All About Pre- Workout Supplements
10 Min Read
What is the deal with people consuming those shakes and pills before they hit the gym? Read on to understand all about pre-workout supplements!
Pre-workout supplements are popularly called “pre-workouts.” These are meant to provide you with the energy to exercise. Supplements can be consumed in various ways, boosting energy levels and increasing focus. They are usually available in pills or powders. The star ingredient is caffeine.
Table of Contents
1. What Exactly Does Pre-Workout Do?
2. Ingredients To Look For In A Pre-Workout
3. Side Effects Of A Pre-Workout Supplement
4. When Does Pre-Workout Kick In?
5. When To Take Pre-Workout?
6. Should You Be Consuming Pre-Workout?
7. The Final Say
What Exactly Does Pre-Workout Supplement Do?
Fuelling yourself is crucial before exercising or strenuous workouts; otherwise, you will feel more de-energised, weak, and weary. Pre-workout is designed to help combat this. It enables you to be consistent throughout your workout.
Most people consume pre-workout supplements half an hour before a workout. Supplements provide the body with extra carbohydrates, and the glucose in them helps raise blood sugar levels and supply additional energy during a workout. Essentially, pre-workouts will leave you more energised than a shot of espresso or a banana before your workout.
Ingredients To Look For In Pre-Workout Supplements
Creatine is a popular pre-workout ingredient. It is said to increase muscle power and performance. Creatine is naturally found in cells of the muscles, and it assists muscles in producing energy during exercise. In high-intensity exercises, its primary role is to increase the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles. These stores can also help create more ATP, an important energy source.
There are numerous proteins in our bodies, and 20 different amino acids make these up. 9 of the 20 are considered essential amino acids, meaning they cannot be produced by your body and must be obtained through diet. Of these nine essential amino acids, 3 are BCAAs: leucine, isoleucine and valine. Branch chain amino acids improve endurance and strength by maintaining cellular energy and support. These are found naturally in dairy, poultry, and meat products.
Taurine is a sulfonic acid that is usually found in animal meats. It helps with the metabolism of fats. During workouts, it also fights oxidative stress.
NO2-boosters (such as arginine and citrulline)
The amino acid arginine is a "vasodilator" and a nitrogen dioxide booster. Essentially, arginine (and other supplements containing comparable nitrogen dioxide) widen your veins and arteries, facilitating blood flow throughout your body and hastening the delivery of nutrients.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid used in the body to create other compounds, whereas most amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. This component is designed to support you through intense workouts. Your muscles may benefit from a buffer during strenuous exercise.
According to product manufacturers, pre-workouts can help you perform better by giving you energy and helping you stay focused. The most typical sources of caffeine are cocoa, tea, and coffee plants. It energises your brain and central nervous system, which keeps you awake.
Side-effects Of A Pre-Workout Supplement
Apart from the benefits that pre-workouts can provide, they also come with specific side effects, like the following:
1. It May Make You Anxious
Caffeine is one of the main ingredients in most pre-workout supplements. It has numerous negative consequences, especially if you drink it excessively, including anxiety, restlessness, nausea, sleepiness, headaches, and sleeplessness.
2. It May Increase Water Retention
The immediate adverse effects of creatine are pretty minor. However, they include digestive problems, bloating, water retention, and weight gain. Creatine can be taken independently, though it is most frequently included in pre-workout supplements.
3. It May Trigger Mild Reactions
Beta-alanine and niacin (vitamin B3) are two additional ingredients in pre-workout supplements. With the help of the amino acid beta-alanine, you can exercise for a little bit longer by reducing the acidity in your muscles. Paresthesia, a tingling sensation in your feet and hands, could be brought on by this substance. Even though it is just a harmless nervous system reaction, some people may find it unsettling.
4. It May Cause Headache
Citrulline is another element in certain pre-workouts. Citrulline malate, a standard version of this substance, has a suggested intake of 6 to 8 grams; however, many pre-workout supplements contain smaller doses, which could not deliver the same advantages.
When Does Pre-Workout Kick In?
You want to get right into your workout when you begin. Finding the ideal dosage will help you avoid waiting for your pre-workout to take effect. For most people, the perfect time to take your pre-workout is around 30 minutes to one hour before your workout. This should allow the vitamin to reach your bloodstream and sufficiently energise you before your workout. Another thing to think about is its "half-life."
Generally, caffeine has a half-life of around 3-7 hours after ingestion. If you typically work out in the evenings, you should take half the recommended dosage or switch to a different pre-workout.
When To Take Your Pre-Workout?
The most crucial question: when is the best time to take a pre-workout if you want to improve your performance? As mentioned earlier, most people take a pre-workout around 30 minutes to an hour before their workout.
Should You Be Consuming Pre-Workout Supplements?
You don’t need to take supplements to benefit from exercise. But if you've been exercising regularly for at least six months, pre-workout might be able to improve your ability to exercise. In addition, it is always recommended to check the ingredient lists for anything your body might react negatively to.
Avoid proprietary blends since they don't disclose the precise amounts of each element used. Pre-workout supplements can increase your exercise capacity only if you maintain a wholesome workout regimen and diet. They are not necessary to attain good results.
The Final Say
Due to their effects on energy levels and exercise performance, pre-workout supplements are loved in the fitness world. You may experience headaches, skin conditions, tingling, and an upset stomach due to consumption. You can minimise these side effects by decreasing your dosage or avoiding supplements with certain ingredients. So up your energy levels and get to work!
1. How do I choose the right pre-workout for myself?
To ensure that you're taking an effective pre-workout, check the label and look for scientifically proven ingredients to boost muscle growth, fat burning and overall workout performance.
2. When is the right time to start consuming pre-workout during my fitness journey?
You can start taking pre-workouts when you need that extra push for your workout and when you think you are at a plateau stage in your fitness journey.
3. How do I tell that my body is reacting to pre-workout negatively?
When you start experiencing specific side effects like headaches, skin conditions, tingling and an upset stomach due to pre-workout consumption, consider replacing or stopping it.
4. How much pre-workout do I need to consume if I am relatively new to it?
Always start with half of the recommended dose on the label of a pre-workout. For instance, if the serving size of a pre-workout supplement is 10 grams, begin with taking 5 grams only.
5. Is it necessary to consume pre-workout supplements only before a workout?
Yes! The name of the supplement itself suggests pre, i.e. before a workout, as these are meant to provide you with the energy to exercise.
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