Essay about Pre-Workout Supplements

2342 Words May 18th, 2013 10 Pages
Pre-workout Supplements
Junior Seminar Paper

Pre-workout supplements are a newer category of products that are designed to increase workout intensity and energy. These products are being used by millions of athletes today, and there have been a lot of questions raised about the long-term effects of them. There are a lot of different brands in this industry, but most of the products contain the same main ingredients: Creatine, nitric oxide, vitamin B, and caffeine. There has been quite a bit of research done on these ingredients individually, but together they have not been studied very much, which is why a lot of athletes avoid them. Another problem with these products is that athletes are becoming
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The effects in younger athletes are questioned because the arteries cannot release an unlimited supply of nitric oxide, so consuming more than normal may not have any benefits at all. Additionally, taking too much Nitric Oxide, even if prescribed by a doctor for a cardiovascular issue, can lead to hypotension- low blood pressure (Side Effects). For this reason and questions of whether or not it is beneficial to younger age groups, many athletes choose pre-workouts that do not contain Nitric Oxide.
Caffeine is a huge component in pre-workout supplements, and is probably the one ingredient that is most controversial. Chemically, caffeine does promote alertness and focus, but the long-term effects and other side effects are what scare most people away from taking additional caffeine to what many people already take on a daily basis. When someone gets tired, it is because of a chemical called adenosine. Adenosine builds up in the brain whenever you are awake, and it binds to adenosine receptors on brain cells. The binding of adenosine causes drowsiness by slowing down nerve cell activity. To a nerve cell, caffeine looks just like adenosine, so caffeine is able to bind to the adenosine receptors in your brain. However, caffeine does not slow down the cell’s activity like adenosine would. The cell cannot “see” adenosine anymore because caffeine is taking up all the receptors adenosine binds to,
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