The purpose of the present study was to examine characteristics of multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement (MIPS) users, their common patterns/habits of MIPS ingestion, and their associated feelings about the effectiveness and safety of this class of supplements. An online electronic survey was distributed through social media to assess self-reported supplementation practices and preferences among adult males and females who reported regular MIPS use. A total of 1045 individuals responded, with 872 of these individuals (males: n
= 636, 72.9%; females: n
= 233, 26.7%; mean ± SD; age = 27.7 ± 7.9 years; training age = 8.2 ± 7.3 years) completing the survey. The majority of respondents reported the length of current or past MIPS consumption as greater than one year (n
= 630, 72.2%), with ingestion frequencies primarily of four (n
= 210, 24.1%) or five (n
= 212, 24.3%) days per week of training. In addition, the three most popular goals for ingesting MIPS were increased energy and focus (n
= 776, 89.0%), muscular endurance (n
= 325, 37.3%), and blood flow or “pump” (n
= 322, 37.0%). Although most users reported ingesting one serving size with each use, 14% reported ingesting two or more, and 18% indicated they ingest MIPS more than once per day. Importantly, over half (54%) of the respondents reported experiencing side-effects following MIPS use, including skin reactions, heart abnormalities, and nausea. Females were more likely than males to experience these side effects, despite being less likely to consume two or more serving sizes per dose. Our findings also indicated that MIPS users should consume no more than the recommended serving size of a given supplement, as the potentially significant variability in the caffeine content of MIPS products is compounded as more doses are consumed. Furthermore, MIPS users should minimize the ingestion of other supplements which contain high levels of niacin and caffeine, as the concurrent consumption of such products may put users above the tolerable upper limits for these substances.
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