Can pre-workout cause erectile dysfunction?

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem among many men and can strain a relationship and impact a man’s confidence. There are many causes that contribute erectile dysfunction, including cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking,...

4 Apr 2022 INSIGHTS

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem among many men and can strain a relationship and impact a man’s confidence. There are many causes that contribute erectile dysfunction, including cardiovascular health, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, unhealthy diet, and lack of exercise to name a few.

What is pre-workout

Pre-workout is a dietary supplement that many people take before they work out to help with their energy and performance. Pre-work can come in many formats including:

  • Premixed drinks
  • Powders
  • Pills
  • Snack bars

Ingredients within pre-workout can vary depending on brand and format, some common ingredients are:

  • Bata-alanine
  • Caffeine
  • Citrulline
  • Tyrosine
  • Taurine
  • Creatine
  • Niacin

If the correct dosage is taken it is unlikely for these ingredients to cause any harm. People may experience short term discomfort or very mild side effects. Some evidence has suggested that consuming pre-workout for healthy individuals will not lead to medicals issues. However, a 2019 study showed that 54% of respondents who completed the survey reported side effects, including nausea, skin reactions, and heart abnormalities. However, it does mention that is commonly a result from consuming above the recommended dosage.

How does pre-workout effect your endocrine system?

It is common to stack pre-workout with supplements to enhance the performance of your workout. This is not generally recommended without seeking professional advice and reading the labels. Some combinations between ingredients or the sheer quantity of the ingredients can cause side effects which impact the endocrine system.

The endocrine system is made up of a system of glands that produce the hormones that support each cell in working with each other. If the endocrine system is compromised this may impact testosterone. Low levels of testosterone may lead to erectile dysfunction.

Some stimulants including 1.3-DMAA increase the heart rate and cause a constriction to the blood vessels to the penis. Further impacts can shift the body’s natural hormone production and neurochemistry. This can lead to anxiety, jitteriness and can exacerbate erectile dysfunction.

Caffeine

Most people can’t get through a morning without a caffeine, so it makes sense that it is a popular ingredient in many pre-workouts. The ingredient blunts adenosine from binding with certain brain receptors which leads to larger nerve activity contributing alertness and energy.

However, if you are sensitive to caffeine or metabolise caffeine slowly, consuming the substance to late in the day can cause sleep issues which can lead to a lack of energy and ultimately desire in the bedroom. Research shows that too much caffeine can elevate heart rate, increase anxiety, and can cause headaches.

Caffeine can also cause tummy upset by increasing the level of stomach acid which leads to acid reflux. It’s important to monitor your body for symptoms, if something doesn’t feel right look at lowering your dosage, stop consuming the product or speak to your health professional.

What are Androgenic drugs?

Androgenic drugs are referred to anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). These drugs are derived from testosterone. Testosterone supports the controlling the buildup and break down of the main biochemical components of all tissues, including muscle.

However, it’s important to take these drugs with caution and only after a proper consultation with a health professional. AAS reduces a man’s ability to make his own testosterone. Which can have short term and long-term impacts depending on the frequency the drugs are consumed. The excess testosterone causes the body to down regulate (decrease) its own testosterone production. This is the main cause of why erectile dysfunction occurs when men are using anabolic steroids.

Is there a pre-workout ingredient that helps Erectile Dysfunction?

Citrulline which is common ingredient found in many pre-workouts is designed to increase blood flow throughout the body, in particular muscles during exercise, which supports increased muscle building.

Creatine is a great substance to support hormone regulation and can lead to improvements in testosterone. Higher testosterone may lead to higher sex drive and benefit the reduction of erectile dysfunction.

In summary always read the label, speak to your health professional and listen to your body when undergoing a new supplement regime.

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