Home US Warning! Your Favorite Workout Supplement Could Give You Debilitating Insomnia and Itchy Skin

Warning! Your Favorite Workout Supplement Could Give You Debilitating Insomnia and Itchy Skin

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Ms. Pugachevsky originally started taking pre-workouts when some classmates recommended it to her in her strength training class.

Pre-workout powders and pills are all the rage among fitness fanatics looking for a little boost to their grueling gym routines.

But they can have unpleasant side effects.

For Business Insider health reporter Julia Pugachevsky, these included developing a dependence on the medication that led to insomnia, sluggishness and persistent itching.

He started by taking just half a scoop of an energy-boosting supplement called Cellucor C4 pre-workout powder, which contains 150 mg of caffeine per serving, as well as vitamin B6, beta-alanine, and creatine, which are supposed to help with muscle development. endurance.

That’s like drinking two cups of coffee, with about 90 mg of caffeine per cup.

After a month, he moved up to that full dose (just under three cups of coffee at a time) and things became more intense.

Ms. Pugachevsky originally started taking pre-workouts when some classmates recommended it to her in her strength training class.

He started to feel itchy every time he took it. As if there were “bees buzzing” under her skin, a common side effect of beta-alanine, which is found in many types of pre-workout drinks.

Mrs. Pugachevsky wrote: ‘The results were cartoonishly drastic (at first). The first time I picked it up, I felt “Popeye” level strength, and opted for heavier 5lb dumbbells without hesitation.’ He also found that it helped him focus, since he has ADHD.

But before long, she developed a dependency on the supplement: She reported feeling “sluggish” when trying to exercise without it. She also started losing sleep and she would stay up after 1 a.m. the three times a week she went to the gym.

Pugachesvky is not alone.

Pre-workout supplements are everywhere in fitness circles: About 67 percent of gym-going men and 46 percent of gym-going women report using them, according to a review by Gitnux researchersa market research company.

Pre-workout supplements can include pills and shakes, but by far the most popular form is the powder. It is designed for athletes to take an hour before going to the gym to give them more energy during their workout.

Each version of this product contains a unique formula, but they typically contain amino acids like creatine for muscle growth, caffeine for energy, and other vitamins for fuel.

Taken in moderation and in the proper dosage, these products are safe, even with their strange side effects, dieticians say.

Researchers aren’t exactly sure why the itch that Ms. Pugachesvky described occurs, but it is known that the ingredient beta-alanine activates nerve cells in the skin that tell the brain that it is feeling itchy.

But many people who take pre-workout are fitness fanatics who go to the gym daily and therefore can start taking these products daily.

Ms Pugachesvky said she started taking Cellucor's C4 before training and it first helped her in the gym, before developing dependence.

Ms Pugachesvky said she started taking Cellucor’s C4 before training and it first helped her in the gym, before developing dependence.

There are many supplements that promise

There are many supplements that promise to “burn fat” and give you energy, they are expensive and simply not necessary, sports nutritionists warn.

Model and physical trainer Kevin Kreider told WHY that for seven years, pre-workout “was like crack for me.”

But Kreider would become an example to many people distrustful of the supplement’s promises when it was revealed that the pre-workout he had been taking included an Adderall-like chemical called dimethylamylamine (DMAA).

The FDA has been at war against DMAA since it caused the death of two soldiers in 2011. It is an experimental chemical that has not been tested on humans and is considered unsafe by the FDA as it can cause a heart attack.

“The FDA is very concerned about DMAA and we advise consumers not to purchase or use any products that contain DMAA,” the agency wrote in a warning 2018 on their website.

DMAA is just one example of the things you might find pre-workout tampered with, Dr. Pieter Cohen, an internist and professor at Harvard Medical School, told WHYY. “I’ve lost count of how many supplements we’ve found contain these types of drug-like compounds,” Cohen said. “They are innumerable, innumerable.”

Even if the pre-workout product you are taking is a pure sample, taking it too frequently results in serious side effects.

Taking a high dose of creatine, an amino acid that is a common ingredient in pre-workouts, can overwhelm the liver and kidneys. according to the mayo clinic. It is considered safe when taken in adequate doses, but unregulated supplements may contain more than they say.

Supplement Regulation in the US

Dietary supplements fall into a loophole in the US regulatory system, where they are not classified as either food or medicine.

The FDA monitors supplements after they enter the market, but does not test or approve new products before they are sold to consumers.

As such, many supplements contain different things than what is listed on their label. READ MORE

There is also some concern about the caffeine content in these powders. While some brands stay in a more reasonable range, other pre-workouts contain up to 400 mg of caffeine, such as El-Jefe brand.

The FDA states that adults should consume no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day, roughly the equivalent of about five cups of coffee. You would probably have to take more than 1000 mg before the caffeine would have immediate toxic effects, such as seizures.

However, chronically drinking too much caffeine has been linked to some heart problems and is known to throw off your sleep schedule, which has a cascade of effects on the rest of your health.

Fortunately, her instructor “scared Ms. Pugachesvky,” who told her that the caffeine content could be counteracting her body’s natural rhythms. She has stopped taking pre-workout completely.

Now, he focuses on using more holistic methods to build muscle, such as incorporating more protein and sleeping.

Mrs. Pugachesvky wrote: “It’s not as easy (or as tasty) as drinking a neon miracle drink.” But as with many things in life, slower personal growth is ultimately more rewarding than a quick fix.’

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