Do you need that Pre-Game hype?

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Samantha L. Quartuccio, Staff Writer

Athletes step into the gym, ready to make the most out of a workout, but the question stands: is the pre-workout worth it?

Those passionate about working out battle between concerns: will consuming pre-workout give one a euphoric feeling, or will mass amounts of caffeine pose potential danger? Pre-workout helps to remain alert and focused in the gym and complete tedious tasks according to Should You Drink Coffee Before Working Out? (byrdie.com)

“I take pre-workout because it gives me a buzz. I love having that feeling when I work out. I get tingles down my body, and I feel like I can accomplish more. But sometimes, after my gym session, I crash. My body goes from having all this energy and strength, to feeling like a spaghetti noodle. That caffeine crash is definitely dependent on the pre-workout you take,” senior Megan Morris said. 

A pre-workout formula can be pure caffeine. However, most contain a combination of nutrients, such as creatine monohydrate, amino acids, B vitamins and electrolytes. These are all usual supplements found in sports nutrition, but it is helpful and convenient to have them all in one supplement. 

“Pre-workouts are stimulants by definition, which means they can create a diuretic effect that leads to dehydration. When using pre-workout supplements, you may need to take in additional water and electrolytes to maintain a balance. All my clients’ bodies react differently to pre work I had them try.”  NASM-certified personal trainer Liz Lotts said. 

 For example, a human body needs amino acids to help build and repair muscles. It requires a balance in electrolytes as it loses them through sweat and dehydrating stimulants. 

“There’s been workouts where I took too much pre-workout and I got very sick to my stomach and would rather go without it. Sometimes working out without me even feels better,” junior Liam Duncan said. 

 Caffeine and other popular pre-workout add-ins stimulate the central nervous system. However, there comes a point when a nervous system cannot use all the energy given. This creates a shaky, tingly sensation that many people do not enjoy. 

“As a person who works out on a consistent basis, I feel pre-workout is totally ok. Different pre-workouts give you different feelings. Some make you jittery, some make you feel like you are going to puke and some just give you the little push you need. As long as you’re being safe, there’s no harm in taking a pre-workout,”  Morris said. 

 In this process, heart rate will also increase quite rapidly. This can be extremely risky for anyone with a pre-existing heart condition or vulnerability to anxiety or panic attacks. If one’s sensitive to caffeine or other stimulants, pre-workout may not hold benefits.