Most of us know motivation is one of the key factors in a good, hard workout. But motivation doesn’t always come so easy. Especially when bed and bowls of ice cream feel and taste so good. Therefore, we look to external sources to assist us in getting to that peak motivational point. Sometimes it’s your favorite fitness guru that gets you going, maybe a famous inspiration, a simple strong cup of coffee or what’s become increasingly popular as of late, pre-workout.
For those unfamiliar, a pre-workout can be seen as a blanket term for a variety of supplements used to up your athletic performance. Most recognizable as the powder shot that fitness fanatics down before they hit the weight room. The supplements are generally multi-ingredients and are designed to boost one's energy. These ingredients can include caffeine, Beta-alanine, creatine, b-vitamins, citrulline, glutamine, lactose, magnesium, etc. Despite the god-like strength and experience we receive after our pre-workout shot, we may also be experiencing some different feelings from down south.
While you may be surprised at the additional weights you seem to be consistently adding to your squat and bicep reps, you’re also adding a hefty amount of weight to your toilet bowl. The last culprit you’d want to blame this on is your pre-workout, but chances are it’s the mix of ingredients in this strengthening powder that makes your other movements a little faster too.
What’s The Deal with Pre-Workout?
Our first perpetrator, as is well known to many who sip on the dark liquid gold every morning, is caffeine. Most popularly known to be sitting pretty in our coffee. Not only do we use it to get out of bed, but it’s also one of the most common ingredients in a pre-workout. Though this may not be a symptom everyone carries when it comes to caffeine, there are some theories as to why this does occur.
Studies are a little bit hit or miss, mostly because it doesn’t seem like the actual substance of caffeine gives you the bowel movement, but more so the brain to gut messaging. However, we do have a few situations that come into play here. It seems to make our own hormones gastrin and cholecystokinin spike, promote movement in the bowels and intestines, promote the relaxation of our inner abdomen muscles and also the fact that depending on what pre-workout you are using, you could be downing 3 monster energy drinks in one shot. The brashness of these movements really does depend on how much caffeine you are consuming.
Next, we have a whole list of B-vitamins that are well known for assisting our digestive system. We say list as there are eight different B vitamins and each one has its own effects on our bodies. Your standard pre-workout will most likely have pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6), methylcobalamin (B12) and niacinamide (B3) but all of the B’s could be inside your product. Everyday Health describes:
- B3. Also known as niacin, this vitamin is important for many digestive tract functions, including the breakdown of carbohydrates, fats, and alcohol.
- B6. Also known as pyridoxine, B6 is very important in helping your digestive system process the protein you eat.
When it comes to B12, it is added for the improvement of fat, carbohydrate and protein metabolism. Increasing the athlete’s energy once consumed. When we add all of these b vitamins into a shot, we can stimulate muscle contractions in our digestive systems. Making us need to poop.
We now move on to the more tricky general ingredients which aren’t very well known:
L-Citrulline: a non-essential amino acid is known to relax blood vessels and move urea out of our bodies. Medicine Net describes urea as “a nitrogen-containing waste substance that the kidneys clear from the blood and excrete into the urine.” Meaning that although it won’t make you poop, it may or may not still send you on your way to the bathroom.
L-Leucine & L-Isoleucine: both essential amino acids with some interesting side effects. Leucine aids in muscle protein synthesis and Isoleucine increases glucose absorption in the muscles. Both, when taken in higher doses than recommended, have a side effect of diarrhea. As long as you are taking your doses correctly, you’ll be fine. Yet it still, along with other ingredients, can help in the bathroom situation.
Magnesium and Lactose: even in small amounts cause digestive situations. Magnesium, an essential mineral for our body, pulls water into the intestines and ends up working much like a laxative. When it comes to lactose, found in milk, we can see that the plant milk movement has come in for a reason. The National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease state “Experts estimate that about 68 percent of the world’s population has lactose malabsorption.”This means we aren’t able to digest lactose properly resulting in diarrhea, gas and bloating.
At the end of the day, if you're wondering “why does pre-workout make me poop?” Between the mass amount of caffeine, all those b-vitamins, the magnesium and lactose, as well as the L-*insert science term* amino acids, it’s no wonder that a bathroom break is necessary before jumping into the gym.
Is Pre-workout Healthy?
An effective product and a healthy product are two very different things. If you are someone who is looking for both, our Natural Pre-workout Pulse capsules may be the perfect alternative for you. No more shots of powder, messy shaker bottles. Just two simple flavorless capsules with no added caffeine, artificial colors or sugars, only all-natural ingredients. Made with only with the minimal essential ingredients for a good pre-workout and not overloaded with unnecessary junk. You’ll still have the same benefits which include supporting energy and focus during workouts, high-performance workouts, good muscle circulation and blood flow for a solid time at the gym. We are made in the USA, third party lab tested and GMP certified!
If you want to jump on the pre-workout bus, then it’s more than acceptable. A strong workout is a great workout. However, we need to be careful with what we are ingesting into our bodies. A supplement that is making us poop when we aren’t necessarily ready to do so can be a red flag. Work on finding natural supplements like our Natural Pre-workout Pulse, and watch your body go from amazing to VAVAVOOM!
Written By: Kristina Innemee