May 18, 2024

Health Supplements

Health Supplements make us strong and powerful

Pre-workout supplement pros and cons revealed in new essay

2 min read

It was the lift she needed — or so she thought.

Julia Pugachevsky, a senior health reporter for Insider, revealed that she started taking Cellucor C4 pre-workout powder after reaching a plateau in strength training.

At first, she wrote in a Friday essay for Insider, she “felt ‘Popeye’-level strength, opting for 5lb-heavier dumbbells without hesitation. Even my instructors gave me more compliments on my form.”

But within a few months, she lost sleep, noticed an itchiness “akin to bees buzzing under my skin,” and grew “entirely dependent” on the scoop of the fruit-punch-flavored supplement.

Now, Pugachevsky is warning others about this “quick fix,” which she has tried to replace by consuming more protein, getting more sleep, and logging additional rest days.


The pre-workout supplements market, which includes powders, capsules/tablets, and ready-to-drink mixtures, is expected to reach $23.77 billion by 2027, up from $13.98 billion in 2020.
The pre-workout supplements market, which includes powders, capsules/tablets, and ready-to-drink mixtures, is expected to reach $23.77 billion by 2027, up from $13.98 billion in 2020. Syda Productions – stock.adobe.com

The pre-workout supplements market, which includes powders, capsules/tablets, and ready-to-drink mixtures, is expected to reach $23.7 billion by 2027, up from $13.9 billion in 2020.

Ingredients typically include beta-alanine, caffeine, citrulline, tyrosine, taurine, and/or creatine.

Pugachevsky’s pre-workout powder, which sparked “cartoonishly drastic” results, contains beta-alanine, creatine, caffeine, and citrulline, among other ingredients, according to its label.

Healthline reports that beta-alanine helps prevent lactic acid buildup in muscle tissue that can cause fatigue, pain, and soreness; creatine may enhance energy and muscle strength; caffeine can boost alertness and concentration; and citrulline may increase endurance and lower blood pressure.

The outlet notes that dietary supplements are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration as food, not drugs, which may lead to false marketing.


"Taking pre-workout every time you exercise can get you in the habit of not listening to your body," she wrote for Insider.
“Taking pre-workout every time you exercise can get you in the habit of not listening to your body,” she wrote for Insider. Africa Studio – stock.adobe.com

Pugachevsky said she was aware that beta-alanine can temporarily cause tingling or itching of the skin known as paresthesia, which is why she initially started with half a scoop before her strength training class before eventually doubling the amount.

She said she felt the itchiness when she increased the dosage. The Post reached out to the makers of Cellucor for comment.

“Taking pre-workout every time you exercise can get you in the habit of not listening to your body,” she wrote for Insider.

“It can mask natural tiredness, leading you to potentially injure yourself,” she continued. “Too much caffeine can also cause heart issues, such as changes in your heart rate or shakiness.”

Pugachevsky is not alone in questioning the value of workout supplements.

Rob Hobson, a UK registered sports dietitian and co-author of “The Detox Kitchen Bible,” recently told The Daily Mail that few supplements have been shown to offer real benefits.

“Relying on supplements to help manage your body weight or percentage of body fat will teach you nothing about the importance of diet, exercise and lifestyle and how you can manipulate these factors to help you achieve more sustainable performance goals,” Hobson said.

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