Pre-workout Supplements And Their Effects On Your Brain

Pre workout supplements are a common component in the gym bags or cabinets of bodybuilders, young athletes, and most gym enthusiasts. The supplements are usually packaged in powder form or as a pill. They act as energy boosters for intense workouts or athletics hence the reason behind their growing popularity.

These pills are great at boosting your workout performance but, at what cost? Are they safe? More so, what effect do they have on your brain? Today we take a closer look at pre-workout supplements and decide if the rumors of them causing mental disorders are true.

Pre-workout Supplements Under The Microscope

Pre workout supplements contain stimulants with the common components being caffeine and creatinine. These stimulants are responsible for the activation of muscles in order to boost them and subsequently increase the energy levels of the user. While stimulating the muscles, these supplements postpone fatigue. They make it easier for the user to go through an intense session of weight lifting or various athletic workouts without tiring quickly. These are the reasons for its popularity among fitness enthusiasts and justifiable so.

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See, pre-workout supplements create a particular kind of buzz that is essential in keeping trainers going. In the long run, the ingestion of these stimulants becomes so addictive; it’s hard to work out without taking them. It is deemed a necessary evil in the trainer’s world if, at the end of the day, the end justifies the means, more and more athletes will keep on popping these pills.

Like any other kind of drug (stimulants are drugs), pre-work out supplements have a disorientation to the standard functioning of the body. It is easy to point out the physical damnations, but what about the mental and psychological ones? The mental disorders are the easiest to ignore as they are subtle hence often missed. So the question is, does pre workout abuse cause a mental disorder? My answer is a resounding yes. Find out how and why.

Pre-workout Supplements and Adrenaline Production

Frequent use of pre-workout pills often leads to tolerance that begs for more and more so as to function well. Eventually, the prolonged use adds unnecessary pressures on the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline in larger quantities than they are accustomed. Adrenaline is typically responsible for energy stimulation, especially in distressed situations. Disrupting the production patterns of adrenaline results in overworking your adrenal glands which exert excessive pressure on the adrenal glands leading to fatigue. Under these fatigued circumstances, adrenal glands are unable to produce enough quantities of adrenaline to enable the body function normally. Also, read Spin bikes reviews by fitness experts.

The disruption of adrenaline production is what manifests itself as severe fatigue and tiredness, severe anxiety and nervousness. In some cases, this can develop into depression

Addiction too is a Form of Mental Illness

addictionAddiction as earlier mentioned is a reality in the world of any pre work out the user. The mind develops a false sense of belief that without pre-work supplements it would be difficult to go through any form of fitness exercise. Even the shortest of runs, or lifting weights for a given amount of time. The mind relies and leans so much on the consumption of the powder or pills that the body becomes redundant without it.

Severe Anxiety

anexityEveryone, on an average day to day life experiences anxiety. However, for pre-workout supplement abusers, the feeling is heightened. In severe cases, it manifests itself in the form of profound unease followed by compulsive behavior and episodes of panic attacks and intensive depersonalization. The culprit behind such symptoms is the type and amount of stimulants used in the supplements.


HallucinationsHallucinating involves perceiving things and events that are not present. Although this is not common to all supplement users, those who heavily depend on pre-workout supplements have complained of vivid-reams as well as hallucinations. Paranoia is also caused by prolonged use of supplements in severe instances.

Irritability, Mood Swings

mood-swingMood swings are sudden changes or rapid fluctuations in the moods of a person. The intensity varies from a few hours to some days. Mood swings will result from the energy level changed experienced by the body, sleep patterns from insomnia and the level of concentration, disrupted by the pre work out abuse.
When used wrongly, pre-workout supplements pump your body with energy. You may experience high energy levels to the extent of disrupting your sleep patterns which will eventually lead to irritability and mood swings.

Racing Thoughts

racing-thoughtsJust like mood swings, racing thoughts are evidenced in the range of emotional highs to extreme lows towing towards depression. Again, this is as a result of drastic interference with your energy levels and brain chemistry. This is usually a recipe for developing bipolar disorder.

Memory Impairment

Memory ImpairmentPre work out abuse can easily lead to memory loss or possible amnesia which is simply forgetfulness but in an unusual and abnormal kind of way.

These psychological issues spill over and manifest themselves as withdrawal symptoms as one tries to stop pre work out abuse. The craving will still be there due to the dependency created even for normal day to day activities. This is what addiction does, that when denied the mind creates intensity in the craving of these stimulants.

Memory impairment is also increased by the prolonged state of insomnia and hallucinations.

Possible Remedies

It is extremely crucial that you seek the counsel of a medical practitioner before plunging down this road. This will do good for both your physical and mental wellbeing. The physical health side effects that we have not widely discussed can prove fatal. Heart attacks for example. This is why a doctor’s advice is highly recommended. Mental disorders have led to various cases of suicide. They cannot afford to be ignored, therefore.

In the manifestation of the symptoms as mentioned earlier, also seek medical advice. Your adrenal glands, for example, can be restored through natural means that will be subscribed to you by a health expert. Avoid total burnout and other severe damages.

Be disciplined enough to use the recommended dosage. Getting a double or triple of what you are meant to have resulted in numbing of your senses, which will lead to the need for more and more. This is how addiction creeps in.

Cycling is another option for avoiding mental disorders associated with pre-workout supplements. Cycling means that you avoid constantly using supplements. For every three weeks on supplements, skip one week. The body adapts to changes, including those brought about by the taking of these stimulants. Cycling helps reduce dependency on the pre-workout supplements.


I am not saying that pre-workout supplements are useless or should be completely done away with. If anything, these pills are excellent for boosting your energy during workouts and enhancing your performance. The result is a productive workout session leading to overall body growth.
However, most people tend to get carried away and end up addicted. This is, is the beginning of a journey down the slippery slope of mental illness among other disorders.

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