Pre-workout gummies are supplements designed to enhance physical performance and mental focus during workouts. Primarily, pre-workout gummies are an alternative to traditional pre-workout powders or shakes designed to provide energy and other performance benefits before engaging in physical exercise.
Now, even though pre-workout gummies are designed to help improve your exercise performance, it is still essential to read the ingredient list carefully, in order to ensure they align with your health needs and preferences.
Ingredients You Need To Watch For in Pre-Workout Gummies
When considering pre-workout gummies or any other types of pre-workout supplements for that matter, it's essential to carefully review the ingredient list. While many ingredients are generally “safe” for most people, some might raise concerns due to potential side effects, interactions with other medications, or lack of evidence regarding their benefits.
So, below are some main ingredients (and sub-ingredients) to be cautious of when considering pre-workout gummies.
Pre-workout gummies often contain artificial sweeteners like:
- Sucralose, Aspartame, Acesulfame Potassium: These are artificial sweeteners that some people prefer to avoid due to gastrointestinal issues or other concerns.
- High-Fructose Corn Syrup: Excessive sugar can lead to weight gain and is not recommended for diabetics.
While generally recognized as safe by many health authorities, some people report digestive issues or other adverse effects.
Other High Sugar Content
Some pre-workout gummies use sugar as a sweetener, which can lead to an initial burst of energy followed by a sugar crash. High sugar content can also contribute to unwanted weight gain and other health issues.
High Caffeine Content
Many pre-workout supplements contain caffeine for its stimulating effects. While caffeine can improve performance, too much can cause jitteriness, insomnia, and increased heart rate. If you're sensitive to caffeine or consume it from other sources, consider this.
Sometimes used as an alternative to ephedra, synephrine may cause similar side effects like high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
Taurine is an amino acid included for its potential to improve athletic performance. However, in combination with caffeine, it can sometimes lead to jitters, insomnia, or heart palpitations.
Derived from the bark of an African tree, yohimbe has been used to improve athletic performance and facilitate weight loss. However, it can cause a range of side effects, including increased heart rate, high blood pressure, dizziness, and gastrointestinal distress.
DMAA (1,3-dimethylamylamine) is a stimulant that can narrow the blood vessels and arteries, leading to heart attacks or other cardiovascular events. Due to its potential risks, the FDA has warned against its use, and it's banned in many countries.
DMHA (Octodrine) is a stimulant with effects similar to DMAA but slightly less potent. Its safety profile hasn't been well-studied, but there are concerns about potential heart and blood pressure issues.
While creatine is generally considered safe and effective for boosting exercise performance, it's not for everyone. It can cause digestive issues and, in some cases, contribute to water retention.
Some products use "proprietary blends" without disclosing the exact amounts of individual ingredients. This can make it hard to gauge how much of a particular ingredient you're getting, making the safety and effectiveness harder to assess.
Artificial Colors and Preservatives
Although these are generally considered safe in small amounts, some individuals are sensitive to artificial additives like sucralose, aspartame, and acesulfame potassium, which can cause digestive upset in certain individuals.
For all you vegetarians or vegans out there, you will need to avoid gummies made with bovine gelatin – a common gelling agent derived from animals.
Always check the label for potential allergens, especially if you have food allergies or other sensitivities. Some gummies might contain gelatin, which is not suitable for vegetarians and vegans, or other allergens like nuts or soy.
Please Note: Everyone’s body is different. What works well for one person might not work for another. It's essential to consult with your doctor/physician, or a registered dietitian before starting any new pre-workout supplement to ensure it's safe and suitable for your individual needs.