Ignite Your Training with Pre-Workout Supplements
Find the right formula for better gym focus, motivation and performance
How do you get fired up for a session? A certain song? A face slap or chest thump? Or does your pre-gym ritual focus on a special supplement? If not, maybe it should.
“Pre-workout supplementation should be an important component of your nutrition, whether you’re training for more muscle mass, lower body fat levels or better athletic performance,” says sports nutritionist Aaron Deere. “What you consume right before training can have a big impact on both exercise performance and how quickly your body recovers from it.”
Pre-workout products are designed to be taken around 30 minutes before training and contain compounds that manufacturers say enhance focus, performance and increase blood flow to improve delivery of nutrients to your muscles. Here’s what you need to know.
What’s the big deal with pre-workout supplements?
Do I need to take a pre-workout supplement?
If you want more successful workouts, the answer is yes. Most products come in powder form that you mix with water and consume in the half-hour before your training session so the compounds can get to work in your system to improve mental and physical performance.
Are there any downsides to using a pre-workout supplement?
As with any medicine or supplement there’s a chance you may have an adverse reaction so always check the label for known allergens or the manufacturer website for side effects. Many pre-workouts contain high doses of stimulants, so it’s best to experiment with a trial dose and see how you respond before increasing the dose to the manufacturer’s recommendations. And the stimulating effects means pre-workouts should not be taken too late in the day so they don’t affect sleep.
The Three Key Pre-Workout Ingredients
Caffeine: The energy giver
What Caffeine is the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug, used for its stimulant effects.
Why Studies have indicated that it lowers your perceived rate of exertion, which makes training hard feel easier, and increases fat burning by releasing fatty acids from fat cells for use as fuel.
How Most pre-workouts are caffeinated because of the proven benefits it provides. However, you can get caffeine-free formulas if you train after work and don’t want disrupted sleep. If you don’t take a pre-workout product, a strong black coffee 20 to 30 minutes before a morning or afternoon session will be enough to improve your focus and attention, as well as providing fat-burning benefits.
Beta-alanine: The fatigue fighter
What Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid (meaning that, unlike some, it can be synthesised in the body).
Why It’s been shown in studies to increase the levels of a compound called carnosine in your muscle cells. This blocks the build-up of waste products that cause muscular fatigue, allowing you to train harder for longer.
How Beta-alanine is a key ingredient of many pre-workouts because of its exercise-enhancing effect. For some it can cause a strange but harmless tingly feeling in your skin. The ideal dose is between 2g and 5g, according to independent research firm Examine.
BCAAs: The mass builder
What Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a combination of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine.
Why Taking BCAAs before and during training prevents muscle tissue being broken down and encourages new tissue to grow, giving you bigger, stronger amuscles. Many brands blend BCAAs in a 2:1:1 ratio, which research suggests initiates greater muscle growth.
How Taking around 6g of BCAAs before training has been shown to increase the levels of amino acids in the blood and muscles by 130%, and you can also take them during your workout to limit muscle tissue breakdown. However, BCAA metabolism reduces your levels of vitamin B6, so look for a product that also contains this vitamin, or take separate supplements.
Date(s) - 08/09/2016 - 08/13/2016
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