There are many benefits of pre-workout supplements that can help you significantly. Are there any side effects of pre-workout supplements? Well, of course there are.
Then, the natural questions follow – should I take pre-workout and is pre-workout good for me?
In this article, you are going to find out about the 5 most common benefits of pre-workout .
We will also talk about the most common ingredients in pre-workout supplements.
Benefits of Pre Workout Supplements
1. Improved Performance
The first and obvious thing about pre-workout supplements is that they are incredibly potent when it comes to performance enhancement.
If you dissect your pre-workout mix, chances are you are going to find at least one, but probably dozens of ingredients that will help you achieve better results in the gym.
When it comes to muscles, it is important to compensate for the amount of protein lost in the process of protein breakdown. That’s why (for a demanding workout plan) you should include protein in your pre-workout.
Why? It’s simple, you need more protein for protein synthesis in order to maintain the composition of your muscles and enable muscle growth.
Same applies to creatine, which is great for helping you in a short and an intense workout while giving you more power and an overall boost in performance.
For a high-intensity workout, it is crucial to have enough energy.
You could be doing cardio or lifting weights, it doesn’t matter, lack of energy is the last thing you need.
The most popular supplement for boosting your energy is caffeine.
Caffeine can help you lift more, run longer, and all in all can give you the energy boost that you require. That is why you should be very careful while deciding when to take it (not recommended for an evening workout, unless you like not sleeping).
Taking too much caffeine can create an opposite effect and you can end up prematurely exhausted, which brings us to our third important benefit.
3. Reduced Fatigue
Pre-workout supplements are widely used as a way to combat fatigue.
Taking higher doses of pre-workout supplements or going to the gym without the necessary amount of nutrients will most likely have a negative impact on your workout and your body. You will be very tired and will probably want to skip the next training session.
You need to be smart about it and devise a strategy that goes back to ancient Stoics – consume your pre-workout supplements in moderation (you know those ancient philosophers, with their ripped bodies, always prancing around naked, posing for statues!).
The optimal amount of adequate pre-workout supplements is crucial for achieving peak performance. At the same time, it helps your body to recover and reduces fatigue.
Two additional ingredients of pre-workouts to have in mind when trying to reduce fatigue: Citrulline malate and caffeine. Both can help with the perception of muscle pain and muscle fatigue.
This means that by having citrulline and/or caffeine present in your pre-workouts, you will be able to workout longer before having a sensation of pain or tiredness.
4. Enhanced Blood Flow
For enhancing blood flow, two pre-workout ingredients are found to be highly effective: L-arginine and L-citrulline .
These substances help to create nitric oxide inside of your body.
When it comes to blood vessels, blood pressure, etc, nitric oxide is the man (not “a man” but a substance, you know what I mean..)
Your blood vessels working properly is crucial for the transportation of nutrients, oxygen and removal of waste products (like food delivery and sewerage system. Sorry for this image).
5. Cognitive powers
Let’s get one thing straight – we are not saying there are supplements out there that will turn you into a genius (well not yet anyway).
We are only saying that after you get started with that last series of reps, you will probably begin to feel tired and that mental acuity that was blessed upon you by the gods of Olympus (or whatever) will be gone.
This is where mental supplementation comes into play. Caffeine is once again what you need.
A research from 1994. conducted on soldiers with the goal of measuring caffeine effects on their mental performance, showed many benefits this substance had on their attention, reasoning abilities, and reaction time .
Not only does caffeine boost physical performance, but it can also enhance mental capabilities (to some degree), and in doing so helps you in achieving better results at the gym.
The Role of Pre Workout Ingredients in Improving Performance
Workout supplements contain many ingredients, some of which are better suited for muscle growth and some for body recovery.
It doesn’t matter if you decide to include them in your pre-workout drink, or meal, but it is crucial to be aware of their effects.
Knowing which ingredients your workout supplements contain is essential so we will be covering some of the most commonly used ones in your average, run-of-the-mill pre-workout supplement.
It should not be a shock to find out that caffeine is the most used pre-workout supplement out there. Reason for this is the variety of benefits it has.
Caffeine can increase energy, mental alertness, exercise performance, focus, endurance and much more.
Some studies show that caffeine can be useful for weight loss while improving your memory and overall performance .
Be careful not to take caffeine late at night or before going to bed. To be safe, use it in your morning or mid-day workouts (at least 30 minutes to one hour before).
Creatine is organically produced by your body and can be mainly found in your skeletal muscles. This organic compound is responsible for the production of energy and strength .
As a supplement, creatine is highly potent. Large amounts of data show that creatine can increase your muscle mass, boost your performance and improve the recovery of your body .
That being said, it doesn’t come as a surprise that creatine is used for high-intensity workouts. For example, when you go to the gym, chances are that the biggest person in the room is using creatine.
This is because creatine is literally involved in energy production in your cells. Creatine does this by changing the formation of proteins responsible for creating new muscle fibres .
Make sure to adjust your creatine consumption due to the fact that it contributes to the increase of water in your muscles .
Unlike creatine or most amino acids, beta-alanine cannot make changes to your proteins. But, don’t jump the gun and think it’s not powerful (it’s over 9000).
Beta-alanine, as one of many non-essential amino acids, is responsible for the production of carnosine.
This amino acid produces carnosine, which is a specific molecule that has various functions. Carnosine is involved in the regulation of blood glucose and is stored in your skeletal muscles .
Carnosine alleviates pH (levels of acidity and alkalinity) in muscle cells during a workout which improves your performance .
One study showed that, unlike other non-essential amino acids, beta-alanine can also increase the workout time before exhaustion by 13-14% .
It is worth noting that this amino acid is good for short and intensive workouts.
Does Pre Workout Help You Lose Weight?
Yes, there are a number of ingredients out there that can help you lose weight. We will only name a few.
Number one ingredient for losing weight is the one and only – caffeine. One study showed that among many useful traits, caffeine can unleash stored fat up to 30% .
During your exercise, you can burn fat faster by using caffeine (due to its production of epinephrine that is beneficial when it comes to burning that extra fat and calories) .
Another powerful ingredient is protein powder. There are many protein powders out there that people chose to use (primarily because of their effect on muscle production and strength).
Fortunately, by using protein powder, you can kill two birds with one stone (meaning, you can simultaneously build muscles and burn body fat, we are not encouraging you to kill birds with protein powder packages, please don’t do that)
Also, protein powders can help lower your appetite and stop you from eating everything in your fridge, when you come home from a workout (we know you’ve done it, no reason to deny it).
The Bottom Line
In the end, we can only say that using supplements can improve your performance significantly, by giving you more energy, power and helping your body to recover.
Exercising is not purely physical activity. You need focus and mental stamina, all of which can be improved with caffeine.
Pay attention to the list of ingredients and try not to go overboard with the use of supplements and you are going to have an optimal workout with great results.