The use of pre-workout supplements has increased tremendously in recent years. Athletes and gym-goers use them to improve their performance while doing challenging workouts. Let’s learn more about pre-workout supplements.
What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?
Pre-workout supplements are multi-ingredient supplements that are taken, as the name suggests, before you workout to give you a boost during your workout.
These supplements usually come in a powdered form and are generally mixed in water. Different ingredients are used in these supplements, including amino acids, artificial sweeteners, caffeine, vitamin B, and many more. However, the proportion of these ingredients varies from one supplement brand to another, which means one brand’s pre-workout might be more potent than the others.
There is much debate over the effectiveness of the ingredients. Some ingredients can help athletes and gym-goers improve their workout performance, and others are just fillers. Let’s talk about some of the more common ingredients.
Nitric oxide precursors
Nitric oxide is a common compound produced by our body that helps in improving blood flow and relaxing blood vessels. Some pre-workout supplements contain compounds such as L-citrulline and L-arginine that our body uses to make nitric oxide.
Caffeine is another common ingredient that pre-workout supplements use to help you focus and increase your energy. These stimulants are supposed to improve fat burning and increase your workout output.
This compound is naturally produced in our body to strengthen muscles and produce energy. You can also get this compound as a standalone supplement. It is used in many pre-workout supplements and is popular with athletes, bodybuilders, and weightlifters.
According to research, pre-workout supplements that contain creatine improve exercise performance, muscle mass gained, and recovery time.
Beta-alanine is an effective amino acid. Studies show that it is an effective ingredient for high and short intensity exercises. It makes your body capable of performing workouts that have heavy volume, and it reduces muscle fatigue. You can take up to 5 grams of it per day, and you should try to have .5 grams of it before each workout if you are taking pre-workout supplements.
When Should Pre-Workout Be Used?
The right time to take a pre-workout supplement depends on different factors. Most brands suggest to take them at least 30 minutes before starting your workout. This gives your body the necessary time to digest the ingredients and use them to boost your energy.
The effectiveness of your pre-work supplements also depends on the timing of your meal. It is recommended to eat a complete meal 2 hours before exercising. If you have to eat a meal 45 to 60 minutes before your workout, eat one that is quick to digest and not too heavy.
Pre-workout supplements can help you lift more weight and prepare your body for high volume exercises. Never take a pre-workout after your workout because you will just be wasting the energy it’ll give you.
Advantages of Pre-Workout
Taking pre-workout supplements can give you that energy boost you need and prevent your body from fatiguing as quickly during the workout. Simple carbs and proteins in some pre-workout supplements can be digested easily and provide instant energy.
Energy levels tend to drop rapidly during a heavy-lifting workout. Pre-workout supplements can help you maintain a good energy level throughout your workout. Let’s learn how pre-workout supplements can increase your performance and help you achieve your fitness goals.
Improves Physical Performance
Creatine is an essential nutrient and component of pre-workout supplements as it helps to saturate your muscles. Three grams of creatine per day can significantly increase your physical performance in your workouts or out on the competitive field.
No Premature Fatigue
Heavy and intense exercise can make your muscles exhausted and tire prematurely. Taking the right pre-workout supplements will help prepare your body for the exercise and prevent premature fatigue during your workout.
Protein Breakdown Reduction
When you perform heavy tasks, your body needs more protein, and this can be done by using the right supplements. When protein intake exceeds the protein that is broken down, then fitness goals can be achieved. Some workout supplements contain amino acids and prevent your muscles from breaking down.
Pre-workout supplements containing caffeine are the best source to burn fat in the body. Caffeine is one of the best fat burning ingredients as it can increase your heart rate and metabolism for a short time to make those workouts intense. The important thing that should be taken into account is that you should not consume caffeine-based products before going to sleep because you will stay up all night long.
Are Pre-Workout Supplements For You?
Some pre-workout supplements are not for everyone, so you have to be careful while choosing the one that is right for you.
Don’t rely on pre-workout supplements to get you through your workout. Maintaining a proper diet and getting enough sleep is more important to help tackle your workouts.
Supplements alone are not replacements for actual food. They are expensive, so it is better to look for whole foods as sources of energy. For instance, eating a banana and drinking a cup of coffee is more effective and affordable than taking pre-workout supplements.
The number of ingredients varies from one supplement to another. That is why it is important to read the ingredients list before you buy a supplement and make sure you are not allergic to any of the mentioned ingredients. If you are allergic to caffeine, we recommend you not to take pre-workout supplements as it is one of the more commonly found ingredients in them.
Pre-workout supplements can give you that energy boost you need for your workout, but don’t become dependent on them. Never compromise on the quality of ingredients in the supplements and make sure the product is certified from a third party.
If you want to achieve long term fitness goals, you should prioritize whole foods before even considering taking any supplements. While some supplements might have side effects, fresh foods don’t. Try a combination of a banana and a coffee before working out and see if it gives you that energy you need.