Lots of people enjoy a good workout, but the reality is that people aren't mentally or physically prepared to work out at a particular time.
Work, frequent exercise, and social interaction can all contribute to individuals lacking the energy to do their best during workout sessions. That's why pre-workout supplements were invented, to give people the focus and fuel they need to do vigorous exercise.
Unfortunately, many of these supplements contain caffeine, which is a substance that raises serious health concerns, especially if used for long periods of time.
What Is A Pre-Workout Supplement?
Pre-workout supplements are substances people use before workouts to increase mental quickness and improve endurance.
They typically come in the form of powders that can be easily mixed into beverages. Most of these supplements take anywhere from half an hour to an hour to work, so they're usually taken a decent amount of time in advance of an exercise session.
These mixes also contain sugars, often glucose, and energy-boosting substances, like taurine or caffeine, to get both mind and body in the right state for a workout.
Caffeine's Effect on The Heart
In moderate amounts, caffeine isn't bad for heart health most of the time. In fact, it's possible for the average person to have up to 4 cups of coffee per day without experiencing any ill effects.
However, abnormally large doses of caffeine can cause serious health problems. High caffeine doses raise blood pressure substantially to the point that it begins to thicken the heart muscle, leading to a less efficient pumping of blood and a possible heart attack. Additionally, it's possible for high caffeine intake to result in frequent heart palpitations.
It's not uncommon for individuals who habitually use pre-workout supplements with high levels of caffeine to require medical intervention for heart problems.
Better Pre-Workouts to Protect The Heart
Although many pre-workout supplements can cause long-term health problems, there are caffeine-free options that work just as well.
Stim free pre-workout supplements are a much better choice for maintaining heart health, especially with frequent use. Legion Athletics, makers of the highly praised supplement Pulse, state their stim free pre workout supplements provide "more strength, stamina, and focus" without the inevitable crash that caffeine causes in more traditional supplements.
Ways to Reduce Side Effects
Caffeine doesn't necessarily have to be a no-go, but it's generally good to avoid it. It's better to use supplements that lack caffeine and contain more natural ingredients, with less obscure dyes and emulsifiers.
Additionally, it's a good choice to stick with energy-boosting vitamins derived from natural, non-processed foods.
Developing A Workout Plan
Realistically, to consistently stick to a workout plan, some extra help will be needed. Pre-workout supplements are hardly a bad thing; they can provide substantial energy when the need calls for it.
However, not all supplements are created equal and it's highly recommended workout enthusiasts pick supplements that lack potentially harmful substances, just to be safe.