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Can Pre-Workout Supplements Make You Sick?

Pre-workout supplements are very popular sports supplements that many athletes take, not just gym addicts.

Pre-workout supplements contain compounds that increase strength, stamina, hydration, etc., allowing the athlete to perform better. However, taking pre-workout supplements should be done under supervision, especially by novice trainees, since pre-workout supplements may have some uncomfortable side effects... to say the least ...

Published: August 9, 2022.

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Pre-Workout Supplements Common Ingredients

The most common ingredients of the pre-workout sports supplements include caffeine, vitamins B complex, beta-alanine, creatine, citrulline, vitamin C, tyrosine, AAK (Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate), magnesium, calcium, salt, vitamin D, BCAA, etc.

We will not discuss the effect of every single potential component, but it is important to emphasize that pre-workout supplements do work, but they also have side effects, one of which is increasing heart beat rate and blood pressure.

Healthy individuals shouldn't have serious issues with pre-workout supplements, but regular health checks are highly recommended; also, tell your doctor about your supplement list.

Individuals already having high blood pressure, heart issues, and similar issues should NOT take any pre-workout supplement - actually, before starting to workout, consult your doctor, just in case.


Caffeine is a very important ingredient of any pre-workout supplement since it increases energy levels and improves strength.

However, a single cup of coffee can have 80-100mg of caffeine and is often enough for an individual to feel more energetic.

On the other hand, many pre-workout supplements contain 300-500 mg of caffeine per single dose, which may be really too much for people who are sensitive to caffeine.

Too much caffeine can cause jitters, tremors, high blood pressure, butterflies in the stomach, can increase heart rate, etc.

If You are sensitive to caffeine, go for a pre-workout supplement that is relatively low (<200 mg per serving) in caffeine, and start slowly in order to assess your sensitivity to the pre-workout supplement.

B Complex Vitamins

B complex vitamins are water-soluble vitamins that play an important role in energy metabolism, especially Niacin (B3 vitamin).

Niacin may cause skin flush and tingling in the arms and legs, which can be a very uncomfortable feeling for people not used to it.

By keeping the Niacin levels to 500mg or less per serving may also prevent Niacin flush.


Beta-alanine helps trainees sustain the workout for slightly longer.

It is usually dosed at 4–6 grams per serving, increasing exercise performance and reducing fatigue.

Both Niacin and beta-alanine may cause a tingling and skin flush in hands and feet - again, harmless, but may be uncomfortable.


Creatine increases muscle hydration, improving both strength and stamina.

However, some trainees may feel puffy and bloated when taking creatine before the workouts.

In that case, if You want to take creatine, feel free to consume it in the protein shake after the workout with whey, fast carbs, and other ingredients of such shakes.


Magnesium may be present in various forms, one of which is often magnesium citrate, which increases magnesium absorption, but in larger quantities, it may have a laxative effect.

Magnesium is very important for metabolic processes in muscles, but if You are too sensitive to magnesium, look for a low magnesium pre-workout supplement.

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The list of other possible ingredients is very long - each manufacturer tries to convince the athletes that their product is "the best" and will take their performances to the next level.

Personally, pre-workout supplements are great, but people were lifting heavy stuff much before such supplements were invented.

For short, pre-workout supplements are great, just be sure to find those that work for You and cycle them.

And don't forget to eat properly, sleep enough, and rest when needed!

Note: Before taking pre-workout supplements, check your health at your doctor's office - better safe than sorry.

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