Workout Supplement Cautions

preworkout safety

DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone)

DHEA is a common supplement used by bodybuilders because of its effect on testosterone and strength. DHEA levels drop beginning at the age of 30, causing decreased muscle mass and libido.

DHEA seems to be a great addition to a workout stack, but there are several reported side effects. Due to the fluctuation of testosterone levels, DHEA can cause psychological disturbances including anger and insomnia. Supplementing with DHEA can also cause gender-specific alterations such as shrinking of testes or unwanted hair growth.

DHEA is likely safe when taken as directed; however, it is important to contact a physician prior to use.

Vitamins C and E

VitaminC[1]These vitamins are found in most workout supplements acting as natural antioxidants. Both vitamins C and E offer many benefits including weight management support, healthy skin, and improved immune function.

It is safe to use vitamins C and E; however, it is much more beneficial to consume these vitamins through whole foods rather than supplements. Overdoing these supplements can result in fewer mitochondria meaning less energy and growth.

Tribulus Terrestris

Tribulus Terrestris is a common ingredient in testosterone boosters and pre workout supplements. Tribulus claims state that the supplement increases testosterone levels, thus improving strength, muscle mass, and sex drive.

There have been no dangerous side effects reported from Tribulus supplementation, so it appears safe to consume. The problem with Tribulus is that there are very little studies to back up the claims stating this supplement supports testosterone or performance enhancement.


Yohimbine is a popular supplement taken to increase energy and fat loss, which is why yohimbine is a common ingredient in weight loss and pre workout supplements.

This supplement needs to be treated just like other stimulants. Too many stimulating supplements can cause anxiety, high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and insomnia. When using supplements in this category, it is always wise to start at the lowest dose possible to assess tolerance.

Effective and Safe Pre-Workout Supplements

Whey Protein Make sure you have some whey protein and some Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAA) like isoleucine, leucine, and valine. The whey is the same protein you needed when you were a child to help you grow big and strong while the BCAA’s help your body use the protein more effectively and reduce delayed muscle soreness.

While some workout supplements have approximately 900,000 ingredients, taking the time to make sure you know what each one is and what it does can not only give you a better workout, it can save your life. Also remember that any of the beneficial ingredients – such as caffeine – can be harmful if taken in improper amounts.

The Bottom Line

Taking supplements daily is an excellent way to feel better and work harder; however, some dietary supplements do have side effects. It is always recommended to speak with a doctor before taking any dietary supplement.

Is Vitamin C an Effective Addition to a Pre-Workout Supplement Routine?

vitamin-c is an effective preworkout supplement

Introduction to Vitamin C:

Many weight training athletes seem to think that Vitamin C is simply something that comes in their daily multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. However, this lowly vitamin is probably the most important and popular nutritional ingredient of all time. After all, it has so many benefits and helps to work on a number of different levels that even if it did nothing to help a workout directly it would still be worth taking.

Nevertheless, there are a number of benefits that actually relate to how Vitamin C will help your workout. It is a powerful anti-oxidant, which means that it can help to improve the use of oxygen. Certainly this will benefit aerobic training like running, jogging, and bicycling. However, it may even help weight trainers to recover more quickly between intense sets under heavy loads. Also, this vitamin has recently accumulated a lot of evidence that it can help to reduce cortisol levels. This can be huge in helping to improve a workout as well.

The Cortisol Problem:

One of the major problems with cortisol is that it is the ultimate stress hormone. This actually signals the body to store fat and fight your best efforts to build muscle. Not to mention the fact that it also helps to keep you feeling tired, run down, and of course, stressed out.

Of course, we also need to remember that the whole point of a workout is to place more stress on your body. The idea is that by shocking the body with an intense load, the body needs to take drastic efforts in order to adapt (i.e. produce bigger muscles and lower fat levels, etc…). More intensity can mean more stress and more cortisol.

Vitamin C and Cortisol:

When taken before a workout, Vitamin C is able to help block the effects of cortisol. This blockage leads to the body being able to more readily adapt to the stress which your workout places upon it. Many researchers even think that Vitamin C may have properties that resemble hormones and is a powerful enemy of cortisol.

