I want you to know that I am here today because of how much I care about you. I am writing this article and blog out of love. You are very important to me and always have been. I know we haven’t spent much time together lately, but I want you to know I am here for you.
I’m writing this right now because there is a glaring issue that is tearing your body apart, and I can no longer stand by and watch your health melt away because of that substance. I know you love it, and you get terrific workouts, but I see it from a different perspective. What you are reading right now is an intervention on your addiction with Pre-Workout!
But for real!
Listen, I know how great pre-workout feels, but it is a slippery slope. First, your mom accidentally buys some C4 at the warehouse club. You have a half scoop and have the most fantastic workout. Then next thing you know you are snorting lines of some mystery powder with a sharpie label that says “God Rage” and screaming at little children on your way to the gym — not speaking from experience or anything.
My first time drinking pre-workout was probably one of the best weightlifting workouts I ever had. All my lifts went up 10%, and I cut my rest time in half (if you count anxiously pacing in between sets as rest). 18 year old me was completely hooked! The issue is that over time, pre-workout went from a high-performance enhancer to something vital for me to get into the gym. It got to the point where if I didn’t have 2-3 scoops then I wouldn’t even feel any difference. About two years ago, I completely stopped taking traditional pre-workout, which resulted in a lot of changes for me in the gym. It has opened my eyes to a lot about not just pre-workout, but the supplement industry in general. If you are working out for the focus of health, then you have to ditch the tub of turbo powder that is sitting in your kitchen right now. Here is why…
1. Pre-workout masks your need to rest
We live in a culture where the sleepless hard workers are idols, and the giants of the bodybuilding world are the idea of health. What these people have in common is the use of supplements to charge down a path of health destruction. Pre-workout is to the fitness junkie, what cocaine or Adderal is to the sleepless business executive. They are both used to push past the body’s warning signs that it is time to take a step back and get some rest. This downtime is essential for your overall well being both physically and emotionally. Listening to your body and taking an off day will not make you fat, will not shrink your arms, and it most certainly allows you to get a better workout the next day. If you are getting adequate sleep and eating right then, you will not need the two scoops after work to power through a workout. If you don’t make this change, then burnout, injuries, and depression are in your future.
2. There is way too much caffeine.
This point may seem simple, but a lot of people forget this fact. Too much caffeine is not healthy for you. I will be the first one to raise my hand for a cup of joe, but there is a vast difference between 120 mg of caffeine in the morning and 350 mg after work. The half-life of caffeine is about 6 hours. Meaning if you take a scoop of pre-workout at 5:30 before the post-work lift sesh, then you still are going to have 175 mg in your system at 11:30. This practice will significantly affect your sleep and contribute to the downward health spiral that pre-workout causes. You need sleep to recover all systems vital for your overall wellness. Even if you can still get to sleep, I can guarantee that you are missing out on the necessary rem cycles because of the caffeine in your system.
3. The ingredients are not healthy.
Just because a supplement is for working out, does not make it healthy. If the names like Craze, Angel Dust, Wreckage, and Pathogen don’t give you a hint that this substance may not be healthy for you, then maybe we should consider the actual ingredients that go into these tubs. Most, if not all, of the pre-workouts I have seen, are filled with artificial sweeteners and flavors. Sucralose (sweet and low) is one of the main ones I see across the board. Artificial sweeteners are horrible for your mind and body, and this will not be the first time this statement appears in my blog. The phrase “Natural flavors” doesn’t mean that there is some organically farmed magic dust that gives a wholesome flavor. This label is just used to blanket over a lot of chemicals that haven’t been tested by the FDA, and even the makers have minimal scientific data to back up the health effects.
What has replaced my pre-workout
So even though I do try to work out free of the pre, the meathead inside of me still enjoys some hard lifts. I go heavy from time to time and think it is necessary for overall wellness and longterm health. When I do decide to stack on the plates in the gym, I enjoy a little concoction that I got from Thomas DeLauer’s youtube videos. It is simple, cheap, doesn’t break a fast, and gives you what you need for a heavy workout. The ingredients are listed below. This cocktail is not going to taste the greatest, but it is a healthy alternative to pre-workouts on the market.
-Black coffee (Go with cold brew if you want more caffeine)
-Beta-Alanine (Reduces muscle fatigue)
-L-Theanine (Increases focus and mitigate caffeine jitters)
-L-citrulline (Opens NO pathways and give you a pump)
The three supplements can be found in bulk on Amazon or sold individually in supplement stores. I paid about $50 for bulk containers of all three, and I have barely made a dent in over six months.
If you love pre-workout, this is not an attack on you. If you are a competitor or athletic professional, there is a time and place to push past your body’s natural warning signs. If you are an everyday person who is working out for health and fitness, then you might want to reconsider your pre-gym habits. A lot of times, all someone needs is more sleep and better nutrition to erase the obligation for pre-workout. My advice is to look at lifestyle choices that can be implemented to increase energy, before turning to any supplement. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out through Instagram or the blog’s contact page. Also if you like this article and know someone who needs to go to “Prehab”, then please share it with them.
With big love,