A pre-workout supplement can be a wonderful tool for athletes. It helps the athlete build up strength, power, and endurance. It also helps to give the athlete a mental edge so that they can give their best effort.
But this magic powder is not without its side effects or dangers if consumed excessively. So while many manufactures recommend having 1 serving, is taking 3 scoops of pre-workout supplements safe?
This article will review the symptoms of pre-workout overdosage, side effects, and what to do if you have taken too much pre-workout.
Signs That Your Pre-Workout Is Working
There are a few telltale signs that your body is experiencing the effects of a pre-workout supplement. These include:
- Increased alertness and concentration
- Increased energy levels
- A tingly feeling, usually in the face
Another sign of a pre-workout working is it can cause the body to sweat more than normal. This is caused because the body is using more energy and is trying to cool itself down. A cause of this is caffeine and thermogenic ingredients. These raise your body temperature and cause the body to sweat.
If you use pre-workout at the manufacturer’s recommended dose, you will most likely experience the above. But what happens if you take more than the recommended dose?
The Dangers Of Pre-Workout Overdosing
Many years ago, when I first started reading about the benefits of pre-workout, I was very excited about trying them out. But when I researched further, I found that many athletes had complained about problems after having too much.
Of course, after a while, I experienced the effects of a pre-workout overdose myself after taking more than I should of the Mr Hyde pre-workout. At first, it felt great. My exercise routine was a breeze. But I felt my heartbeat was quite fast and I was sweating like crazy.
I was pushing myself harder than I had done in the past.
Then there was somewhat of a horrible crash and I felt pretty sick. Partly from pushing myself and partly from taking too much of the supplement. My body felt mostly normal a few hours later but I was still buzzing from the stimulants. A bedtime. I couldn’t sleep a wink until 3 am.
By taking more pre-workout than you should you may also put yourself at risk of a number of the following symptoms:
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Anxiety and feelings of nausea
But these can be completely avoided by being careful with how much you consume. Many manufacturers suggest testing with a small amount to monitor your body’s response. Then is that goes well, you can increase the dosage.
How Many Scoops Is It Safe To Take?
Most manufacturers recommend a single dose so consuming 3 times the amount is certainly not recommended to a novice. But taking a high amount is down to the supplement ingredients and your tolerance to them.
The main ingredient to probably be concerned about is caffeine. A serving of Cellucor C4 contains 150mg of caffeine. That’s just over 1 and a half cups of coffee. So by having 3 doses, you will consume 450mg which is about equivalent to 4 and a half cups of coffee in caffeine content.
While the FDA has stated that you should not consume more than 400mg per day. This figure is the volume of caffeine spread over the day. It is a lot to take all at one time and you will likely feel very overstimulated!
The comedown from your adrenaline rush may be rough. So you may feel sick and dizzy to an extent. Also, the half-life of caffeine is roughly 5 hours so you do not want to take it in the evening because it will affect your sleep.
Some effects of having a high amount of common ingredients are:
- Caffeine – Can cause anxiety, insomnia, rapid heart rate, and digestive issues.
- Beta-Alanine – Considered fine to consume at higher levels. But it may cause more tingling and flushing in the skin.
- Creatine – Side effects are rare when taken at the amount in a higher amount of scoops.
An issue with a lot of supplements is that they contain proprietary blends. This means that they don’t list the quantities of their ingredients, making it difficult to ascertain how much is in each serving. For this reason, it is best to avoid taking too much if you don’t know the true content of the supplement.
To reduce the risk of side effects you should drink plenty of fluid during and after working out if you are using them.
Alternative To Taking Too Much
If you feel that your supplement is lacking in a particular ingredient, you can simply buy and add more of that to your pre-workout rather than consuming too much of your supplement.
For example, I feel that my favorite pre-workout from my gym is very weak in beta-alanine and its effects help with my routine. So I take a single serving of pre-workout and a scoop of beta-alanine with water. This works great for me.
Usually, the component ingredients can be purchased cheaply so it is worthwhile experimenting to get the right mix for your needs.
It’s unlikely that you will need to add more caffeine.
Also, instead of using pre-workout supplements, you can start by adding some of the key ingredients like creatine or beta-alanine to your favorite protein supplements.
In conclusion, consuming more than the recommended dose is not ideal, even though it may happen accidentally. The best action is to customize your pre-workout by adding the ingredients you think are lacking.
You should also be aware that different ingredients may interact with each other. So it’s best to be cautious and experiment carefully. You should always read the packaging of any supplements you are using and follow the instructions on how to dose them cautiously.