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Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

In fitness circles, pre workout is all the talk these days. If you’re a fitness enthusiast who is beginning to hear about this everywhere, and you’re wondering what all the hype is about, we created this nifty guide just for you. 

A pre workout supplement is any supplement, usually in the form of a powder drink mix, but also in other forms, that boosts your workout performance if consumed prior to your workout. 

While carbs are an important ingredient in some pre workout supplements, many are carbohydrate and calorie-free. Beet juice, caffeine, or amino acids like arginine, citrulline, and ornithine can be among the ingredients. They're marketed as boosting your fight or flight response; aiding in the dilation of blood vessels, and allowing more blood to flow to your muscles. Deer antler velvet, for example, is an esoteric ingredient in some supplements that may help extend insulin growth factor-1 levels[1].

Important note: Pre workout formulas aren't necessarily for everybody; you shouldn't immediately switch to supplements if you frequently lack energy or have trouble getting through your workout normally.

Pre Workout Drink

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

Pre workout drinks are designed to help people get more out of their workout. Often times, they are available in a variety of delicious flavors to provide a great overall experience and encourage people to stick with them over time. These drinks help people get the best results from their workouts by improving how the body reacts to them. Pre workout beverages may contain some of the following ingredients:

  • Amino acids
  • Beta-alanine
  • Caffeine
  • Carbohydrates
  • Creatine
  • Vasodilators, including nitrates and l-arginine
  • Vitamins

What Do Pre Workout Supplements Do?

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

Certain pre workout supplements can improve exercise efficiency by increasing blood flow within the muscles during high-intensity workouts, according to research[2]. Additionally, branched-chain amino acids are used in certain pre workout supplements (BCAAs). While there is evidence that these aid regeneration, it is unclear if taking them as a pre workout supplement aids in performance or muscle growth. By including moderate levels of caffeine in some pre workout supplements, they may improve your energy levels and exercise efficiency.

What are Pre Workout Supplements?

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

Pre workout supplements, including beverages or powders, are intended to provide an immediate boost of energy and concentration. Pre workout is a supplement that provides gym-goers with an extra boost of energy during their workout.

There are two types of pre workout supplements: those that contain stimulants and those that do not. Pre workout is most often purchased in powder form, which is then combined with water to create the flavor of a sports beverage. It can, however, be taken as a meal or as a pill. It must be taken before a workout, as the name implies. Many of us, on the other hand, drink it on our way to the gym or during our workout. You should wait at least 30 minutes before using the weights or fitness machines. Caffeine, beta-alanine, amino acids, and creatine are common ingredients.

Are Pre Workout Supplements Harmful to You?

Artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols are often used in pre workout supplements. Some sweeteners can cause intestinal distress and discomfort in some people, despite the fact that they enhance flavor without adding calories. A high sugar alcohol consumption, in particular, can cause unpleasant symptoms like gas, bloating, and diarrhea, all of which can interrupt your workout. Caffeine is a main source of energy in many pre workout supplements.

Excessive use of this stimulant can result in negative side effects such as elevated heart rate, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. Many pre workout formulations have around the same amount of caffeine as several cups of coffee. Even so, if you get this compound from other sources during the day, it's easy to ingest more than the recommended amount by mistake.

Dietary supplements are not strictly regulated in certain nations, including the United States. As a result, product labels are often incorrect or misleading. You can absorb a lot of harmful compounds indirectly from a low-quality supplement if you select one that is not made according to quality standards.

You can unintentionally ingest banned substances or harmful quantities of certain compounds if supplement safety and quality are compromised. Just buy supplements that have been checked by a third party, such as NSF International or USP, to ensure their protection.

How Long Does Pre Workout Last?

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

The length of the results of pre workout will depend upon many factors, such as:

  • Your age, weight, and muscle mass
  • The quality and sort of the supplement you're taking
  • Your general diet, including the quantity of water you get daily
  • The level of fatigue you've got built up to a specific type of workouts
  • Your tolerance to caffeine

There's no need to take another dose of pre workout in the middle of your exercise session, because one should cover most workout routines.