Taking around 500mg of this vital nutrient as a pre-workout supplement is certainly an excellent insurance policy. At the very least, you will see your energy levels increase and should also have an improved workout. You may even want to try taking some more immediately upon finishing a workout to help aid in the recovery process.

Extra Benefits:

Another excellent benefit of using Vitamin C on a regular basis is that it helps to clear any excess caffeine and other stimulants from your system. Not to mention that regular usage over a period of time can even help to increase testosterone levels. And this is certainly good for helping muscular recovery and rebuilding!

Why Non Lifters Can Benefit from Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are most known for being used by bodybuilders and gym enthusiasts. This however does not mean that this is all pre-workout supplements can be used for. You don’t have to be a regular gym-goer to benefit from the positive effects of pre-workout supplements.

There are all sorts of great supplements that can be used to enhance performance of all types of athletes. Basketball, football, volleyball players, runners, gymnasts and others can benefit from pre-workout supplements, even if they do not plan to hit the gym and lift weights.  Besides athletes, every day people can also benefit from these supplements.

Below you can see a short list that will emphasize and outline how some of the most popular pre-workout supplements can benefit athletes, and regular consumers alike.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate:

You don’t have to go to the gym to feel the effects of this supplement. This however will be more beneficial to athletes rather than average people. Magnesium Creatine Chelate will increase energy and stamina for endurance sports that include running, swimming and many team sports.  Also when participating in highly demanding physical activities, Creatine will help decrease muscle fatigue, thus helping you feel better next morning.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is another supplement that most people have heard off. It is one of the most researched, and safest commercially available supplements. Whey protein can be used by both athletes and just average, everyday people. Whey can repair previously damaged muscle tissue, and even out blood sugar levels. Besides fixing small problems your body might be having, whey also increases the feeling of fullness. By feeling fuller than you actually are, you can cut down on your meal size without feeling hungry. This may eventually lead to weight loss in some consumers.

Glutamine Supplement

L-glutamine is one of the 20 amino acids encoded in the genetic code. The majority of your body’s glutamine is produced in the muscle mass. L-glutamine helps decrease muscle break down, and increase muscle recovery time. Besides helping you keep your muscle in tip-top shape, glutamine benefits the immune system, protein synthesis, as well as nitrogen retention; making it a perfect natural supplement for everyone, including your average person. You can buy glutamine online in bulk.

Vitamin C Supplements

Everyone reading this has definitely heard about the importance of Vitamin C, so I will not go too in depth on it. There are all sorts of supplements that include large concentrations of Vitamin C. Such supplements are used to repair tissue cells, help relieve stress from compromised immune systems. Vitamin C also has some cosmetic benefits, certain supplements will help make your skin look healthier.

Beta Ecdysterone

Beta Ecdysterone is found more than 150 plants. It is extracted from herbs like Cyanotis vaga and Leuzeae.  The Beta-Ecdysterone supplements works by increasing nitrogen retention as well as protein synthesis. Ecdysterone helps with weight loss, improves your nerve function, and lovers you LDL cholesterol.

Above are only some of the more popular supplements that are mostly directed at as “pre-workout” for body-builders and gym-goers, however and average person can also benefit from these supplements. Remember that this article only covers a few, there are a ton more that will help you stay in shape and maintain your body healthy.


Importance of Pre-Workout Nutrition and Supplementation

The importance of nutrition isn’t foreign to anyone in the health and fitness community. You, like many athletes, surely know the right meals and supplements are essential to maximizing strength and power.  Lack of proper supplement timing, however, may be holding you back from your goals. For a long time there was an understanding that the most important time to take supplements was post-workout. There is now a new school of thought that says taking supplements before you work can be even more effective.

Why Pre-Workout Supplements?

Priming your body and your muscles properly is akin to making sure your car has enough gas in it before a long car trip. Pre-workout supplements can help you in multiple ways by fueling you with the nutrients you need at the very moment you need them, not just after you’re depleted.

