Whether you are a regular at your local gym or if you have just purchased some kettlebells online to kit out your spare room, pre-workout supplements can help you get more out of your workouts.
A pre-workout supplement is a way to boost your energy and optimise your performance during a workout. Usually, it comes as a powdered supplement that you mix with water. They contain combinations of various ingredients, so you do not have to take several different supplements.
What does pre-workout supplements do?
Each brand has their own choice of ingredients, but pre-workout shakes are usually made up of caffeine, vitamins, creatine, and other ingredients that enhance energy and strength.
The result is an increase in performance of anaerobic exercise or endurance exercise by giving a boost of energy and delaying fatigue. The aim of a pre-workout is to help you get more out of your usual workout.
This is the most common ingredient found in pre-workout supplements which has shown to provide benefits such as improved muscle power and endurance. This means you can accomplish more in your workout, and you will not feel like you are pushing yourself harder. Caffeine works by dilating your blood vessels which increases the blood flow to your muscles.
Another common ingredient found in pre-workout is B vitamins like niacin and vitamin B12. These vitamins are important for metabolism and energy.
Beta Alanine and L-Citrulline
BCAAS, or branched chain amino acids, are often taken before a workout and are usually included in your all-in-one pre-workout supplement. They can be included as either a single ingredient or as individual amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle tissue and can help to prevent muscle damage or breakdown, as well as boosting your muscle building. They can also help combat fatigue.
Some formulas contain carbohydrates or sugar to top off your available energy stores, while some may be calorie or sugar-free. Picking between these two mixes depends on whether or not you need carbs based on whether you have eaten recently. Extra carbs can help with endurance or cardio workouts whereas you probably do not need the extra sugar for weight training.
They may also contain creatine, a common ergogenic aid, which improves your performance in short-duration, high intensity workouts. During these explosive exercises, the body uses creatine to make energy so to perform at a higher level your muscles need a good supply of energy – so you can work harder for longer periods of time.
L-glutamine is an amino acid (one of the molecules that make up protein.) It is naturally found in food and can help repair muscle tissue. Working out can cause tiny tears on your muscles that, once repaired, will make them stronger. Make sure your stores of amino acids are topped up in preparation for a tough workout.
The Bottom Line
Pre-workout supplements help you get the most of your workouts.