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Are You Still Natty If You Take Pre-Workout?

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 23, 2023

What if I told you that the pre-workout supplement you're using could potentially strip you of your "natty" status?

"Wait, what...

I thought pre-workouts were just a way to boost my energy and focus during workouts!" Well, the truth is, it's more complex.

Pre-workout supplements are a popular tool among gym athletes. 

They're designed to enhance your performance during workouts, providing you with the energy, focus, and endurance you need to push through even the most grueling sessions. 

But what does it mean to be "natty" in bodybuilding? 

And how do pre-workout supplements factor into this?

Are You Still Natty If You Take Pre-workout?

Pre-workout supplements, even those with stimulants, do not affect your "natty" status.

Being "natty" refers to not using performance-enhancing drugs or anabolic steroids, and pre-workouts are not classified as such.

Understanding Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are typically a blend of ingredients to boost your workout performance.

They often contain stimulants, amino acids, and other performance-enhancing substances.

But here's the kicker: not all pre-workouts are created equal. Some are loaded with stimulants like caffeine, while others are stimulant-free.

The type of pre-workout you choose can significantly impact your workout and, potentially, your "natty" status.

Stimulant vs Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout Supplements

With pre-workout supplements, there are two main categories: stimulant and non-stimulant.

Stimulant pre-workouts are the most common.

They typically contain caffeine, which is known for its energy-boosting effects.

These supplements can give you a quick energy boost, helping you power through your workouts.

On the other hand, non-stimulant pre-workouts don't contain caffeine or other stimulants.

Instead, they rely on ingredients like amino acids, creatine, and beta-alanine to enhance your performance.

Learn more: Best Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout

The Natty Debate: Are You Still Natural If You Use Pre-Workout Supplements?

The term "natty" is often used in the fitness and bodybuilding community to refer to someone who doesn't use performance-enhancing drugs or steroids. [1]

But the definition can vary depending on who you ask.

Some argue that using any supplement, including pre-workouts, means you're no longer "natty."

Others believe that as long as you're not using illegal substances or steroids, you're still considered "natty," even if you use supplements.

The debate can get heated, with strong opinions on both sides.

But what does the science say?

What Does Being "Natty" Mean?

In the bodybuilding world, "natty" is short for natural.

A natural bodybuilder, or a "natty," builds their physique without using performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). [2]

This includes anabolic steroids, prohormones, and other substances banned by sports organizations.

Being "natty" is about more than just avoiding certain substances.

It's a commitment to achieving fitness goals through hard work, proper nutrition, and natural supplementation.

Pre-Workouts and the Natty Status

Pre-workouts are supplements designed to boost energy, endurance, and focus during workouts.

They typically contain ingredients like caffeine, amino acids, and vitamins.

But do they affect your "natty" status?

The short answer is no.

Using pre-workout supplements doesn't make you "non-natty."

These supplements are not classified as PEDs and are generally accepted in the natural bodybuilding community.

However, it's crucial to check the ingredient list.

Some pre-workouts may contain substances banned in competitive natural bodybuilding. 

Always opt for pre-workouts that are transparent about their ingredients and dosages.

The Controversy Around Pre-Workouts

While pre-workouts are generally accepted in the natural bodybuilding community, they're not without controversy.

Some argue that these supplements give an unfair advantage, similar to PEDs.

Others believe that relying on pre-workouts goes against the spirit of natural bodybuilding, which emphasizes achieving results through diet and exercise alone. [3]

However, these views are not universally held.

Many natural bodybuilders use pre-workouts to help them train harder and recover faster.

They see these supplements as tools to enhance their workouts, not as shortcuts to success.

Pre-Workouts and the Natty Status

Pre-workouts are supplements designed to boost energy, endurance, and focus during workouts.

They typically contain a mix of ingredients like caffeine, amino acids, and vitamins.

But do they affect your "natty" status?

The short answer is no.

Using pre-workout supplements doesn't make you "non-natty."

These supplements are not classified as PEDs and are generally accepted in the natural bodybuilding community.

However, it's crucial to check the ingredient list.

Some pre-workouts may contain substances banned in competitive natural bodybuilding.

Always opt for pre-workouts that are transparent about their ingredients and dosages.

You might also like: Best Tongkat Supplements

Are Non-Stimulant Pre-Workouts Natty?

So, are non-stimulant pre-workouts considered "natty"? 

If you define "natty" as not using any supplement, then no, using a non-stimulant pre-workout would not be considered "natty." 

But if you define "natty" as not using illegal substances or steroids, then yes, using a non-stimulant pre-workout could still be considered "natty."

Ultimately, the decision is up to you.

It's essential to research, understand the potential risks and benefits, and make an informed decision that aligns with your fitness goals and values.

The Verdict: Are You Still Natty If You Use Pre-Workout?

Ultimately, whether or not you're considered "natty" while using pre-workout supplements depends on your definition of natural bodybuilding.

If you define natural bodybuilding as avoiding all banned substances, then using pre-workout supplements wouldn't affect your "natty" status, provided they don't contain any prohibited ingredients.

