It can be challenging to keep up with your gym sessions…
This case is even more prominent if you have morning workouts. It can be quite easy to lose track of your fitness goals if you regularly feel tired or physically weak.
One solution that can help you cope with your sessions is taking pre-workout supplements. These can be excellent supplements for those that need an extra push in the gym. While pre-workouts can offer many performance benefits, many may not be sure if they can make cause weight gain.
What is the truth regarding pre-workouts and weight gain?
This article will help you to understand whether pre-workouts can make you gain weight.
How Does A Pre-Workout Affect Your Body?
Pre-workout refers to a type of supplement that offers some support to people that exercise. They are taken as a powder mixed in water or capsules before exercise or gym sessions.
They generally contain stimulants and nutrients that increase stamina, energy, and focus.
Pre-workouts have various ingredients
- Caffeine – Studies suggest that caffeine aids in weight loss. It can increase the number of calories that your body utilizes. It is often used to give you a boost of energy to get through workout sessions and improve exercise performance.
- Creatine – This is a common ingredient in pre-workouts. It can improve anaerobic endurance, help with building muscle, increase strength, and lessen muscle soreness.
- Nitric Oxide Precursors – These compounds, such as citrulline malate, increase nitric oxide levels. These are released by the body to promote healthy blood flow by relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.
- Beta-Alanine – This nonessential amino acid is used by the body to generate carnosine. This prevents lactic acid accumulation, lowers muscular fatigue, and can help you to complete a few extra reps in a set.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAS) – These essential amino acids reduce protein breakdown in the muscles and also aid in fueling the muscles. They include valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
- Micronutrients – Pre-workouts can have various B vitamins, chromium, vitamin C, vitamin D, and magnesium. These micronutrients improve your overall wellness and energy levels.
Note that many popular supplements are not transparent about their ingredient list and instead contain a proprietary blend. This can make it difficult to see exactly how much of each ingredient you are consuming per serving.
Can Pre-Workout Supplements Make You Gain Weight?
Pre-workouts typically boost performance for exercise. Some of their ingredients are also proven to improve muscle growth and recovery. Firstly, while these supplements might have sweet-tasting flavors, they rarely contain sugar.
Pre-workouts can have different effects depending on the user…
Some users gain weight quickly when taking them instead of losing weight but this isn’t necessarily body fat weight.
Lifestyle is a big component when it comes to changes in weight and many factors can cause changes as side effects.
By looking at pre-workout formulas, we can guess if weight gain is likely. These supplements have two essential components that affect this field: creatine and caffeine.
These ingredients improve your stamina and energy levels.
Caffeine is one of the most common stimulants for the body. It can improve your mental focus, and reduce fatigue, physical performance, and energy. A typical pre-workout can contain a similar amount of caffeine of 1 to 3 cups of coffee per serving.
These benefits can be great for strength training or exercise. Caffeine can help you lose weight by increasing your fat metabolism during exercise. It also acts as a diuretic, meaning that it causes the body to shed water weight.
Related: Pre Workout Vs Coffee
However, caffeine can also have negative side effects on sleep if taken too close to bedtime. This can cause an increase in cortisol in the body. An increase in this stress hormone can cause weight gain, obesity, and diabetes in the long term. Excessive consumption can also cause an increase in blood pressure and potential heart issues.
The dose of caffeine per serving can vary between pre-workout supplements, so be sure to check the ingredient list.
Getting professional advice before taking these products is beneficial. Especially if you are already taking supplements or consume a lot of caffeine. You may experience a spike in your caffeine intake levels. This increase can exceed your body’s caffeine tolerance levels.
This ingredient can complicate things a little… While creatine can improve athletic performance during workouts, it can also boost your muscle growth. Taking a pre-workout supplement with creatine can make you increase your lean muscle mass, increase your body weight, and change your body composition.
It is recommended to drink plenty of water when taking creatine regularly.
Creatine is a muscle osmolyte and supports muscle cell volumization. It increases this cell volume by causing water to be pulled into the muscles.
So when you consider any increase in body mass (regardless of whether it is lean muscle mass, water or fat) as weight gain, you can say that creatine can make you gain weight.
People respond to creatine differently. While others gain weight when they take it, others don’t gain lean muscle mass. Most only see slight variations in weight.
Related: Pre Workout Vs Creatine
Factors That Contribute To Weight Gain
Some factors that may contribute to your weight gain when you regularly consume a pre-workout include:
You may lose a lot of water after high-intensity exercise. For example, some people lose up to 15 pounds because of the water they lose after a gym session.
This loss can cause a significant reduction of body mass, as water makes up 70–90% of one’s body weight.
Your lean body mass varies with your water content. Taking pre-workouts can also affect your water content mainly due to the ingredients mentioned above (creatine and caffeine). Some people can also have naturally high water retention.
This can be particularly true for females. So the side effects of these supplements may be unpredictable.
Increased Cortisol Level
Pre-workout can affect the adrenal glands which produce hormones. Cortisol, the stress hormone is naturally created by the body throughout a normal day.
During stressful times, cortisol uses the gluconeogenesis function of the liver to provide the body with glucose. This increased blood glucose level can be used as part of the first or flee response. Long-term elevated cortisol levels mean will lead to higher blood sugar levels.
During a normal workout, cortisol levels in the body increase. Taking a pre-workout supplement containing high amounts of stimulants can cause cortisol levels to increase further. If cortisol levels are not kept in check, it can lead to weight increase, diabetes, and obesity.
This term refers to the mix of muscle, air, fat, urine, blood, tissue, and neutral matter in one’s body. Intense workouts facilitated by pre-workouts can increase your scale mass by up to 15%, making you think the pre-workouts caused the increase in weight.
The weight gain results from various factors, such as inflammation, post-workout hydration, and intestinal by-products.
Can Pre-Workout Supplements Help You Lose Weight?
So we know that Pre-workouts can improve your performance during exercise. An indirect benefit is that you can leverage this improvement to have intensive workouts and help with weight loss. The thermogenic effect created by some ingredients can also aid in weight loss.
If you are serious about managing your weight or perhaps you need to get into a particular weight category for a competition, here are a few considerations to help achieve these objectives:
Use Pre-Workout Supplements Without Creatine
Some pre-workout drinks don’t have creatine. Find the products without this ingredient to increase your chances of losing weight. If do decide to drop the creatine, remember that it can stay in your body for a long time, so be patient.
Manufacturers list their ingredients on their product’s containers. Read them to ensure the one you buy doesn’t contain creatine. Some fitness enthusiasts have a cup of coffee to avoid the other ingredients.
Monitor The Supplements Effects On Your Body
You don’t have to change your supplements if you like them and they contain creatine. Monitor their effect on your body to determine the best course of action.
Some people can take pre-workouts with creatine and lose weight efficiently. If your pre-workouts help you lose weight, it’s a good idea to continue their use.
Consider other alternatives if they don’t help you get the results you desire.
Count Your Calories
Your calorie intake will have the most effect on your weight in the long term. Consume fewer calories than those recommended for someone with your body composition to lose weight. Most pre-workout formulas have low-calorie content and don’t contain sugar, so that should not be a concern.
You should also try to increase your activity level.
Monitoring your caloric intake can ensure you lose weight regardless of the pre-workouts you take. It can also help you pinpoint the cause of any weight you gain. You won’t attribute increases to your pre-workouts when they aren’t responsible for them.
Pre-workouts can be excellent products to help achieve a weight loss goal if you use them well. Some considerations can help you with this objective, such as their ingredients and effects on your body.
Finding the right pre-workout will improve your performance during exercises and help you lose weight.