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Pros and Cons of Pre Workout Supplements

There is no doubt about it pre workouts can definitely give you the edge in your training especially if you have a lot of other stuff going on in your life and you are not fully recovered between workouts.

Crossfit training is hard!

And even harder if you are trying to juggle a hectic work schedule and a busy social or home life.

Even the fittest and most dedicated of us will have days where we are in need of a little boost before a workout.

The best pre workout for Crossfit will give you both a mental and physical edge in your training.

But;

It is not all positive.

Pre-workouts have their pros and cons and if you have a sensitivity to caffeine they may not be worth it at all.

Pros and Cons of Pre Workouts

Pros

1. Energy Boost

Given that the main ingredient in pre-workouts is caffeine it is of no surprise that you should get a bit of a boost from taking one.

How big an effect you get will depend on how your body handles caffeine.

If you drink four or five cups a day it may not have as big a boost as you might think.

2. Increased Focus

After a long hard day at the office chances are you head may not be in the game and you might have trouble giving your workouts 100% focus.

Crossfit requires that you concentrate as much as possible when working out as a slight loss of focus can lead to poor exercise form and potentially and accident in the gym.

3. Increased Anaerobic Power

Crossfit is not an endurance sport and it is based on short high intensity exercises which tax your anaerobic system more than any other.

Pre workouts have been proven to not only increase anaerobic power but also maintain peak power output for longer periods.

The end result is that you can train harder and for longer, this is one of the major pros of pre workouts.

Cons

1. The Jitters

One of the major cons of pre workouts is what is known as the ‘Jitters’.

The jitters isn’t any one thing it is more of a combination of things which can include:

  • Racing heart
  • Anxiety
  • Flushed feeling in the face
  • Tingling sensation in hands and feet
  • Upset stomach

The best way to avoid the jitters is to take a small dose, roughly a quarter of the recommended amount and see how it goes.

If everything is fine you can increase the amount that you take every session, you can then try to judge how much to take the next session.

Depending on the brand you take you may experience a very strong ‘pump’. Getting pumped when training crossfit should be avoided as it will kill your session.

Some preworkouts have pump enhancers added to them, they should be avoided at all costs.

It should take roughly 2 hours to get pre workout out of your system so you should be fine by the next day.

2. Issues With Sleep

High levels of caffeine can have a serious impact on not only the quality but the quantity of sleep that you get every night.

As athletes we put big demands on our bodies and if you want your body to recover properly then you need to be getting seven to eight hours of high quality sleep every night.

Those that take a pre workout late in the evening can have serious issues with getting a good nights sleep.

To make sure that the pre workout is out of your system by the time you go to bed make sure to take it at least four to five hours before your bed time, the earlier the better.

3. Dependency

Just like coffee if you regularly take large doses of pre workouts then you can come to rely on them.

The more often you take a pre workout and the stronger the dose the more your body will become accustomed to them.

If you suddenly try working out without them you may feel like you will crash 30 minutes into your workout.

4. Ingredients

Lets face it consuming these types of products will never be healthy when compared to wholesome natural foods and if you have allergies or food sensitivities then you may well want to avoid them.

While most pre workouts are vegan some will have binding agents in them and they may also contain small amounts of whey protein or other such milk derived products.