- 9 Best Supplements
- 5 Pros
- 4 Cons
- Why Take Pre-Workout?
- Should You Take Pre-Workout?
Pre-workout supplements are products that aim to provide you with an extra boost of energy when you exercise.
These supplements are often available in various forms, including:
- Canned drinks
- Colorful liquid in shaker bottles
Pre-workout products often claim to help boost sleep, immunity, relaxation, gut health, and post-workout recovery.
While some pre-workouts may contain safe, energy-boosting ingredients, others can be pointless or potentially harmful.
9 best pre-workout supplements to increase your exercise capacity
- Caffeine is a stimulant that boosts energy and alertness and improves overall performance.
- Studies report that it can help improve sports performance and enhance aerobic endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, jumping performance, and speed.
- Caffeine causes vasodilation (widening of the blood vessels), leading to more blood and oxygen delivered to working muscles.
- It plays a role in muscle contraction and cognition, which contributes to the mental effects of pre-workout.
- Pre-workout supplements may contain a range of 150 to 300 mg (about three cups) of caffeine per serving.
- Creatine monohydrate
- Creatine is one of the most well-researched sports supplements over the past 20 years.
- Creatine is a derivative of three amino acids that are naturally produced in the body and stored in the muscles as a source of quick energy.
- Creatine supplements increase stores of phosphocreatine within muscles, which is the main energy source used for sudden bursts of high-intensity exercise (such as a deadlift).
- Creatine is associated with lean body mass gains during resistance training.
- Studies consistently report that in normal doses, three to five grams per day over the long term, it is safe for healthy adults.
- Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is a precursor for carnosine, an intracellular pH buffer that helps you do high-intensity exercises and fight muscle fatigue.
- When a person exercises, there is an accumulation of hydrogen ions in the muscles, which makes them more acidic (acidosis). This is associated with early fatigue.
- Beta-alanine acts as a pH buffer; carnosine prevents muscle acidosis and allows your muscles to keep working for longer before they are fatigued.
- This amino acid is a precursor to nitric oxide (produced naturally), which acts as a vasodilator (widens blood vessels).
- L-citrulline helps increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to working muscles, providing them with more energy for movement and reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
- A recommended dose of six grams of L-citrulline is sufficient to improve aspects of endurance and weight-training performance.
- Glutamine is a conditionally essential amino acid, produced in the body under some physiological circumstances (such as physical stress, injury, or excessive exercise).
- Glutamine supplements reduce muscle damage and inflammation caused by exercise, and it aids in exercise recovery, making you ready for the next session.
- Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)
- BCAAs are building blocks to proteins that are often included in pre-workout formulas. They promote muscle building and reduce muscle breakdown.
- BCAAs consist of three important molecules: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are found in high quantities in many protein-containing foods, particularly animal products.
- BCAAs help reduces exercise-induced muscle damage, which can lead to delayed onset muscle soreness.
- The recommended doses of BCAAs may vary but are often 5 to 20 grams.
- Nitrate is a molecule found in vegetables, such as spinach, turnips, and beetroot.
- Studies report that the nitrates in beetroot juice are converted into a molecule called nitric oxide, which can increase blood flow and exercise performance by decreasing the amount of oxygen needed during exercise.
- It improves vascular health by repairing and maintaining the innermost layer of blood vessels.
- The optimal dose of nitrate is 2.7 to 5.9 mg per pound of body weight.
- Sodium bicarbonate
- Also called baking soda, it acts as a buffering agent that helps fight against acid buildup in the body.
- Lactic acid accumulation is characterized by the burning feeling in the muscles, and sodium bicarbonate may help reduce fatigue during exercise, thus reducing this burning sensation.
- The optimal dose for better exercise performance is about 136 mg per pound of body weight.
- When exercising, especially at high intensities, the body uses blood glucose and glycogen (stored carbs) as its main energy source.
- Topping off carbs levels before you start your workout can help increase energy availability and performance.
5 pros of pre-workout supplements
- Improves performance
- Increases endurance, concentration, and focus
- Increases speed, stamina, and strength
- Provides a faster recovery
- Beneficial changes in body composition
4 cons of pre-workout supplements
Because pre-workout supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, safety is a big concern. Lack of regulation and knowledge about the ingredients on a supplement’s label can make a pre-workout product dangerous.
- Jittery feeling or interrupted sleep caused by overstimulation
- Tolerance with overuse
- Digestive problems
- Some side effects of pre-workout supplements include:
- Irregular heartbeat
- A rise in blood pressure
- Changes in blood sugar
Why do people take pre-workout supplements?
Most people take pre-workout supplements to exercise harder or feel better and less overwhelmed when working out.
The hope is that the pre-workout supplement will help enhance performance, mainly through boosting energy and increased mental focus.
Should you take a pre-workout supplement?
As with any supplement, you need to talk to your doctor before you take a pre-workout supplement, especially if you have any health conditions, are pregnant, or are on any medications.
For the best results, use pre-workout three to four times a week. You can buy a premade product or make one yourself.
Taking the pre-workout consistently and 30 to 60 minutes before you exercise can make your workouts last longer, and you might feel less tired during and after them.
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Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Health Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/health-benefits-pre-workout-supplements
What Is Pre-workout and Should You Be Using It? https://www.menshealth.com/uk/nutrition/a26075019/pre-workout-complete-guide/
Benefits of Pre-Workout. https://www.myprotein.co.in/blog/supplements/beginners-guide-to-pre-workout-what-is-it-when-to-take-it/
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