Workout enhancers, such as creatine, come with promises of bigger muscles, much faster. Creatine is something your body produces naturally, and research says taking the supplement does, in fact, lead to increased muscle gain over a shorter period of time.
But what's the downside?
â??If you take too much creatine, you can retain water, which can lead to hypertension, false sense of muscle growth,â?? says Ashley Kleikamp. â??If you take creatine, you might look bigger than you actually are.
Pre-workout energy boosters, such as NO Explode or Jack3d, increase blood flow by dilating your blood vessels, thus increasing the amount of nutrients your muscles can receive.
â??They allow you to lift heavier for longer. One of the major negatives, though, is that they have a lot of stimulants, caffeine, guarana,â?? Kleikamp said.
Caffeine is commonly found in coffee and soft drinks, and guarana is often found in energy drinks.
Michael Patalino has lost more than 100 pounds over the past few years, and he is a regular user of Jack3d. It gives him the energy he needs for a workout, but the boost doesn't come without side effects.
â??I get like a little tingly, itchy feeling from it,â?? says Michael Patalino. â??But it's just like if you drink three or four cups of coffee.â??
Kleikamp says the best thing for a proper workout, however, is a good diet.
â??The best thing is to eat food. If you can stomach a meal, eat it, because you're not going to get the same nutrients from any supplement,â?? Kleikamp says.
So the side effects for most over-the-counter workout products appear to be minimal when used correctly in conjunction with good nutrition.
We asked our Facebook fans what they thought about workout supplements, and here is what some of you said.
"One of the biggest problems is people dont do the research. They see someone big use it and think they will become hulk Hogan in a week." - Jacob Kobasic
"I've been taking Zantrex-3 and have lost 10 pounds in the month I've been taking it. No supplement is a miracle you have to put in the work, but some do give you a helping hand." - Jade Cox