Supplements have become big business in recent years, with millions of people worldwide using them to support their health and fitness goals.
One of the biggest contributors to the boom has been pre-workout supplements, which are used to maximise the impact of physical training.
Understanding which pre-workout supplements to use to optimise your training is not easy, but the following guide will help you unravel the mystery.
Introducing pre-workout supplements
PreWorkout.org defines a pre-workout as a nutritional supplement that helps you boost endurance, stamina and energy levels when exercising.
Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) are amongst the most common ingredients in pre-workout supplements.
When taken at the optimum time, pre-workout supplements have been proven to deliver quantifiable performance gains for athletes at all levels.
Popular pre-workout ingredients
As we have just mentioned, there are several common ingredients that feature in pre-workout supplements. These are as follows:
- Caffeine: This ingredient helps to raise energy levels, stave off fatigue and sharpen concentration.
- Creatine: Supplementing with creatine develop strength and muscle while enhancing the body’s endurance and stamina.
- L-Citrulline: Increased nitric oxide synthesis in the body helps you feel more energetic, decreases muscular pain and tiredness, and improves athletic performance.
- Branched-chain amino acids: BCAAs are essential nutrients that support muscle metabolism and are important for building muscle tissue protein.
- Beta-Alanine: Supplementing with beta-alanine increases muscular strength while reducing the impact of fatigue.
Whenever taking pre-workout supplements, it is imperative to stick to the recommended dosage to maximise their effects and reduce the risk of suffering any side effects.
Using supplements to optimise your training
Pre-workout supplements can be extremely beneficial in delivering performance gains, regardless of whether you are a casual athlete or operate at the highest level.
They are an excellent option if you are aiming boost your endurance and stamina levels while also improving your mental focus and attention.
Pre-workout supplements work best when integrated into a healthy diet, so it is imperative to ensure you eat lots of nutritious foods and stay well hydrated.
Drinking plenty of water provides several benefits including managing your body weight – consuming 6-8 cups or glasses per day is the optimum amount.
Generally speaking, it is advisable to take pre-workout supplements around 30-60 minutes before the beginning of a workout.
The timing on this can vary dependent on your body composition and fitness level, so it often pays to find your individual sweet spot to gain the maximum benefits.
By supplying your body with extra carbohydrates, the glucose in pre-workout raises blood sugar levels and supplies additional energy during a workout.
In addition to pre-workouts, there are also intra- and post workout supplements you can take that provide additional support to your training activities.
Intra-workouts provide similar benefits to pre-workouts, while post-workout supplements are used to help rest and recovery processes.
Whenever you are taking supplements, it is important to stick to the recommended dosage to ensure the products work to their optimal level.
Side effects include jitters, itching and interrupted sleep – all of which can develop into more serious problems if occurring over a sustained period.
However, pre-workout supplements from reputable manufacturers are safe to take on a regular basis when following the instructions.
With an increasing body of scientific evidence extolling the virtues of supplements, it is easy to see why they have become so popular in recent years.
By sticking to the recommend dosage, eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated, you can garner significant performance gains from taking supplements.