The short answer is it's a bad idea to drink pre-workout and when not working out, especially those with stimulants.
The longer answer is you can technically drink pre-workout and not work out once in a while, and you'll be fine. You may also benefit from it when you're doing strenuous activities other than exercise.
But, that doesn't mean you should be drinking pre-workout casually.
It comes with risks. And we'll be expounding why in this article.
Pre-workout supplements are designed to boost energy. They help improve your performance during workouts or when doing sports.
They're powdered and are usually taken 30 minutes before working out.
They usually contain stimulants and/or energy boosters together with other dietary supplements.
Some people use pre-workout supplements because they need extra energy to get through their workouts. Others use them because they believe they help build muscle mass. Others use them because they feel they improve athletic performance.
Yes, you can IF your job requires a high level of physical activity, long hours, and demanding cognitive function. A job like that is basically equivalent to high-intensity exercise.
If your job is more on mental labour than physical, and you insist on drinking pre-workout, you may opt for non-stimulant formulas.
In fact, even for workouts, it's best to stay away from stimulant formulas.
Just like drinking a cup of coffee or any energy drink, a pre-workout can give you the boost of energy you need to perform your duties better.
Pre-workouts can contain caffeine, the exact substance in coffee that wakes us up.
But, even for demanding jobs, drinking caffeinated pre-workout as a pick-me-up is not highly suggested.
Like any other caffeinated energy drink, it can cause many side effects when drank too often or in high amounts.
And that's just caffeine - one of the many common ingredients in pre-workouts.
As mentioned above, pre-workouts may have caffeine in them.
Caffeine is a mild central nervous system stimulant. It increases mental focus, improves concentration, and increases energy. It also reduces fatigue and even helps reduce body fat.
All beneficial in sports or workouts, but also needed in our daily lives.
The most common side effect of caffeine is jitteriness. But, there are many others, including headaches, stomach upset, insomnia, and anxiety. Heart palpitation is also a common side effect.
People can also develop dependence or tolerance to caffeine, and that will make it less effective when you actually need it.
Nitric Oxide is a natural substance produced by the body. It helps to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to muscle tissue during intense physical activity. It does so by relaxing the blood vessels.
But, increasing blood flow doesn't only affect the muscles; it also affects the brain.
It can cause headaches and migraines due to the blood pressure changes in the brain's blood vessels.
Pre-workout supplements contain some of the common compounds our bodies use to make nitric oxide.
Sources of dietary nitrates, like beetroot juice, and L-arginine, L-citrulline, are some of them.
Citrulline, specifically, has been shown to aid exercise performance, but it may cause headaches.
L-citrulline is pure citrulline. Citrulline malate is citrulline with another compound called malate. L-citrulline and citrulline malate should be taken in regulation.
You can take 3 to 6 grams dose per day of L-citrulline and 8 grams dose of citrulline malate and get no side effects.
Creatine is a popular supplement. They're usually used by bodybuilders, weightlifters, and other power athletes.
They help build muscle mass and strength. It also aids in energy production and muscular strength.
Aside from being in pre-workouts, creatine supplements are sold online and at health food stores.
The benefits of creatine include building muscle mass and strength and increasing energy. It also helps improve endurance and muscle recovery time. It can even help prevent injuries.
The side effects commonly associated with creatine include water retention, bloating, weight gain, and digestive issues, mostly mild.
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid found in many foods. It helps prevent acid build-up in the muscle tissues.
This allows you to use your muscles more and for longer.
However, Beta-alanine may cause an uncomfortable (but harmless) tingling sensation.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) naturally occur in dietary protein sources. They are also found in some pre-workout formulas.
They can increase muscle growth and decrease soreness.
Some side effects associated with it are nausea, pain, and headache. They can also interfere with some medications and blood glucose levels.
These are just a few benefits and side effects you can get from pre-workouts.
Any and all substances can have side effects when taken in more than recommended.
The substances mentioned above are usually safe. They're even beneficial when taken appropriately with a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.
You can drink pre-workouts with stimulants on days you feel like you really need the energy boost, even if you don't have a training session or gym session.
Basically, it's okay if you drink it on an as-needed basis, but you definitely shouldn't make it a daily habit.
Remember, there are many natural and healthier alternative pre-workout options. You can opt to get your daily energy level boosting needs from those as well.
Now you know the potential side effects and benefits of drinking pre-workout. It's up to you to decide whether to drink them on non-workout days.
Thank you for reading, and see you in another article!