Benefits of good pre-workout supplements include[1]:

  • More strength and performance. Lift more weight, work out for a longer period of time and reduce muscle fatigue.
  • Improved energy and reaction time. Do you work out early in the morning or after a long day’s work? You probably need an energy boost to perform at your best.
  • Better focus. Give yourself a mental edge for overcoming barriers. Having a focused, determined attitude is essential to success in the gym. Focus on your plan and execute.
  • Increased protein synthesis. Build muscle more efficiently and recover faster by getting nutrients to muscles immediately.
  • Improved fat burning. Get full advantage of your workout and maximize your body composition.

As you can see, these are very wide in scope so they can benefit athletes at any level. It’s not just anecdotal evidence either – clinical studies have shown that the proper pre-workout supplements can provide significant results. In one study, subjects performed 50% more bench press repetitions and had a 40% reduction in DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) when they used citrulline malate powder pre-workout[2].

What to supplement with?

There are a wide variety of pre-workout supplements available, so it’s essential to do research and read up on some of the options to make sure you’re getting the most out of your time in the gym and getting the right supplements to meet your goals. Below are some options and good places to start with pre-workout supplements:

Strength and performance: Citrulline Malate powder, Creatine supplement (or the faster absorbed derivative, creatine ethyl ester), Beta Alanine supplement, L-Arginine supplement, Beta-Ecdysterone supplements

Energy and focus: Caffeine supplements, DS Craze pre workout supplement, C-vitamins

Increased protein synthesis: Whey Protein, Branched Chain Amino Acids

Improved fat burning: Caffeine supplements

Keep in mind that with certain supplements you may want to stagger the dosage. For example, users should take arginine powder should be taken about an hour before exercise, but branched chain amino acids are digested quickly, so those should be consumed just before your workout.

Now that you know the benefits of  pre-workout nutrition and what to use, go pick up some new pre-workout supplements to add to your routine and see your gains skyrocket!





Vitamin C as an Effective Pre-Workout Supplement

Wherever health and nutrition tips are given out, whether in elementary schools or doctor’s offices, vitamin C is a recurring topic. When winter comes around and noses start to drip, the push for vitamin C gets even stronger. “Eat your oranges and take your vitamins,” they say “because vitamin C is great for your immune system and can keep you healthy.” Then over the past decade or so, as discussion of antioxidants became more popular, vitamin C was discussed as a tool to combat free radicals in the body. The beauty of naturally abundant vitamins like vitamin C supplements is that they perform many amazing functions within the human body. What many people don’t know (and what they don’t tell you in school) is that using vitamin C supplements as part of your pre-workout nutrition can help you get bigger, stronger and recover faster by preventing damage from free radicals, reducing cortisol and reducing post-workout soreness.

Vitamin C as an Antioxidant

The antioxidant properties of vitamin C are the first step in helping you recover. When exercising, there is an increase in oxidative stress put on the body and muscles, especially in intense exercise. This results in an increase in free radicals, which can damage cells and ultimately lead to some very undesirable conditions within the body[1]. Since vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, it helps mitigate the damage of the free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. The absence of free radicals in the body will provide a more optimal environment for post-workout recovery.

Vitamin C and Cortisol Reduction

An equally significant benefit of supplementing with Vitamin C is reducing cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s stress hormone and is elevated during exercise. While cortisol is an essential hormone that performs many important functions in the body, it can also reverse a lot of the work done during intense exercise. High and prolonged levels of cortisol in the body can cause muscle tissue loss, increased abdominal fat, decreased bone density and higher blood pressure. [2] And in regards to muscle gain in general, cortisol is catabolic, meaning instead of building muscle, cortisol destroys muscle. Studies have shown that supplementing with vitamin C can reduce cortisol post-workout cortisol levels and help clear cortisol from the body faster[3]. So adding cortisol to your nutrition routine can help shift hormones into a more optimal state more quickly and improve your recovery time. Vitamin C has also been shown to reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)[3]. Learn more about the benefits of Vitamin C from these guys.

Timing and Vitamin C Dosage

There is evidence that taking vitamin C multiple times throughout the day can be beneficial as well, but if you are committed to taking it once, make it pre-workout. This will give your body time to process the vitamin and have it ready to go when you need it the most. Dosages in studies range from 200mg to 1000mg, but experienced coaches recommend the higher end of that for maximum benefit, and even more if you smoke or are pregnant.