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Should You Consume Pre-Workout Supplements?

Best Pre Workout Supplements

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Pre-workout supplements are advertised to increase energy and improve exercise performance. TikTok trends claim that “dry scooping”–taking supplements without water–helps the body absorb them faster. What is the evidence for or against such claims?

Because these supplements are not regulated by the FDA, it’s difficult to be certain exactly what they contain. Pre-workout supplements typically consist of protein building blocks (creatine and beta-alanine), vitamins, nutrients, and a notable dose of caffeine. Creatine is theorized to increase focus and beta-alanine to an energy boost. Caffeine can increase heart rate and blood flow. On the basis of a few low-quality studies, claims are made that these three main ingredients slightly enhance performance in extreme athletes but may not significantly impact individuals who exercise moderately (Ghose, 2015; Spillane, Schwarz, & Willoughby, 2014; Duncan et al., 2012).

Dry scooping is associated with a risk of inhaling the powder, with a potential for inflammation or infection. There may also be a risk for overconsumption of caffeine.

Used as directed, some of these supplements have as much caffeine as three cups of coffee. This high amount of caffeine, combined with a person’s daily coffee and soda consumption, can lead to nausea and shakiness. There may also be a small risk of heart rhythm problems.

An alternative to consuming pre-workout supplements may be healthy sources of energy such as whole, natural foods. Bananas and other fruits have carbohydrates that break down quickly and give us energy. Coffee is a familiar, safe, and readily available source of a caffeine energy boost. It’s healthy to develop good habits of diet and activity in all aspects of life, not just at the time of a workout.

It’s not clear whether consuming pre-workout supplements has more potential for benefit than for harm. If it holds some appeal for you, ensure the supplements have familiar ingredients and be cautious about your daily caffeine intake.


Does Avoiding Late Night Eating Support Weight Loss?

34 Tasty & Healthy Midnight Snack Ideas | Food For Net

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We are inundated with methods to lose weight and get into shape. One example is the claim that avoiding eating after 8 PM will help you lose weight or maintain a lower weight. However, this may not necessarily be true. 


Overall, the two main dietary aspects to focus on with regard to weight loss are caloric intake and macronutrient distribution. Caloric intake relates to the amount of total calories eaten during the day, and one’s recommended intake depends on factors like activity level and body type. Macronutrient distribution relates to the makeup of calories being eaten during the day. This organizes meals into categories of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. 


Intuitively, it seems like these aspects along with physical activity are the most important factors to effectively lose weight. Why would the timing of the meals matter as long as you eat the correct caloric intake and macronutrient distribution?


Some research  suggests there is a circadian clock (24-hour cycle) in adipose tissue, or body fat. The way the body burns fat may change throughout the day. It is postulated that the timing of meals can influence whether the adipose tissue stores fat or mobilizes fat to be burned. Supporters of this concept cite studies finding that late eaters lost significantly less weight than early eaters controlling for calorie intake and activity. There are other possible explanations for the findings.  There may be genetic variations in fat metabolism that are associated with late eating or a higher susceptibility to obesity. And there is some evidence that late eaters tend to eat foods with more calories and a lower nutritional value.  


When aiming for a healthy weight, the most important principle is limited calorie intake.  The importance of other factors, such as timing of an evening meal, are more difficult to sort out. 


Garaulet M, Gómez-Abellán P, Alburquerque-Béjar JJ, et al. Timing of food intake predicts weight loss effectiveness. International Journal of Obesity (2005). 2013 Apr;37(4):604-611. DOI: 10.1038/ijo.2012.229. PMID: 23357955; PMCID: PMC3756673.

Does weight training stunt growth?

In a Hurry? Try Express Weight Training - The New York Times

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Adolescents and pre-adolescents may start thinking about taking up weight training. You may have heard rumors that weight training can stunt growth. 


The concern is that weight training can injure the areas of the bone that grow (the growth plates) and limit stature. There is no evidence that high-impact sports like gymnastics, soccer, football, and basketball harm growth plates. The same is true for weight training. 


There is a risk of injury from lifting more weight than one can control. In other words, the weights and machines can cause direct blunt trauma. But in general, the health benefits of lifting weights outweigh the risks. Weight training can improve strength, confidence, coordination, psychological well-being, and healthy weight. Weight training strengthens bones, muscles, ligaments, and tendons, thereby decreasing the risk of injury to these structures. 


The key is understanding how to safely lift heavy weights and the potential dangers of a weight room.