On the other hand, if you view natural bodybuilding as achieving your fitness goals without any supplements, then using pre-workouts would make you "non-natty."

In general, yes you’re still natty if you use pre-workouts and you don’t use anabolics. 

In the end, it's a personal decision. 

What matters most is that you're comfortable with your choices and that they align with your fitness goals and values.

What Makes A Natty A Natty?

The term "natty" is popular in fitness, often thrown around in gym conversations and social media posts.

But what does it mean?

And what makes a natty, a natty?

The Definition of Natty

"Natty" is short for natural.

In fitness and bodybuilding refers to someone who does not use performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs), such as steroids, human growth hormone (HGH), and other artificial chemicals.

These substances can provide an advantage in fitness that wouldn't be easy or possible to attain naturally.

Natty in Professional Fitness

In professional fitness, being natty still means being a natural athlete who hasn’t taken PEDs.

However, the list of drugs is significantly increased, and most professional organizations perform blood tests at meets or randomly throughout the year.

The exact type of drugs being tested for will depend on the professional organization you belong to.

Lifetime Natty vs. Natty

A lifetime natty has never taken PEDs to improve their physique or strength.

This term differentiates between people who have previously taken PEDs but don't now (natty) and those who have NEVER taken PEDs (lifetime natty).

Fake Natty

A fake natty is someone who has taken or currently takes PEDs and actively says they are natty.

This is a significant problem on social media, where fitness influencers sell products by saying you can gain their physique just by taking their products.

The results of fake natties are not naturally attainable for most people, so it’s considered false advertising.

Natty and Supplements

Most supplements you can buy in pharmacies or fitness stores don't remove your natty status.

This includes popular supplements like creatine and testosterone boosters from reputable brands.

However, some supplements can be an issue if you compete, even in amateur competitions, such as stimulants or water-cutting compounds.

What Makes You Not Natty

Prescription drugs make up most PEDs in the fitness world, so if you’re on testosterone replacement therapy, you are not natural.

Some prescription drugs not specifically for increased performance do get used as PEDs.

An example of this is the breast cancer drug tamoxifen, which can also be used to suppress estrogen and helps increase muscle mass.

Being natty is about staying natural and not using PEDs to enhance your physique or performance.

It's about achieving your fitness goals through hard work, proper nutrition, and natural supplements.

However, the definition of being natty can vary based on who you’re talking to and the context in which the term is used.

You might also like: Natural Steroid Alternatives

FAQ

Can I still be considered natty if I use pre-workouts?

Yes, you can still be considered natty if you use pre-workouts. Pre-workouts are not steroids or performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs). They are supplements designed to enhance your energy and focus during workouts. They typically contain ingredients like caffeine, amino acids, and vitamins, which are not banned substances.

Are there any natural bodybuilders who use pre-workouts?

Yes, many natural bodybuilders use pre-workouts. These supplements help them push harder during their workouts, leading to better muscle growth and performance. However, it's important to note that not all pre-workouts are created equal. Some may contain ingredients that are not natural or could potentially be harmful, so it's always important to read the label and do your research. [4]

What's the difference between natural and synthetic pre-workouts?

Natural pre-workouts are made with ingredients derived from natural sources, like plants. On the other hand, synthetic pre-workouts are made with man-made ingredients or ingredients that have been significantly altered in a lab. While both types can be effective, some prefer natural pre-workouts because they want to avoid artificial ingredients.

Are pre-workouts safe for everyone?

While pre-workouts are generally safe for healthy adults, they may not suit everyone. People with certain medical conditions, such as heart disease or high blood pressure, should avoid pre-workouts. Additionally, pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use pre-workouts. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

Can pre-workouts have side effects?

Yes, pre-workouts can have side effects. These can include jitters, restlessness, and trouble sleeping, especially if the pre-workout contains high caffeine. Some people may also experience digestive issues, like nausea or diarrhea. If you experience any adverse effects after a pre-workout, it's best to stop using it and consult a healthcare professional.

Can I build muscle without using pre-workouts?

Absolutely. While pre-workouts can enhance your workouts, they are unnecessary for muscle growth. A balanced diet, regular strength training, and adequate rest are the most important muscle-building factors.

The Bottom Line: Are You Still Natty If You Use Pre-Workout?

Ultimately, the question of whether you're considered "natty" while using pre-workout supplements boils down to your stance on steroids and anabolic substances.

If you define being "natty" as steering clear of all steroids and anabolic substances, then using pre-workout supplements wouldn't tarnish your "natty" status, as long as they're free from any such substances. [5]

However, if your interpretation of being "natty" is achieving your fitness goals without any form of supplementation, then the use of pre-workouts would categorize you as "non-natty."

In the grand scheme of things, it's a matter of personal choice.

The most crucial aspect is that you're at ease with your decisions, and they're in line with your fitness objectives and principles.

References
  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24864135/

  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29371857/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31247944/

  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31438992/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15107010/

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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