Choking and excess caffeine consumption aren’t the only dangers of consuming pre-workout powders improperly. Many of the substances they contain are both unknown and unregulated. A 2019 study published in Nutrients analyzed 100 popular pre-workout powders and determined that 44% “of all ingredients were included as part of a proprietary blend with undisclosed amounts of each ingredient” (via Shape). This comes on top of Amazon acknowledging that there have been many fake supplements sold on their platform (via Wired). Moreover, the FDA does not regulate such substances for safety in the same manner that it does food and standard drugs (via FDA).
Even if pre-workout supplements are taken as directed, some people will experience side effects. These include mild reactions to the common ingredients beta alanine and niacin, such as a tingling sensation or skin discoloration; stomach upset related to ingredients like bicarbonate, magnesium, and creatine, and laxative effects from extra magnesium (via Healthline).
Considering all of these unknowns and the fact that dipping or scooping these powders doesn’t allow you to consume doses as directed, it’s no surprise there could be significant health complications. While there are many safe and healthy pre-workout routines that include food and supplements, experts advise that it’s better to skip dipping your fruit in pre-workout powder.