What is a pre-workout?
No two pre-workouts are the same though. This isn’t just a marketing phrase, it’s actually true. These days there is no shortage of brands sporting their own form of pre-workout formula. Each one of these formulas usually contains a ‘proprietary blend’, which is often a mix decided upon by the company.
Depending on who you purchase your supplements from you could be ingesting anything from caffeine-rich supplements to insulin-stimulators like deer antler velvet. Some pre-workouts are rich in carbohydrates while others have very few calories and carbs. It’s important to always read the labels and do as much research as you can.
Why do people take pre-workout?
Pre-workouts are great for giving people an extra boost of energy when working out. For example, after a long day at your job, you might not be too excited to get a workout in. By taking a pre-workout, you can fight off fatigue and accomplish your goals.
A lot of pre-workouts contain a good deal of caffeine which people already take to get themselves awake in the morning.
What are the benefits of using a pre-workout?
Common pre-workout ingredients (like carbohydrates and caffeine) can increase your endurance and energy levels. This is the main attraction of pre-workouts for people whether they’re partaking in a zumba class, weightlifting, or a HIIT class.
Better physical performance
Some pre-workout formulas also contain protein, often in the form of creatine. Having enough protein in your diet contributes greatly towards better physical performances. Pre-workouts allow the user to achieve their physical best while in the gym or training.
Pre-workout supplements can also help the user fight off fatigue. As we mentioned earlier, they’re usually filled with caffeine which will clear the cobwebs away in no time. Imagine the scene, you’re after getting off of work or you’ve woken up early to get to the gym but you’re exhausted.
By using a pre-workout a half hour before you exercise, you can use all of your time at the gym to the fullest.
Protect your muscles
By taking a protein-rich pre-workout you aid your muscles with amino acids. These are essential for building muscle mass. The presence of these also stops your muscles from breaking down for energy.
Can a pre-workout be harmful?
While entirely safe to use, pre-workouts can have some downsides you might need to be aware of. As we discuss below pre-workouts aren’t for everyone but they can be beneficial.
Here are some potential downsides to taking pre-workouts.
As we mentioned earlier, there can be a lot of caffeine in supplements, generally. For some people, this can be a real draw because they want to get something that gives them a kick. However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine or at risk of a heart condition you’d want to be careful.
Taking excessive amounts of pre-workout rich in caffeine leave yourself open to a lot of health problems. Some are more serious than others but all are worth bearing in mind, like:
- Increased blood pressure
- Sleeplessness or restlessness
- Irritability or agitation
Many pre-workouts contain artificial sugar alcohols and sweeteners. These are commonly used to add to or enhance the flavour of the pre-workout. Not harmful on the surface, but they can result in a variety of unfavourable conditions.
While sugar alcohols have long been seen as a decent alternative to regular sugar. Excessive intake of them may result in symptoms such as bloating, diarrhoea, and other painful intestinal conditions.
We take pride in stocking only the best supplements anywhere on the market. All our products have a proven track record and a solid customer base. That said, the dietary supplement industry is not as well regulated as it should be.
As we mentioned earlier, undeclared proprietary blends are a staple of pre-workout formulas. This could lead consumers to ingest substances or compounds they’re not aware of.
Should I take a pre-workout supplement?
It entirely depends on what your workout goals are and what you think you can accomplish. Basically, they’re not for everybody and you shouldn’t feel bad about taking them or not.
Just because you might have difficulty completing your workouts or find yourself often fatigued supplements aren’t necessarily the answer.
Here are some important factors that can enhance your workouts before supplements:
- Adequate sleep (7 hours minimum)
- Drinking enough water (roughly 3.7 litres for men / 2.7 litres for women)
- Protein-rich and varied diet (including, vegetables and fruits)
At the end of the day, pre-workouts are supplements. They need to be used in conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. If you do decide to use a pre-workout make sure you check ingredients, read reviews, ask around and do your research.