Mixing Antidepressants & Pre-Workout Supplements | Safety & Risks
Mixing antidepressants with pre-workout supplements may cause dangerously high blood pressure, also known as a hypertensive crisis.
This can occur when a specific type of antidepressant known as monoamine oxidase inhibitors, or MAOIs, interacts with pre-workout supplements that contain tyrosine. Negative interactions between other supplement ingredients and other antidepressants, such as SSRIs, may require further study.
Antidepressants can cause drowsiness, changes in hydration, and weight loss, which can indirectly affect your exercise performance. Talk to your doctor before you start an exercise regimen or start taking dietary supplements while on antidepressants.
Risks Of Mixing Pre-Workout With Antidepressants
Pre-workout supplements have risen in popularity in the sports nutrition world, and can be taken to boost energy levels, optimize your workout routine, and stimulate muscle growth. Common pre-workout ingredients include beta-alanine, niacin, caffeine, creatine, taurine, and tyrosine.
Tyrosine is an amino acid present in high-protein foods. On its own, it can increase your adrenaline and dopamine levels. However, tyrosine may cause dangerous increases in blood pressure and heart rate when mixed with monoamine oxidase inhibitors, a type of antidepressant.
While pre-workout supplements are promoted as safe and high-quality, they may not be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Ineffective ingredients in pre-workout may be disguised by proprietary blends. Filler ingredients such as artificial sweeteners may also be present.
A hypertensive crisis is defined as a rapid increase in blood pressure. Symptoms and side effects of a hypertensive crisis may include:
- chest pain
- shortness of breath
- loss of consciousness
- heart attack
- shortness of breath
- severe anxiety
If you or a loved one experience these symptoms after mixing pre-workout with antidepressants, call for medical help immediately.
Studies On Pre-Workout Ingredients & Depressive Symptoms
Studies on beta-alanine, creatine, and taurine suggest a correlation between ingestion of these ingredients, improved well-being, reduced depressive symptoms, and enhanced muscle gain. These ingredients may be present in common pre-workout supplements.
While MAOI antidepressants have known interactions with tyrosine, other antidepressants such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) may require further study to determine whether they are safe with pre-workout.
If you struggle with depression but are still looking to build muscle or improve athletic performance, contact us for information on our co-occurring mental health treatment and wellness exercise routines.
The Charlotte Observer - The 8 Best Pre-Workout Supplements in 2022
Journal of Exercise Nutrition & Biochemistry - Effects of creatine monohydrate supplementation and exercise on depression-like behaviors and raphe 5-HT neurons in mice
Scientific Reports - Antidepressant effect of taurine in chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depressive rats
University of Utah Health - Muscle-building Supplement Creatine Vastly Improves Response Time, Quality of Recovery in Women with Major Depressive Disorder
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