Are pre-workout supplements healthy?
This totally depends on your definition of healthy.
Personally I used to purchase a huge variety of pre-workouts when I was younger but once I started drinking coffee more regularly I quickly realized the biggest differences between the two are simply the tastes and cost of the two. Pre-workouts have very little proven ingredients in them besides caffeine and can be pretty expensive as they are a BILLION $$ industry. If you don't have a sensitivity to caffeine than sure they are "healthy" they certainly wont kill you. (Or maybe they can?)
"Private Sparling had recently graduated from basic training and was in excellent physical condition. Before the exercise, he had taken the recommended dose of a workout supplement called Jack3d, bought at a GNC store on the base, according to legal filings.
Pronounced "jacked," as in "jacked up," Jack3d contains a powerful stimulant called dimethylamylamine, or DMAA for short, which some medical experts and health regulators say has similar effects on the body as amphetamines. Among bodybuilders and in the fitness-obsessed culture of the military, Jack3d has acquired a reputation for bolstering workout energy and stamina. The product description on the GNC Web site promises as much: "ultra-intense muscle-gorging strength, energy, power and endurance."
Leanne Sparling and her husband, Michael, blame Jack3d for their son's death. It is the only way, they say, they can make sense of a healthy young man dying from cardiac arrest. Last month, they filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against USPlabs, the maker of the supplement, and GNC. They argue that the companies sold a defective product and failed to warn about its risks." - Workout Supplement Challenged After Death of Soldier
This is a very sad story and on the far end of the spectrum for a question like this but its important to ask yourself before taking any sort of supplement such as these, are the benefits really worth it? What might I gain by taking this that I couldn't gain before? I can tell you first hand I have seen much better results in the gym when I stopped spending so much $ on supplements and started spending that same money on healthier foods, meal prepping, and a higher workout intensity. And if I ever felt i needed that extra push or felt sluggish before going to the gym, instead of spending 30$ on a jar of pre-workout I would just brew my own cop of coffee at home for about 75 cents!
Hope this helps,
Cheers to good health!