Pre workout supplements | What they are, dosage and side effects

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Joe Dispenza
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Did you know that there are supplements that can help you maximize your efforts at the gym even before you hit the gym? We looked at the benefits of pre-workout supplements, how to choose the best one for your goals, and also did some research to pinpoint the best time to take one.

If you're looking to increase your performance during workouts and see more changes in your body over time, using pre-workout supplements could help give you the extra boost you need.



In this article you will find:

  • What are pre workout supplements

  • Most common ingredient: caffeine

  • Other ingredients of pre workout supplements

  • When to take pre workout supplements

  • Side effects 

1.What are pre workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements are a way to boost your energy and optimize performance while exercising. They usually come as powdered supplements that mix with water. Pre-workout supplements generally contain combinations of ingredients, making them an easy alternative to taking different supplements before hitting the gym.

Although each pre-workout supplement brand chooses its own ingredients, they often consist of caffeine, vitamins, creatine and other various ingredients to improve energy and strength.1

The benefit of a pre-workout supplement is to either increase performance during anaerobic exercise (such as weight lifting) or endurance exercise (such as cardio) by giving an energy boost and delaying fatigue. Pre workout supplement ingredients may vary, all aiming to maximize your workout results.


What are the benefits of pre workout supplements? If you are new to training and need an energy boost, or have been training for a while and feel your progress has stabilized, a pre-workout might be helpful for you. The benefits of pre-workouts are related to increased performance and strength.


Studies have shown short-term increases in lean mass and lower body strength when taking a pre-workout supplement consistently.2 Often, the combination of ingredients' effects are greater than taking a supplement alone.2

Benefits

If you have recently started training and need an energy boost, or have been training for a while and would like to boost your performance, pre workouts are for you. The benefits of pre workouts are linked to increased performance and strength.

Studies have shown a short-term increase in lean mass and a reduction in body strength when taking a pre-workout supplement consistently.2 Often, the combination of ingredients' effects are greater than taking a supplement alone.2

2. Most common ingredient: Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements, which has been shown to improve muscle strength and endurance, without increasing activity intensity (the rate of perceived exertion) .3,4 In other words, you are able to achieve more in your workout without feeling that you are pushing yourself harder.

It works by dilating blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the muscles.3 Caffeine can also help improve brain power (cognition) in the short term, making it easier to focus on the muscles you are working.5


3. Other ingredients of pre workout supplements

Vitamin B

Another category of common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements are B vitamins such as niacin and vitamin B12. These vitamins play key roles in metabolism and energy.6 They may also contain creatine, a common ergogenic (building) aid, which increases performance in short-duration, high-intensity exercise and also helps with lean gains when taken consistently. 7


Beta Alanine and L-citrullin

Some pre-workout supplements may also contain beta alanine and L-citrulline, both of which have been shown to improve energy in endurance-related exercise.89 You'll find all of these key ingredients in THE Pre-Workout, benefiting both endurance activities ( strength training) and longer duration (cardio based).

BCAA

Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are often taken before a workout and can be part of pre-workout supplements. They can be included as a single ingredient or as single amino acids. As building blocks of muscle tissue, amino acids can help prevent muscle damage and muscle breakdown, as well as improve muscle rebuilding.5 They can also help prevent fatigue that affects performance.5

Carbohydrates

Some pre-workouts include carbohydrates (sugar) to complement your available energy stores, while others are sugar-free and calorie-free. You may decide whether or not you need carbohydrates based on whether you ate a meal recently or the type of workout you are planning.

If you're planning endurance cardio training (like running or cycling), the extra carbohydrates can be helpful, but if you're just planning on lifting (anaerobic activity), you probably don't need the sugar.


Creatine

During explosive exercise, the body uses creatine for energy. To perform optimally, your muscles need a good supply of energy so that you can perform more for longer periods of time. Being able to take your workout one step further every time can have a combined effect, which means reaching your aesthetic and strength goals first. These changes have the potential to improve your performance and keep making progress towards your fitness goals.


L-glutamine

This is an amino acid, one of the molecules that make up proteins. Naturally found in food sources, they can help repair new muscles. When you exercise, your muscles suffer from small tears which, when repaired, make them stronger. Make sure your stores are ready for a tough workout.

Vasodilators

When you exercise, your body is working hard to pump enough oxygen to the muscles for energy. Vasodilators cause blood vessels to widen, which means increased blood flow to the muscles, providing them with more nutrients they need to get you moving. The more time you take to get tired, the harder you can push your workout and the more changes you can make.

Overall, pre-workout supplements allow you to increase your power, strength and endurance repeatedly over time, which can lead to more significant changes in lean body mass, fat loss, and a faster metabolism. 2 These changes have the potential. to improve your performance and keep progressing towards your fitness goals.

4. When to take a pre workout supplement

Since caffeine is a staple in pre-workout supplements and takes effect in about 30 minutes, this is 30-60 minutes before your workout is the ideal time to take your supplement.

This gives enough time for the supplement to enter your bloodstream and give you the benefits you are looking for. The pre workout is designed to be dissolved in water 30 minutes before exercise, which also helps you stay hydrated.

Even if caffeine hits you immediately, some ingredients like creatine and beta-alanine take time to build up in your body and are most effective when taken constantly to maintain muscle stores.5 For this reason, regular intake of the pre-workout will help maximize the benefits and impact of its ingredients

 

5. Undesirable effects

The potential side effects of a pre-workout supplement depend on the ingredients it contains. Typically, caffeine and other energy-boosting compounds could temporarily increase heart rate and blood pressure, but no widespread adverse effects have been found.

Too much caffeine can cause side effects like nausea, heart palpitations, and headaches in those who are sensitive to caffeine, so be aware of your pre-workout timing if you've recently consumed coffee and tea as well. Always discuss supplements with your doctor before starting a new routine and monitoring the impact they have on you.

 

Conclusion

Pre workout supplements are designed to boost performance by increasing energy, power and endurance. It typically takes about half an hour before training, and the benefits include increased muscle strength, cognition, lean gains, and stamina. Consider what your training goals are to choose a pre-workout that best meets your needs.

Consuming a pre-workout supplement consistently can help maximize its impact on your performance. Pre workout supplements can help you feel more confident taking the next step in your workouts and provide the boost you need to reach your peak performance level and continue to advance your physical capabilities.

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Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you are concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or making major changes to your diet.

 

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