How Can A Pre-Workout Supplement Improve Performance?
Description: Many athletes take a pre-workout supplement to get an extra energy boost for intensive workouts. If you still hesitate about pre-workout supplement benefits, this post is for you! Here, we describe how supplements can improve your performance in the gym.
Naturally, every athlete or bodybuilder wants to get the most out of the time spent working out. However, lots of people find it difficult to get active and stay active. That’s one of many reasons why pre-workout supplements have become so popular nowadays. It’s very tempting to take a supplement before heading out for a run or hitting the gym in the hope to improve your muscle power, endurance during exercising, and energy levels. Pre-workout supplements promise to increase your heart rate, blood flow and give you a little tingle.
But do these pills or drinks really work? How do they work? Are they safe? To answer your questions, we’ve teamed up with physicians and professional sportsmen and created this post. This is your pre-workout supplement guide! Read on!
What Is A Pre-workout supplement?
A pre-workout supplement is a multi-ingredient dietary formula created to boost energy and athletic performance. Typically, it comes as a powdered substance that must be dissolved in water and drunk before a sweat session.
The market offers countless options. Components in formulas usually differ, we never find a setlist of ingredients. If you have any medical conditions or limitations, you’ll be able to find a proper solution for you. A good example is the best caffeine-free pre-workout in case you suffer from heart problems or whatever. However, there are ingredients that are often included in different formulas; they are B vitamins, amino acids, sweeteners, creatine, etc. The quantities of elements widely vary depending on the brand.
Benefits Of The Pre-workout Supplements
Pre-workout supplement for muscle building has shown to improve performance in the gym, especially if it includes such ingredients as
caffeine, carbohydrates, beetroot juice, and creatine monohydrate.
How can these components help during exercising?
- Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, it boosts energy levels, therefore, enhances sports performance. This ingredient can increase the speed of reactions, muscle strength, and improve aerobic endurance. However, experts admit that more studies must be done on older people and women to ensure that such a conclusion can be generalizable.
- Carbohydrates, or so-called carbs, are the body’s source of energy. That’s why experts recommend consuming them before intensive exercising to properly fuel your body. Carbs increase stamina, energy availability, and overall performance. A pre-workout supplement that contains enough carbs is hyper-relevant if you are involved in boot camps, sprint events, indoor cycling classes, lifting sessions, and other high-intensive activities. During such activities, your body utilizes blood glucose and glycogen – stored carbs- as its main energy source.
- Beetroot juice intensifies the body’s levels of nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a natural vasodilator that dilates blood vessels, improves blood circulation, and therefore, cardiovascular performance.
Although the research on beetroot juice is quite young, and the majority of studies are small, they all show good, promising results.
- Creatine monohydrate is a mix of 3 amino acids that are naturally generated in the body and is stored in the muscles as a source of energy. Creatine-containing pre-workout supplements for gym sessions helps to build muscles and enhance strength over time. Besides, such a supplement can work well as a post-workout formula since the natural stores of creatine are at their lowest point in your body after intensive sweat sessions. In fact, creatine monohydrate is the best-researched sports supplements over the past twenty years. This ingredient is linked to a decreased risk of depression, improved cognition, and a lower risk of heart disease.
However, it may be not a good idea to pair pre-workout supplements and diabetes, kidney issues, or any other health condition. In such a case, you should consult your doctor before you decide on regular supplementing.
Are There Any Drawbacks In Taking Pre-workout Supplement?
Generally, pre-workout formulas are safe, but, unfortunately, they aren’t completely risk-free. Let’s discuss potential downsides and harmful components.
- Sugar alcohols and/or artificial sweeteners – although these additives improve supplement taste without adding calories, they may cause discomfort and intestinal distress in some people, and trigger such symptoms as diarrhea, bloating, and gas. So, you’d better avoid formulas that contain large quantities of sugar alcohols and artificial sweeteners. Or you can try to start with a small amount of such a supplement to see how you tolerate it.
- Excess caffeine – as we touched on above, caffeine is the major stimulant and energy-boosting component in pre-workout supplements. Excessive consumption can lead to negative side effects like anxiety, insomnia, impaired sleep, increased blood pressure, and more. Pay attention to how much coffee you drink and the dosage of caffeine in your supplement, this way you’ll avoid excessive consumption.
How To Make Supplementing Risk-Free?
In many countries, including the U.S., supplements are not strictly regulated. Unfortunately, product labels can be misleading or inaccurate. The only tip here is to buy from reputable and trusted brands, try to find a natural pre-workout supplement. Also, it’s great if the formula is tested by a third party, such as NSF International or USP.
If you hesitate about the supplement’s quality and safety, don’t buy it, otherwise, you can consume dangerous or banned compounds.
And, again, do consult your doctor before taking any formulas to make sure that the benefits outweigh the risks.
We do hope that our post has been helpful and you’ll find the right formula for yourself. However, you should remember that adequate diet, hydration, and sleep are vital for any person, especially if he/she has regular, intensive sweat sessions. Those simple things will definitely help repair your muscles and optimize your energy levels. Besides, a pre-workout supplement may be quite expensive. So, don’t forget about such simple, accessible, and healthy pre-workout solutions as, for example, a cup of coffee and a banana. Alternatives may be very effective too!
If you know any useful and interesting info on this topic, do share it with us and our readers in the comment section below!