that your legs can recover faster from all those miles. It’s also an organic compound, and generally considered safe to take on a daily basis for prolonged periods of time.
- Beta-Alanine: A nonessential amino acid that’s naturally produced in the body – although its effects on performance explain why so many fitness enthusiasts choose to go along with it, in order to get more into the system. Beta-alanine is crucial in reducing muscle fatigue, as well as the buildup of lactic acid, which can cause a person to feel excessive discomfort while they’re running.
- Branch-Chain Amino Acids (BCCAs): BCAAs consist of valine, isoleucine, and leucine, which are critical to increase muscle growth, boost energy, and reduce muscle fatigue mid-workout. These amino acids also improve immunity. Overall, they can give you the push to need to go that extra mile.
- Nitrates: These are quite a common category of compounds in the foods that we eat, including leafy green vegetables, and consist of nitrogen and oxygen molecules. Consuming nitrates allows the body to produce nitric oxide, which improves circulation. The result of that is a lower heart rate, more muscle contractions, and improved breathing, all of which can support you while you run. The most commonly used nitrates in pre-workout gummies are L-arginine and L-citrulline. Because beets are naturally high in nitrates, you’ll also find beetroot as a common ingredient in pre-workout gummies.
Are Pre-Workout Gummies Safe for Middle-Aged People and Seniors?
Now, let’s get to the main question, which is whether people above a certain age are able to take these pre-workout gummies safely. In general, they are regarded as safe, when taken properly – that is, according to the directions on the label, as determined by the manufacturer. And, if they can make someone who is older more motivated to work out, and more capable of pushing themselves to stay healthy through a regular fitness routine, then that’s certainly a good thing.
Now, the ingredients above are in many things that people of all ages consume. Take coffee, which has caffeine. Seniors drink coffee all the time, with no ill effects. The same goes for nitrates, which, like we said, are in many vegetables that people of all ages eat on a daily basis.
The tricky part comes when we consider things like underlying health conditions and medications, as the older we get, the more prone we are to these kinds of things. For example, if you’re above a certain age, you’re more likely to develop certain heart conditions that could make certain stimulants, like caffeine, more potentially risky. Plus, blood thinners, which are prescribed for many conditions that are more common with age, often come with the requirement of cutting down on nitrates, as they can actually thin the blood even more.
Basically, this means that if you’re a middle-aged or senior individual, you’re going to really need to be conscious of your own unique health situation before deciding to take pre-workout gummies.
Safety Considerations for Middle-Aged People
For middle-aged adults, there are some particular considerations:
- Cardiovascular Risks: Ingredients like caffeine can elevate heart rate and blood pressure. If you’ve any heart conditions or cardiovascular risk factors, consult your healthcare provider before using pre-workout supplements.
- Interaction with Medications: If you are taking any medications, especially for heart disease, diabetes, or other chronic conditions common in middle age, some ingredients in pre-workout supplements may interact negatively with those medications.
- Metabolic Effects: Ingredients like sugar and other carbohydrates could have an impact on blood sugar levels.
- Tolerance: As you age, your body may not metabolize substances in the same way it did when you were younger. High levels of certain pre-workout ingredients could therefore stay in your system for longer periods of time.
- Bone and Joint Health: Some middle-aged people have issues with bone density or joint health. Make sure that the types of exercise you're engaging in are appropriate for your physical condition, regardless of any supplements you may be taking.
Safety Considerations for Seniors
The considerations around the safety of pre-workout gummies—or any pre-workout supplements—for seniors are similar to those for middle-aged adults, but generally more heightened due to the increased risk of chronic health conditions and interactions with medications that often come with age.
Here are some specific factors that seniors should consider:
- Cardiovascular Risks: Many seniors are on medications for heart health and may have existing cardiovascular conditions. Stimulants like caffeine, commonly found in pre-workout supplements, can have adverse effects on heart rate and blood pressure.
- Interaction with Medications: Many seniors are on medications for a variety of health conditions, including but not limited to cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and hypertension. The ingredients in pre-workout supplements could potentially interact with these medications in harmful ways.
- Metabolic Changes: Aging affects how the body metabolizes drugs and supplements. What may be a safe dosage for a younger person could be excessive for an older adult.
- Chronic Conditions: The prevalence of chronic conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, and liver disease increases with age. Some ingredients in pre-workout supplements may exacerbate these conditions.
- Renal Function: Kidney function often declines with age, and some ingredients in pre-workout supplements might be metabolized or excreted by the kidneys.
- Bone and Joint Health: With age comes an increased risk of osteoporosis and joint problems. While this doesn't directly relate to the safety of pre-workout gummies, it's an important consideration in the context of the physical activity that the supplements are intended to support.
- Digestive System: Some seniors experience changes in their digestive system that could be affected by pre-work out gummies, such as a decreased ability to absorb certain nutrients or an increased sensitivity to certain ingredients.
- Cognitive Effects: Stimulants and other ingredients may have different effects on an older brain, including increased risk for anxiety or sleep disturbances.
Recommendations for Middle-Aged and Seniors
As you can see, the safety of pre-workout gummies, like all supplements, can vary significantly from person to person and may be influenced by a range of factors. Still, even so, there are some important things you can do in order to make sure the pre-workout gummies (or any supplements you take) can work for your specific fitness needs.
- Consult a Healthcare Provider: Given the increased likelihood of having one or more chronic health conditions, and potentially being on medications for those conditions, consulting a healthcare provider before starting any new supplement is crucial.
- Read Labels: Make sure to carefully check the ingredients and their dosages in any supplement. This is particularly important for seniors who may be more sensitive to certain ingredients.
- Start with a Low Dosage: If given the all-clear by a healthcare provider, start with a low dosage to assess tolerance.
- Monitor for Adverse Effects: Pay close attention to any potential side effects, such as dizziness, rapid heartbeat, or digestive discomfort.
- Regular Check-ups: If you decide to continue using pre-workout supplements, regular check-ups are advisable to monitor any long-term effects on your health.
Final Answer: It All Really Depends
The key thing to know is that anyone can take pre-workout gummies, in theory, as long as their doctor advises it. There is nothing about these gummies that’s inherently less safe for people once they reach a certain age. However, since people are more prone to some fairly common health conditions as they get older, that could have something to do with whether or not it’s safe for you to take certain pre-workout gummies – and that’s also true of all kinds of supplements.
Because we want anyone who is taking pre-workout gummies to be safe, and get as much out of them as possible, we urge you to consider your own personal health status, and take gummies according to the label, no matter what age you are. This way, you will avoid any potential side effects as much as possible, while benefiting from a highly effective fitness regimen.