Healthy Pre Workout Advice

Experts say that the healthiest pre workout you will get is from food. The best thing you can do is get nutrients and energy from food sources. Similarly, the healthiest pre workout supplement contains basic, minimal ingredients that are easy to understand and pronounce. Caffeine (if you're looking for a caffeinated product), beta-alanine, and nitric oxide booster should be at the top of the ingredient list. 

Thankfully, existing pre workout items cater to a wide variety of lifestyles and dietary restrictions. You'll be able to select from supplements that are non-GMO, paleo, dairy, soy-free, and organic. 

Pre Workout Side Effects

Some research indicates[3] that these supplements may pose health risks to people with a fast heart rate, cardiac rhythm disorders, diabetes, or pre-diabetes. Additionally, using some pre workout supplements excessively can cause an upset stomach or loose stools.

Be sure to check the specific ingredients used in your supplements, which could have a laxative effect if you have a sensitive stomach; and could send you to the bathroom very quickly after consumption. Some may contain high doses of sodium bicarbonate, magnesium, taurine, arginine, yohimbe, creatine, or caffeine - so be sure to tread lightly to begin and see how your body reacts to small doses. However, most of the time, it comes down to how you use the supplement.

In addition, certain ingredients in pre workout supplements can pull water out of your system and excrete it, causing dehydration. Some ingredients may even be added in intentionally to try to achieve this (for example, if it's a weight-loss mix or a diuretic). On the other hand, some products can cause dehydration if consumed in large amounts. Dehydration may also be linked to headaches. Stimulants all speed up the heart rate. That is the ingredient's personality (such as caffeine). It’s vital to get yourself checked out health-wise to ensure your heart rate is normal and capable of handling the intensity of your workout program.

When to Take Pre Workout

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

Since caffeine is a common ingredient that takes about a half-hour to take effect, you can take your pre workout supplement 30-60 minutes before your workout.

It gives the supplement enough time to reach your bloodstream and provide you with the benefits you're looking for. The pre workout should be taken half an hour before exercise, diluted in water, to help you stay hydrated.

While caffeine has an immediate effect, certain ingredients, such as creatine and beta-alanine, take time to build up in your body and are best taken on a regular basis to maintain muscle mass. As a result, supplementing with a pre workout product on a regular basis will help to optimize the benefits and effect of its ingredients.

Some of the highest rated pre workout supplements currently on the market are:

Should I Take Pre Workout?

You almost definitely do not need a pre workout supplement if you are a casual exerciser. Beet juice, whole-food protein sources, and natural caffeine sources like matcha will likely provide the benefits you seek from a pre workout supplement.

If you prefer to get a pre workout pick-me-up, do your homework. Examine each ingredient to ensure that it is clean, reliable, and capable of enhancing your performance. Before taking any pre workout powders or tablets, consult a doctor or a dietitian if you're unsure.

Best Pre Workout for Men

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

A couple of additional ingredients that increase testosterone levels can be included in even the most basic pre workout for men. Caffeine is used in almost all products to get the blood flowing and circulating. Nonetheless, nitric oxide and beta-alanine are used in items designed specifically for men to encourage an extra pump. Other goods may be aimed at men who want to gain muscle mass. These products combine traditional pre workout ingredients with muscle-building ingredients.

Best Pre Workout for Women

Your Pre Workout Supplement Guide (From A to Z)

If you aren’t necessarily looking for a testosterone boost, and would prefer to avoid products that add bulk and calories, many women's items are focused on fat-burning properties. Pre workout suggested serving sizes are usually supported by weight, so by buying a product that's specifically designed for the feminine body, it's easier to work out a correct dose-supported physique.

References

  1. Suttie, J.; Gluckman, P.; Butler, J.; Fennessy, P.; Corson, I.; Laas, F. (February 1985). “Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) antler-stimulating hormone?”. Endocrinology, doi: 10.1210/endo-116-2-846
  1. Figueroa, A.; Wong, A.; Jaime, S.; Gonzales, J. (January 2017). “Influence of L-citrulline and watermelon supplementation on vascular function and exercise performance”. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000340
  1. Gulati, M. (Jun 2019). “Energy Drinks Quickly Affect the Heart”. CardioSmart American College of Cardiology