All About Pre Workout Supplements
Do you have to take a pre workout supplement to have a great workout? Of course not. Do not ever feel like you have to take any type of supplement. You can reach your fitness goals by fueling your gains with a clean diet. With that being said, do your own research and consult with a certified dietician before you decide to give any supplement a try.
What In The World Is It?
Pre-workout is a fitness supplement that helps give you extreme energy, improved strength, and concentration during your workout. Maybe you counted too many sheep the night before or you’ve had a long day at work. Pre workouts are just there for days when you need an extra boost. It’s important to not become dependent on this energy supplement. You should be fueling your body naturally by eating healthy foods and vitamins.
What’s In It?
Pre workout supplements come in all kinds of varieties. It really depends on what your fitness goals are and what you prefer. The majority of pre workouts are designed to energize you, enhance focus, help burn fat and recover faster. However, there are several ingredients to consider whether or not you want them in a supplement.
What You Want In A Pre Workout
1. Beta Alanine
This helps you perform at higher intensities and gives you that little tingle. You’ll noticeably be able to do more reps and sets than you would without taking beta alanine. It helps raise carnosine levels, which is a building block for protein found in the body.
2. Citrulline Malate
This non-essential amino acid is changed into another compound that is important to your heart health. Citrulline can also help improve your immune system. This substance is also great to help treat diabetes, high blood pressure, muscle weakness, and fatigue.
Creatine increases your body’s ability to produce fast energy. This will allow you to train harder and longer. Creatine is also sold as a supplement by itself. Your muscles will also recover faster, which will allow you to train more frequently.
This stimulant gives you a boost of energy to help you lift heavier and improve your endurance. Studies have also been found that caffeine helps support fat loss.
Trimethylglycine or betaine is found in beets, shellfish, and spinach. It increases water retention of cells and helps the muscles recover quickly.
What You Do Not Want In Your Pre Workout
1. 1-3 Dimethylamylamine
DMAA acts similarly to caffeine in the body and elevates the blood pressure. However, it works differently in the brain and has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, seizures, and even deaths.
2. Proprietary Blends
In order to see the most results out of your pre-workout, you need to know what is in the formula. Some labels will list a “proprietary blend, which means you are just assuming they included the right amount of everything you need. Well, they also don’t list the amount per serving. This is such an issue because companies in the industry get to charge a lot for their product that is made of very inexpensive and ineffective ingredients.
3. Artificial Sweeteners
I try to look out for pre-workouts or any supplements for that matter with artificial sweeteners like Aspartame. This ingredient and many others like Neotame and Sucralose have very unpleasant side effects like headaches, nausea, and diarrhea.
4. Food Dyes
Most pre-workouts have food dyes and it’s kind of hard to get away from. But, if you can find some pre-workouts without food dyes, please let me know in the comments! Food dyes are a synthetic ingredient that can be toxic to you over time. So, it’s probably best for you to find one without these dyes, but that comes down to personal opinion.
Who Is Pre Workout For?
Pre workout is for people who want to push themselves to the next level. If you are trying to see how big and strong you can sculpt your body, pre workout might be the supplement for you. Many bikini competitors and bodybuilders take pre workout because it helps increase their gains. This supplement can help you push through a workout even after a long day at work.
When Do You Take Pre-Workout?
Typically, most pre-workout labels say take the supplement 30 minutes before you start your workout. My pre-workout actually recommends to take a scoop 30 minutes before and another scoop right before your workout. I actually suggest taking half a scoop 10-15 minutes before your workout. (You can always warm up to one scoop). There’s nothing worse than taking your pre-workout ½-1 hour before you get to the gym. The longer you wait, the more you will miss the “kick” or “boost” that pre-workout gives you.
The majority of supplements are not regulated by the FDA. And pre workout is no exception. The market is also filled with supplements that are poison for you. There is a lot of money to be made in the fitness industry, and unfortunately, morality often gets thrown out the window. Just be careful and do your own research. It’s important to know exactly what you put into your body and how it will affect you.
Word to the wise, do not take pre-workout after 5 or 6 PM. I made this mistake and it kept me up until 3 AM. Keep in mind not everyone responds the same way to certain ingredients. It could just be the particular formula, but fyi, it’ll get you amped.
Although pre workout can help you reach your fitness goals faster, you should not take this supplement if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
What is your favorite pre workout?
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Peace & Love,