Pre-Workout Supplements Side Effects – Why Some Make You Sick?


Pre-workout supplements are very common in the weight loss and bodybuilding markets. In fact, there are so many brands and products that finding such supplements is usually one of the easiest shopping experiences.

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However, not all pre-workout supplements you come across are good for your health. While they may be able to provide a host of benefits, many people have raised complaints and concerns about getting sick, particularly nauseous after using some pre-workout supplements.

The cause of nausea and sickness can be anything from a bad ingredient in the formula, overdose of something in the formula, even personal irritability when exposed to certain ingredients. Nonetheless, some ingredients have been identified to increase the chances of feeling sick or nauseous when you take them before your routine workout.

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Like the name suggests, “pre-workout supplements” is a name used to refer to different types of formulas (supplements) intended to be taken a few minutes BEFORE you begin your regular workout.

There are several types of pre-workout supplements including those aimed at fat loss, weight gain, increased energy and endurance among others. These supplements contain various ingredients, minerals and vitamins that are known to facilitate all these conditions and benefits (energy surplus, endurance…) and work best when taken prior to the exercises.

You will also come across post-workout supplements that should be taken AFTER your workout routine to boost recovery. Supplements can come in liquid, powder, capsule or tablet form and include instructions on when and how you should take them.

Common Ingredients

As mentioned, workout supplements are designed to bring about various benefits. To achieve this, different ingredients are included in the formula to optimize its effectiveness. Most of these ingredients will have different benefits but some of them can cause nausea and sickness.

Some of the popular ingredients, found in pre-workout supplements, shown to cause nausea and a feeling of sickness include the following:


Popularly known as bitter orange peel, synephrine is one of the common ingredients you will find in most pre-workout supplements, particularly those offered for fat loss. Orange peel is known to contain various compounds that stimulate fat metabolism and, as such, is included to aid fat loss.

Synephrine is also a stimulant that keeps you alert during your entire workout period. However, these benefits should not blind you as synephrine is the major nausea culprit when it comes to pre-workout supplements.

It has been shown to cause sickness, nausea and even high blood pressure. If you have experienced nausea before, it is advisable to avoid this ingredient.

DMAA (dimethylamylamine)

Although very effective as a fat burner and energy booster, DMAA has been identified as potentially very harmful and is associated with a wide range of side effects that include sickness, nausea, high blood pressure and rapid heartbeat among others.

In fact, DMAA is officially banned in the USA, which is a strong reason to avoid any pre-workout supplement that contains any trace of the ingredient.


Small doses of caffeine can be very effective for your workout goals. Caffeine is a natural stimulant that gives you an almost instant punch. Caffeine can hit you within 30 minutes and give you the energy and drive needed to work longer and train harder.

However, a high dose of caffeine (200mg to 300mg per serving) is known to cause nausea and various other side effects like rapid heartbeat and sickness. Manufacturers include higher doses of caffeine to fool consumers into thinking the pre-workout supplement is working and is very effective. Unfortunately, these higher doses will expose you to different side effects.

There are several other ingredients in pre-workouts including creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) among others. It is advisable to carefully review each ingredient including its potential benefits and side effects. Make sure you go through the label and all ingredients listed.

Benefits of Using Pre-Workout Supplements

The benefits of pre-workout supplements and ingredients are quite obvious and straightforward. If you have used pre-workout supplements, you probably already know the benefits.

They include the following;

Harder, Longer Training

With these supplements, you can train harder for long hours without feeling exhausted. This will give you more progress for every session.

Better Focus And Alertness

Some ingredients in the formula improve alertness and give you better focus on your goals.

Lift Heavier Weights

Pre-workout supplements result in increased muscle endurance and you will be able to lift bigger weights and perform more reps.

Feel the Pump

Supplements help you feel the improvement and also boost your energy helping you train harder and realize your goals sooner.

Why Do They Cause Nausea?

Pre-workout supplements are known to have various side effects besides their benefits. When some ingredients are included in higher doses and not diluted enough, they can lead to light headedness and increased heartbeat.

When this is combined with the adrenaline rush and hard training, the condition can quickly develop into nausea, vomiting and sickness. Other side effects include sudden exhaustion, headaches and high blood pressure.

Which Pre-Workout Supplements Can I Take That Do Not Cause Nausea?

There are several pre-workout supplements on the market made using natural ingredients known to have no side effects. Finding such supplements is all about reviewing the ingredients in the formula before you buy them.

Some of the top choices in the market include Altius, JYM Pre JYM, Pro Supps MR, Evlution Nutrition Engn, MuscleTech Vapor X5 and Gat Nitraflex among others. Most of these supplements use organic ingredients such as Bioperine, Vitamin B12 and Alpha GPC.

When looking for pre-workout supplements that do not cause nausea and sickness, it is advisable to carefully review aspects of reputation, user reviews and experiences among related issues. This will give you insights not only into how effective the supplements are, but also with regards to the side effects and impacts of both short term and long term usage.

Pre-Workout Supplements Side Effects Conclusion

Pre-workout supplements can help you get the most out of your workouts and achieve our goals faster. Whether you seek fat loss or muscle gain, these supplements optimize your energy and muscle strength.

They can also stimulate natural growth and development of muscles. However, it is very crucial to make sure the supplements do not cause more harm than good. If you feel sick or nauseous following consumption of a given supplement, you should seek prompt medical attention and find out the cause. More importantly, avoid such products and find better alternatives.

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