Learn how to Cycle Pre-Workout Supplements

Learn how to Cycle Pre-Workout Supplements

We tell you all why you should learn to cycle pre-workout supplements to get the most out of them!

Caffeine as the main ingredient

You can read more about the role of pre-wprkout supplements in this article, but in general:

“…These products aim to increase performance in training, providing greater mental focus, energy, and reducing fatigue…

Most of these supplements contain Central Nervous System stimulants, mainly caffeine, in amounts between 100 and 300 mg per dose.

Clenching your teeth for improved performance?

One of the “desired” effects associated with pre-workout supplements is clenching your teeth during the training session, a habit related to sports performance improvement.

However, it’s been shown that chronic, excessive caffeine use can place excessive stress on the adrenal glands and even result in symptoms such as adrenal fatigue, hypertension, tachycardia and… bruxism in daily life, even after training is over.

We’ve looked at these aspects in the blog previously when referring to mouthguards and chewing gum as actions that can boost performance.

However, today we’re here to tell you why you should cycle your pre-workouts and how to do so

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is the involuntary habit of grinding your teeth without a functional purposes, often caused by stress.

In recent decades, several studies have highlighted alterations in central neurotransmitters, specifically dopaminergic neurotransmitters, as the main cause of bruxism.


Oral parafunctional movements

A parafunctional activity is one that’s characterised by a series of movements parallel to normal function, but without a functional purpose, and is therefore disturbed and a source of traumatic forces that are characterised by abnormal direction, excessive intensity, and are frequent and long-lasting.

These abnormal movements, such as bruxism, are produced as a direct consequence of a hypersensitivity of the dopamine receptors of the CNS.

In the particular case we’re referring to, muscular hyperactivity derives from the muscles of mastication, and would originate from a preponderance of the dopaminergic system associated with a diminished function of the cholinergic and GABAergic circuits (which “relax” the CNS).

Gaba caffeine graphic

Among parafunctional habits, teeth clenching and grinding, tongue and/or lip biting, and unilateral chewing are most significantly associated with stress and high levels of anxiety.

Symptoms of bruxism

Dentists will usually notice wear of the tooth structures (enamel and dentine), although you can also see wear of the lower front teeth by yourself, when looking in the mirror to brush or floss.

Excessive force can also cause inflammation of the nerve (pulp) of the tooth, or even bending of the teeth at the gum margin.

Beyond this physical wear, other symptoms of possible bruxism (and therefore, perhaps, exceeding the doses of pre-workout supplements) are:

  • Pain in the jaw.
  • Waking up with headaches on a regular basis, especially on the sides, although this is also associated with the front and/or back of the head.
  • Chronic neck stiffness or pain upon awakening.
  • Excessive sensitivity to cold, citrus beverages and foods.
  • Toothache coming and going.
  • Noises in the jaw joints or pain when opening and closing the mouth.


Cycling pre-workouts

If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, we again recommend the cyclical and non-continuous use of pre-workouts.

Among them, caffeine as an ingredient is a “drug” in itself, causing dependence and adaptation, meaning more and more doses would be needed to achieve the same effects.

As a result, it’s common for pre-workout users to exceed the dosage recommended by the manufacturer, which, in addition to affecting performance due to adrenal fatigue, can cause dental problems, headaches or excessive muscle tension.

The best strategy

A smart strategy would be to use them in one-off sessions:

Cycle the pre-workouts according to: 40% of the number of training days a week as a maximum (for example, 2 out of 5 days) and take a break after a few weeks.

This would normalise adaptation to caffeine, as well as truly harnessing its effect in the desired workouts and helping to avoid many of the potential side effects.

Bibliographic Sources

  1. Hernández Aliaga, M. (2010). Estudio sobre el bruxismo y una nueva prueba de esfuerzo. Tésis Doctoral. Facultad de Medicina y Odontología de la Universidad de Murcia.
  2. Hernández, R. C., Cepeda, A. R., Hernández, M. G., & Martínez, M. M. (2001). Hábitos parafuncionales y ansiedad versus disfunción temporomandibular. Rev Cubana Ortod, 16 (1), 14-23.
  3. Paesani, D.A, & Andersen, M. (2010). Bruxism: theory and practice. Quintessence.

Related Links:

  • Consuming caffeine before training improves performance. If you want to learn more, click here.
  • Do you know the answers to these 5 frequently asked questions about supplementation?
  • Learn all about the Causes and Symptoms of Overtraining in this link.
  • Peri-Training Supplementation.
Review Getting the most out of your pre-workouts

Main Pre-Workouts - 100%

Consequences - 100%

Bruxism - 100%

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About Mario Muñoz
Mario Muñoz
Mario Muñoz is an enthusiast in the field of research, as reflected in each of his articles published with excellent scientific rigour.
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