Can You Take Pre Workout While Breastfeeding
If you are a fitness enthusiast, you most likely have heard of pre workout supplements if you have not already taken them in the past. They provide a multitude of benefits, including higher energy, better athletic performance, and quicker recovery. But if you are pregnant and soon will be breastfeeding or are currently breastfeeding, you may be wondering can you take pre-workout while breastfeeding. Because the ingredients in the supplement may end up in the breast milk you feed your baby, it makes sense to have these concerns. Fortunately, in most cases, the answer is yes.
Below we will talk about pre-workout, its benefits, side effects, and safety during breastfeeding.
What is Pre-Workout?
Pre-workouts are an incredibly popular group of supplements used by the average gym-goer and competitive athlete alike. A pre-workout refers to any supplement that claims it can boost workout performance if you consume it shortly before beginning a workout. These are usually found in a powder form that is mixed with water. Some pre-workouts can also be found in pill form.
A typical pre-workout contains:
- Amino acids
- Nitric Oxide
A pre-workout can be incredibly helpful for busy moms or those who work full-time and either lack energy at the end of the day for a workout or are still a bit groggy in the morning when they wake up for their workout. If you find yourself feeling sluggish, tired, and just plain unmotivated, the right pre-workout may be all that you need to alleviate your training slump.
What is Pre-workout for?
Pre-workout is most commonly taken with the goal to increase the ability to exercise harder or to feel better and less tired when working out. The claims are that a pre-workout will help enhance performance by boosting energy and increasing mental focus. Many pre-workouts also contain ingredients that can benefit you post-workout as well. They may help you recover faster and ease the fatigue from an intense workout. This includes BCAAs, which according to WebMD, helps to reduce damage to your muscles. Everyone has a busy schedule and hectic life, most especially a new mama. A pre-workout is used precisely when life has you feeling tired, but you want to push through a training session.
How Does Pre-workout work?
According to Cleveland Clinic, pre-workouts are beneficial and safe if the ingredients on the label are correctly listed and the company you purchase them from is credible. They work by stimulating the body’s central nervous system, improving reaction time, and reducing fatigue. Some of the best pre-workouts may have the ability to give you the energy to lift heavier, run faster, or rev it up to a whole new level in spin class. They do this by supplying your body with extra carbohydrates, and that glucose helps raise blood sugar levels and provide additional energy to you during a workout.
When to Take Pre-workout?
You technically can take your pre-workout whenever you want. But, if you’re looking to make the most of the energy you obtain from your pre-workout drink, the timing can make a big difference. In general, the best results from your pre-workout supplement happen if you take it about 30 minutes prior to your workouts. This will allow the level of caffeine to peak in your bloodstream. If you take it earlier than this, you may feel the peak before your workout begins and then experience a crash during it. Anyone who has ever taken a pre-workout too early knows well the not-so-great feelings that result.
Pre-workout and Breastfeeding
The main concern that comes from pre-workout supplements and breastfeeding is the caffeine in the pre-workout affecting breast milk. Fortunately, many stimulant-free pre-workouts are available on the market. These are a great alternative. It is always best to speak to your doctor first and ask can you take a pre-workout while breastfeeding. They may suggest you wait and look into natural alternatives or give you the go-ahead but tell you to stick with a stimulant-free option. Because there is not much clinical evidence on the subject, it is always wise to follow manufacturer labels and play it better safe than sorry.
Can I Take Pre-workout While Breastfeeding?
Many sports supplements, including pre-workouts, will say on their label that they should not be taken while pregnant or breastfeeding or that you should consult with your physician if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. If the product says not to take it while breastfeeding, you should follow that advice as there is a reason the company placed the disclosure on the packaging. If it suggests consulting your physician, then a quick chat with your doctor may help you decide if a pre-workout best fits your lifestyle as a breastfeeding mother looking for a bit of help feeling energized in the gym.
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Pre-workout Benefits for Breastfeeding Moms
There are no benefits from pre-workouts that are specific to breastfeeding moms, but there are many benefits of the supplement for women in general, including breastfeeding moms. These include:
- Increased energy
- Elevated mood
- Improved workout performance
- Faster weight loss
Adding the appropriate supplement to your routine may help you feel better at the gym and see the results you are looking for faster.
Pre-workout Side Effects
Safety is the primary concern regarding pre-workout supplements. This is because they are not regulated by food and drug administrations in the same way that drugs are. The lack of regulation and knowledge about the ingredients on a supplement label is what can make a pre-workout product dangerous. With no regulation, this means that products can be stocked and sold until there’s enough reason for the agency to remove it.
To guarantee that a pre-workout product contains what it says it contains and does not contain unlisted ingredients, it is essential to find a product that has been certified through a third-party regulatory body such as NSF or Informed Choice. Third-party testing ensures the safety and quality of the product. Both NSF and Informed Choice follow a strict process that verifies the quality and purity of supplements.
Can Pre-workout Cause Acne?
There is no scientific evidence to back up the claim by some that pre-workouts cause acne. Some of the anecdotal evidence that leads many to believe it may come from the high levels of caffeine in these supplements, which can cause dehydration, therefore negatively affecting your skin. There is also some thought that pre-workouts using artificial sweeteners may increase insulin levels in the body and trigger acne. It is always a smart idea to look for pre-workouts that are naturally sweetened. The most prominent belief, although not proven, is that the creatine and BCAAs in these powders can cause hormonal changes that can kick start acne in someone already prone to it. Again, there has been no concrete proof of this.
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What is the Best for Me?
If you’ve decided on the subject of can you take pre-workout while breastfeeding then you may wonder what is the best one for you. The best pre-workout for you is going to be a personalized choice. It may depend on where you are in your breastfeeding, your sensitivity to caffeine and other ingredients, as well as your goals.
Here is a list of our favorite pre-workouts suitable for women:
If you are looking for stimulant-free pre-workouts to avoid caffeine, you are in luck. There is a growing availability of them on the market.
There are lots to choose from but a few great options available are:
- Transparent Labs PreSeries STIM-FREE Pre-workout
- Legion PULSE Stim-Free Pre-workout
- Alani NU PUMP Stim-Free
- 1st Phorm Stimulant-Free Pre-workout
Finding the best pre-workout for you can sometimes take a bit of trial and error. Some will affect you differently, some better, and some worse. Do not be frustrated if you have to try a few before you find your perfect match. That is something most athletes go through when experimenting with pre-workout supplements.
Where to Buy Pre-workout Supplements?
You can find pre-workout supplements at most vitamin and nutrition stores and they are readily available online. If you shop online you can find discounts for buying multiples or buying package deals. Whether shopping online or at a store, take time to read the label before committing to a product. Especially since there is a high likelihood that what is contained in the supplement may make its way into your breast milk. If you can find products that a third-party lab has tested, they may be well worth the extra money spent on them.
Pre-workout supplements are a valuable tool in the nutrition arsenal if you want to feel energized and less tired during your workouts. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding and looking to use a pre-workout, make sure to always read your labels, and when in doubt, speak to your physician as they may have individualized suggestions as to the safety of pre-workout use for your body and current life stage. The answer to can you take pre-workout while breastfeeding is, in general, a yes, but do your homework to make sure you are using the right one for you. As a breastfeeding mama, it’s time to get out there and feel full of energy during your workout!