First off, I've been taking pre-workout supplements for well over a decade and still use them almost daily now. I've had a great deal of experience using them, trying different products, and researching the ingredients and side effects and want to share my thoughts on the reasons one might take them or the reasons not to.
You must understand that this is an industry that isn't regulated. At all. It's literally the Wild West and supplement companies can put any ingredients, useful or not, into them.
And since this is a super-hot market, many companies make fortunes by selling lousy products filled with sugar, chemicals, fillers, and cheap and useless ingredients because of outrageous claims of superhuman energy and pumps and fancy labels.
And we buy them.
Pre-workouts aren't for everyone, especially those sensitive to caffeine or stimulants and those with any medical issues relating to the heart.
I've had only minor side effects personally over the years but there are plenty of common ones like headaches, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, feeling faint, and nauseousness.
If you're fit, healthy, have a good tolerance for what's in them, and fully understand the risks, then you can consider using them but I suggest only for short periods and only in order to get through a plateau.
It's easy to become dependent on them and start believing that you can't get a good workout without them. It's a place I've been and it became a mental crutch for me and it wasn't healthy.
I now cycle mine on and off about every 8 weeks or so and this helps to break up the need to overuse them. I've had days where I took 3-4 times the recommended serving because I felt like I needed more and more to get my energy up.
It's a slippery slope and once your body adapts to all the stimulants, you'll find yourself wanting to increase the amount you're using. Don't. Stick to the label and directions and make sure you're very well hydrated.
There are so many other better pre-workouts like black coffee, a healthy diet, and getting enough sleep, but it seems our society is more interested in trying to shortcut things instead of putting in the work.
I hope this episode helps you make an informed decision on whether you continue (or start) using them and if you have any questions, just email me at email@example.com.