Energy powders before exercise can be dangerous: ‘Keep on dose’

One powder for fitness and you have energy for ten. Pre-workout is popular among young people. It is one of the best-selling products of sports nutrition giant XXL Nutrition in Deurne and is praised on social media by popular influencers like Mo Bicep from Breda. However, its use is not free from danger. “If you want to be healthy, you don’t need this,” says dietitian Kevin Minton, who specializes in sports nutrition.

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Omroep Brabant dives into the meaning and nonsense of pre-workouts. You can see it in this episode of HOW..

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A pre-workout is a supplement that you mix with water. It contains a lot of caffeine, which gives you energy. This may help you perform better and last longer. Research conducted by the Hogeschool Arnhem en Nijmegen and Utrecht University shows that over forty percent of male fitness enthusiasts use these supplements. And also a quarter for each training.

“I use it every day when I exercise, so five times a week.”

Fitness is popular. According to an annual report by sports federation NOC*NSF, there was a 30 per cent increase in the number of youth staying fit last year. As a result, the number of followers of ‘fitfluencers’, influencers who are into fitness is also on the rise. They also often recommend pre-workouts, which inspires youngsters to use it as well.

Pre-workout is widely used when we put it to the test. Four out of five young people we spoke to at a gym in Eindhoven said they regularly use pre-workouts.

“Every day I exercise, so five times a week,” says 19-year-old Elanur. Same goes for Florian and Tim. “It really works,” says Tim (19). “I didn’t really feel like it today, but now I have a Scoop Took it and it’s fine. You are very energetic, motivated and like to work hard.

“If you drink coffee in addition to pre-workout, you may have sleep problems.”

The average scoop of pre-workout contains about 300 mg of caffeine. This is equivalent to about four cups of coffee. Sometimes a single scoop also contains 400 mg. Dietitian Kevin Minton explains, “A safe healthy dose of caffeine is 200 mg at one time. The maximum per day includes 400 mg.”

For youngsters under the age of 18, a maximum of 2.5 milligrams times your body weight in kilograms applies. “So you get over it quickly with pre-workouts,” says Minton. “If you also drink coffee, you may have trouble sleeping.”

There is often a warning on pre-workout jars. Users must follow the prescribed dosage. However, consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can lead to addiction, so that users often consume excessive amounts of caffeine.

“I always take two scoops,” says Eleanor. “Otherwise I can’t concentrate. Since I’m using it, I can’t live without it.” According to Kevin Minton, the same danger exists with daily use. “You need more and more to notice it. If you don’t use it once, you fall out.”

“It can make you jittery, your heart will pound and possibly your blood pressure too.”

Research by Radar suggests that up to half of people who use the supplement occasionally have side effects. This is related to sleep problems, restlessness or palpitations. Therefore, according to Minton, it’s important that you stick to the prescribed dosage. Especially when you are young.

“With two scoops you are already well above that safe dose. It can make you jittery, your heart will pound and possibly your blood pressure too. If you do this daily, it can be harmful to your development and brain function.” Can impact growth. If you want to be healthy, you shouldn’t do this. It’s better to focus on good basic nutrition.”

Young fitness enthusiasts in the gym are aware of this. “It wouldn’t be fantastically healthy,” says Tim. But she hasn’t experienced any negative effects yet as we talked about. Eleanor says, “If it helps me, it helps.” “And your playing anyway”, concludes Florian. “You don’t sit on the couch. I think that’s the most important thing in the end.”

A jar of pre-workout that contains 300mg of caffeine per serving (Photo: Omroep Brabant)
A jar of pre-workout that contains 300mg of caffeine per serving (Photo: Omroep Brabant)

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