Do you know what’s in your pre-workout supplement?

Fitness professional Megan Geary with a pre-workout mixture.
Fitness professional Megan Geary with a pre-workout mixture. Robyne Cuerel

FITNESS supplements are becoming increasingly popular on the Fraser Coast, but are they doing more harm than good?

The pre-workout mixtures are designed to increase energy, focus and endurance in the gym.

Maryborough fitness professional Megan Geary takes a pre-workout supplement regularly before exercise but alternates her use to avoid a caffeine overload.

"A lot of them are caffeine-based and will help with your ability to work harder during your workout," she said.

Ms Geary said many people bought pre-workout mixes from a supplement shop but there were many different brands.

"You need to be careful in terms of what's in them ... there's a lot of different ones on the market," she said.

"You've got to be careful you aren't taking something damaging to your health."

She said while a pre-workout supplement was effective, people could improve their energy without them.

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A Maryborough woman, who did not want to be identified, said she had a bad reaction to a pre-workout mixture.

She said the side effects of a recommended dosage left her feeling exhausted, sick and unable to function.

The 23-year-old woman, who now uses a different pre-workout mix sparingly, said it was her first time using the supplement and while it did momentarily boost her energy, the aftermath was like a bad hangover.

"It's pretty scary because anyone can buy it," she said.

"Heaps of people take it but a lot of people abuse it."

The woman said she knew people who were taking a pre-workout supplement just to get through the day and snorting it before a night out.

"People just want the easy way, it's pretty sad how it's replacing eating healthily," she said.

Maryborough man Jake Hoolahan said he had been taking a pre-workout mix for about three months and was getting great results in the gym.

"I've had no problems at all," he said.

"It's got a name about it now, people know if you're going to the gym to take pre-workout."

Mr Hoolahan said he had occasionally mixed a pre-workout supplement with a protein shake before work.

"It gives you a little edge to push yourself," he said.

Doctor cautions users about caffeine

QUEENSLAND president of the Australian Medical Association Shaun Rudd says it's important people take care when using products high in caffeine, including supplements.

"Because it's in so many products and readily accessible, many people forget caffeine is a real drug with serious side effects," he said.

"Too much caffeine can cause side effects including insomnia, nervousness, muscle tremors, increased heart rate and even death.

"When caffeine is combined with other stimulants to create a supplement, it only increases this risk."

Dr Rudd also warned that people didn't need supplements to improve their health.

"There's nothing wrong with a morning cup of coffee or tea but if you're looking to increase your fitness, skip the supplements and focus on a well-balanced diet and good exercise program."

Topics:  fitness fraser coast gym health hervey bay maryborough supplement workout

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