The first time I tried a pre-workout powder, I added just two simple scoops to my water bottle. It didn’t take long before I wondered if that powder was really the blue meth from Breaking Bad. I felt like I had turned into the Incredible Hulk. It didn’t take long before my “go” juice became my drink of choice. Then, two scoops wasn’t enough…
You’ve probably been there. You now take 3+ scoops of pre-workout to get the same cracked-out feeling as before so you can be a beast at the gym.
The sad fact is that guys burn out every day from the use and abuse of pre-workout supplements and thermogenic fat burners. I’m definitely a fan of using a pre-workout and want to teach you why you’re burning out and what you can do to fix it.
The Need For Speed
Pre-workout supps contain a high dose of caffeine and some even contain extra stimulants such as geranium extract or 1,3-dimethylamylamine (which is so strong that it has been compared to the drug “speed” and is officially banned for professional athletes).
When you consume stimulants, a message is sent to the brain to allow the release of adrenalin into the blood stream. Adrenalin is produced in the (appropriately named) “adrenal glands” which sit just above your kidneys. These two little guys are virtually the body’s fuel tanks. When you begin to consume more and more caffeine, you begin to stress out your adrenals. In short, you’re burning out because you’re taking in way too many stimulants and not giving your body enough time to put fuel back in the tanks.
Million dollar question: “How do you keep the tanks full and stop burning out?”
Simple answer: “Cycle” your pre-workouts
By taking your pre-workout supplements for 4-6 weeks and then completing a 1 week break where you take in almost no stimulants, you will allow your body to fill the tanks back up so you can kick ass again in the gym. During that “no-go-week”, you can’t consume: energy drinks, pre-workouts, thermogenics, nothing with high octane caffeine whatsoever.
That being said, expect some withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, anxiety, low energy levels and bad mood.
But, wait, how about we find the perfect balance? Basically, figure out how many grams of stimulants you’re currently consuming in your pre-workout cocktails. Some people are up to 1,200mg of caffeine a day. That’s equal to 15 cups of coffee. In order to not withdrawal like a madman, yet cycle properly, allow yourself a morning double espresso (160mg caffeine). This helps take the edge off and after a few days, your body recuperates.
After that one week off, you’ll definitely feel the power of your pre-workout again. This is my best advice to help you not burn out on pre-workout!
Written by: Tristan “Lucky”