Anyone who takes fitness seriously has probably heard about pre-workout supplements. Most of the time, the phrase is just shortened to “pre-workout,” and it’s common to hear both men and women talking about how much better their sessions are when they take these supplements.
However, if you’re not an expert or a nutritionist, you might not really understand exactly what these supplements are or why everyone says you need them. This post will briefly explain the idea behind pre-workout supplements and give you seven reasons to consider trying them out for yourself.
What is a Pre-workout Supplement?
Not all pre-workouts are the same, but in general, this category of supplements is intended to give you a little extra boost to help you get the most out of your workouts. Almost all of them come in a powdered drink mix form that you can add to milk, juice or water.
It’s important to remember that no two brands of pre-workout are the same. There is no exact formula for this type of product, so you should carefully read the labels of all of the supplements you’re looking at before making a decision.
The most popular pre-workout supplements are usually a combination of ingredients such as carbohydrates, B vitamins, amino acids and botanical extracts that are supposed to boost your energy, improve circulation and help you get in a few extra reps.
Below you’ll find seven reasons why we think you should consider adding a pre-workout to your fitness routine.
1. Increased Energy Levels
The average person doesn’t usually have a lot of stress-free time to devote to fitness. Most people have demanding jobs, families, friends and responsibilities that can take up a lot of time. It takes a considerable amount of energy and focus to have a great workout, so if you’re tired or dragging, you might not be able to push yourself as hard as you want.
Taking a pre-workout can help with the problem of fatigue. Most contain things like B-complex vitamins and caffeine to give your energy levels a boost. This can mean the difference between slogging through your workout or really crushing it.
Caffeine is especially helpful for amping up your workout. There are several studies that show that the right dose of caffeine 30 minutes before your session can boost your metabolism, help you burn fat faster and give you an extra surge of energy so that you can push harder during your workout.
2. Enhanced Power
Even if you’re consistently working hard on your physique, it’s common to plateau or simply go through a spell where you aren’t seeing the gains that you want. A pre-workout can help you break through these plateaus faster and limit the amount of time you have to spend working without seeing results.
Effective supplements often contain antioxidants and amino acids that are able to enhance your body’s natural muscle-building process and boost your overall strength during a workout. A popular one is beta-alanine, which reduces muscle fatigue and allows for harder workouts.
3. Better Focus
You might hear hardcore gym-goers talk about “being in the zone” during their workouts, but you might not experience that very often. It’s easy to get distracted or feel like you’re just going through the motions, but this won’t give you the results you’re after.
Pre-workouts that contain the amino acid l-theanine can help to improve both your mood and focus, especially when paired with caffeine.L-theanine can also help to reduce stress, which means that your body can produce less cortisol despite an intense workout.
4. Faster Recovery
It’s common for newcomers to experience slow recoveries after hard workouts, but even more seasoned fitness enthusiasts may deal with tough recovery days. This can make it hard to be consistent with workouts, and it’s another reason to consider a pre-workout.
Creatine monohydrate, which is often just referred to as creatine, is an extremely popular supplement among serious trainers due to its ability to build muscle, reduce fatigue and support faster recovery.
5. More Endurance
Endurance is just as important for weight training as it is for cardio. When you can train longer, harder and more frequently, you get faster results. Pre-workouts that contain ingredients like betaine, beta-alanine and l-citrulline can help improve performance both in the gym and on the field.
6. Safer Gains
Sometimes it can seem like the only way to build a pumped-up physique or reach that final fitness goal is to use steroids. While some people have been able to safely use certain steroid courses to achieve their ideal figure, it’s common knowledge that there are plenty of potential risks as well.
Adding a pre-workout supplement can help get you closer to your goals in a safer, more sustainable way. By naturally increasing your endurance, focus and energy while decreasing recovery times and stress levels, you’re able to set up ideal conditions for achieving maximum success.
7. Enhanced Muscle Growth
Not all pre-workouts will give you pumped-up muscles, but if you’re looking for something to add to your routine, supplements that contain creatine, l-arginine and nitric oxide are able to speed up muscle growth. Some can even boost post-workout muscle growth as well.
Pre-workouts Can Take You to the Next Level
Pre-workouts may not be for everyone, but there are plenty of proven benefits to trying them out. If you’re looking for ways to increase gains or improve your overall performance, finding the right pre-workout supplement might be exactly what you need.