You're Taking Too Much Pre-Workout If This Happens To You

Pre-workout supplements can help you feel more energized before and during your workouts. While they are generally safe to use, it can be easy to go overboard when taking pre-workout. Here's how to know you're taking too much.

Pre-workout usually comes in a powder form, although it can also be found in pills and capsules. All forms of pre-workout have potential side effects. These usually include feeling jittery, increased heart rate, increased water retention, tingling in your hands, digestive issues, and headaches (via Healthline).

Caffeine is a common ingredient in pre-workout. This stimulant can cause all of the above symptoms on its own. If you are taking a pre-workout and experiencing these symptoms to a degree that you don't like, consider taking a smaller serving size. If that doesn't work, try to find a pre-workout that does not contain caffeine. You may not experience the same energy increase when taking the supplement, but many pre-workout powders contain ingredients that can still reduce muscle fatigue and improve recovery.

Too much pre-workout can be deadly

Like many supplements, pre-workout is not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (via GQ).

"Regulation of pre-workout supplements is not the same as pharmaceutical medicines," Jessica Alvarez, RD, an assistant professor of medicine at Emory University, told GQ. "That means that supplement companies don't have to prove that their products are safe, or of high quality, or effective before they hit the shelves."

This means it's crucial to read the ingredient list and understand what is going into your body. You should also be aware of the amount of each ingredient you are taking. Too much caffeine, for example, can cause anxiety, insomnia, increased heart rate, and even lead to a heart attack (Healthline). It is recommended that adults consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day (via Mayo Clinic).

You can choose safer supplements by looking for independent certifications through companies like NSF, Informed-Choice, and the Banned Substances Control Group. You still need to monitor your own intake of these supplements, but you can be more confident that your pre-workout isn't full of crazy ingredients.