The Complete Guide To Pre-Workout Supplementation

What Are Pre Workout Supplements?

These are a specially formulated blend of nutrients and boosters that will help you take your training intensity to the next level. They provide you with everything that you need for a sustained burst of energy, reduced muscle fatigue and quicker recovery.

There are a number of Pre-workout supplements that are available in the market today, all of which differ slightly from each other in some small aspects and ratios. The different kind of products available can lead to a lot of confusions regarding the different benefits that they offer, and for whom they are suited.

To make things easier and to help you make the right choice, you need to look for some key ingredients when you are choosing a good Pre-Workout mix. A knowledge of the various ingredients and their functions will help you with that. But before we continue, make sure to read this post, on our choice on the best pre-workout supplements.

For Strength and Power

There is a reason that Creatine has been termed as the most effective supplement to help increase strength and power ever. It works. A lot of people may choose to take it as a separate supplement as well. It is probably the most widely used supplement in the world, with most top athletes across sports espousing its benefits.

It helps by providing your muscles with high energy production allowing them to complete extra reps. It also aids in cellular recovery after a workout. Make sure it is a part of your pre workout drink.

Beta Alanine
It is the Precursor to Carnosine, which helps fight muscle fatigue by reducing the acidic ion buildup in the muscles during sustained exercises. Beta Alanine has been scientifically proven to help gain muscle faster as well as increase the power output of the muscles.[image_right src=”×200.jpg”]

It is helpful to have a time release formulation of Beta Alanine in your pre-workout drink as it prevents any side effects like tingling or paresthesia.

This modified amino acid is a useful addition to have as a part of your pre-workout package. It has shown power boosts of 25% in research trials. Recent research has shown that the benefits of taking Betaine can be increased by taking it both pre and post workout.

For Energy

A good pre workout mix provides you with the necessary nutrients to give you an energy surge just as you enter the gym.

This is an amino acid that promotes the formation of several neurotransmitters in the body and helps increase focus, concentration and stamina. Having access to maximum energy routes while working out helps maintaining maximum efficiency for longer.

Taurine directly increases the amount of blood flow to the muscles and helps your endurance. Research has found that athletes who took this as a pre-workout were able to complete more reps than when on a placebo.

B complex vitamins
This complex of vitamins takes part in a whole host of enzymatic and mitochondrial reactions which help in energy production. Vitamin B6 and B12 are particularly crucial to these actions.

For Building Muscle

Any hard gainer out there taking a pre workout supplement should make sure that these ingredients are a part of it as they help trigger muscle growth.

[image_right src=”×300.jpg”]No other ingredient is as important to fuel organic muscle growth as these Branched Chain Amino Acids are, namely leucine, isoleucine and valine. The muscle building process utilizes these amino acids and is, in fact, given a healthy push by their presence.

Having all the three is ideal; however having leucine at the very least, is a must.

This is quickly depleted over an intense workout session, and the lack of it can leave you open to injury as well as slow recovery. Glutamine has also been shown to boost growth hormone levels, helping muscle growth. It also plays an important role in keeping the level of leucine high in the muscle tissue.

So, if it increases the effectiveness of BCAA’s if they are being taken separately as well.

Even though, Carnitine directly does not lead to muscle growth, it does result in changes that make the body more conducive to respond to a physical stimulus. It primes the androgen receptors as well as increases blood flow to the muscles. All of this helps in recovery and growth of muscles.

For Sharpening Focus

It can be difficult to get yourself to the gym after a hard day or maybe even a late night. This is where your pre-workout stimulants come in.

Yes, this is the same compound that is found in your coffee; however caffeine, when taken in an anhydrous form, is much more effective and fast acting than in any other form. There are multiple benefits to Caffeine from a gym goers viewpoint. While its effectiveness in enhancing your mental focus is well known, it also boosts endurance and helps you gain strength as well.

Yerba Mate
This plant is a rich source of alkaloids like Caffeine and theobromine which work in synergy with each other to get you that clear, laser focus you are looking for. The stimulant effect with this plant comes without any side effects like tremors or jitters that other stimulants may cause. If you are a person who finds it difficult to bear the effects of caffeine, then having this as a part of your workout mix is better than leaving out stimulants altogether.

The buzz that many people talk about after taking a pre-workout mix is because of the stimulants in them. While, they are useful in small doses, too much of these stimulants should be avoided.

Is a Pre-Workout supplement regime dangerous?

Since there are a number of different things that are found in pre-workout supplements, it is difficult to give a blanket answer. The thing to avoid is a pre-workout mix laced with only stimulants.

These can cause your heart rate to shoot up and put an unneeded cardiovascular strain on your body. Other than this, a good quality, well-designed pre workout supplement regime is a widely accepted way to amp up your performance without any side effects.

How should Pre Workout Supplements be taken?

Ideally pre workout supplements should be taken an hour before you plan to hit the gym. This is enough time for the ingredients to take effect and get you in the zone for working out. Take them any earlier, and you run the risk of its effects wearing off. There should be adequate time between your last meal and your pre workout supplements so that you are essentially empty stomach when you take them.

This ensures that there is maximum absorption of the various ingredients and a timely response by your body.

Also, over a period, the pre workout supplements should be cycled like other supplements. This is to prevent a resistance build up in the body to its ingredients. Creatine, Caffeine and most others lose effectiveness over sustained use.

A cycle of 6-8 weeks of use followed by 3-4 weeks of discontinuation should work fine for almost everybody. This ensures that you can maximize your gains from the supplement program.

Final Word

It is important to know what you are putting in your body, so make sure that you read the labels and choose your pre workout supplements in a sensible and targeted manner. If you follow the recommended doses, then there is nothing to worry about and only to gain as you feel your body reach peak maximum with regularity.

Want to see more pre-workouts? Check out our best of list!

Leave a Comment