When it comes to fitness, you can never plateau if you're constantly challenging your body in new ways. Otherwise, you'll simply maintain your current level of fitness and not see any real results.
In order to keep seeing progress, you need to be constantly pushing yourself - and that's where pre-workout supplements can come in handy. By giving you an extra boost of energy, they can help you push yourself harder during your workouts and see better results.
They can also help to improve your focus and vigilance, so that you're able to execute your workout plan better. They contain beneficial ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, BCAA, carbohydrates, vitamin B etc, which play a terrific role in treating your body with various benefits.
So, if you ever feel drained and exhausted before a workout, know you’re missing out on a major thing; a pre-workout supplement. Adding this to your routine will not only make you work harder, but you’ll be able to see exceptional results as well.
Supplementing yourself with a pre-workout is necessary for the provision of energy. These supplements come with several benefits. Some of the main ingredients with their benefits are mentioned below.
The term BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. They are the powerhouse of energy for gym-goers and can keep you active during the workout. They are not synthesized in the body. You can consume them through natural sources such as meat and dairy products.
Other names for BCAA are leucine, valine, and isoleucine. If you see these names mentioned on the label of a supplement, go for it. According to a study, if you take them before a workout, they will help to increase the growth of muscle, decrease muscle soreness and prevent you from feeling tired.
2. Beetroot or Pomegranate Extracts
Before you hit the gym for your next workout, you may want to consider sipping on some beetroot or pomegranate juice. These two delicious juices can do more than just quench your thirst—they can also give you a boost of energy and stamina. Both beetroot and pomegranate are rich in nutrients that help to increase blood flow and improve cardiovascular function.
As a result, drinking either of these juices before a workout can help you to perform at your best. While you can find pre-workout supplements that contain beetroot and pomegranate extract, it's often more satisfying and tasty to drink natural juices. Not to mention, both beetroot and pomegranate are fat-free, low in calories, and packed with vitamins.
So next time you're looking for a pre-workout drink, reach for one of these healthy and delicious options.
Beta-alanine is a terrific ingredient in supplements. It's a non-essential amino acid and is present in many formulas. You may think of it as an amino acid involved in synthesizing protein in the body. But it's not like that. Its main role is to prevent acid buildup in the muscles.
Caffeine is known to enhance mood, improve mental health and boost your physical activity and is commonly found in beverages like energy drinks, coffee and tea etc. It's an essential part of the pre-workout supplements, and a single serving of a pre-workout supplement contains caffeine of about 1 to 2 cups of coffee.
Even though consuming caffeine in a limited amount can be beneficial for your health, a study says overuse of caffeine can lead to disturbed sleep, stress, and elevation in blood pressure. So, if you consume caffeine through other means, we would suggest you to be careful because there are chances that you may end up consuming too much to point of diminishing returns.
If you want to make sure that whether a supplement contains carbs or not, check its sugar content on the label. If it has sugar added, there are chances the supplement includes carbs. Carbohydrate is a pre-workout ingredient that luckily provides energy and maintains glycogen in the body. So consuming this dietary nutrient will help you work out longer and harder by enhancing your endurance. Not to mention, taking carbohydrate-rich supplements also helps you boost resistance training.
When you consume a carb-containing pre-workout, the body turns the carbs into glucose. The remaining glucose goes to the muscles and liver, turning into glycogen. Thus, the glycogen gives your body energy during a workout and enhances your performance.
DMoose offers creatine monohydrate as a beneficial ingredient present in pre-workouts. It's present in almost all pre-workout supplements. They aid in recovery, provide strength, and build lean muscle mass. In short, creatine loads your muscles with the kind of energy they should have. Since intense workouts such as heavy weight lifting require a lot of energy, a pre-workout with creatine will help you a lot.
Citrulline word comes from a Latin term called Citrullus vulgaris, which means watermelon. Naturally, L-citrulline is found in the watermelon and can also be synthesized in the body. It's a non-essential amino acid, and the kidneys convert L-citrulline to L-arginine and nitric oxide in your body. Furthermore, the L-citrulline is not involved in protein synthesis as other amino acids do, but it's involved in the chemical processes needed to create protein.
In addition, it's an important ingredient in pre-workout supplements. It enhances blood flow and controls blood pressure. Also, it is responsible for increasing nitric oxide production in your body. It helps your arteries to relax so you can work well. Many athletes take this as a supplement before a workout to perform their best.
L-Glutamine is the main ingredient used in pre-workout supplements in the fitness industry to build a lean body mass. It's an essential amino acid found abundantly in the bloodstream. The role of glutamine is to produce protein for the muscles, provision of energy to the intestine, protect cells, detoxify the liver of hazardous substances, repair the torn muscles, and support the immune system.
However, supplementing with glutamine is highly beneficial. Many gym-goers take it as a supplement before performing a workout to gain energy. Glutamine is responsible for making up 60 percent of skeletal muscle, which aids in synthesizing proteins, and balancing your pH level during the workout.
Vasodilators are the compounds involved in widening your blood vessels during an intense workout. It makes the blood move easily to the muscles. There are many vasodilators such as hydralazine, nitroglycerin, alprostadil and l-citrulline.
Vasodilators are responsible for increasing blood flow, so the person stays active and energetic throughout the heavy training. They ensure you don't feel dizzy and sleepy during or after the workout.
10. Vitamin B3
Vitamin B3, known as niacin, is an essential element of pre-workout supplements, as they are involved in boosting energy, nourishing your body, building up strength and increasing the metabolism. They also help to tone your muscles, control and regulate cholesterol, and handle anemia and gut problems.
What Ingredients Should Not Be Used in Pre-Workout?
There are so many supplements with beneficial ingredients on the market. But there are some harmful ingredients you should avoid. Let's go through them.
Over Consuming Caffeine
Caffeine is undoubtedly one of the essential ingredients in supplements. Several supplements contain them in a proper amount, while there are a few supplements that are loaded with caffeine. Excessive intake of caffeine can lead to worsening health conditions such as causing hypertension and heart issues. Other side effects on health include anxiety, stress, insomnia, nervousness, and jitters.
Food dyes are a common thing these days. You may have noticed the change in color of pre-workout powder when mixed with water. Nowadays, food dyes are hazardous because they are made from petroleum. If you see the following color names on any of the supplement labels, avoid buying them. The names include Red No. 40 (Allura Red), Yellow No. 5 (Tartrazine), Yellow No. 6 (Sunset Yellow), and Blue No. 1 (Brilliant Blue). These are said to have carcinogenic effects on one's health.
Not only do foods contain artificial sweeteners, but some supplements also contain them. However, one of the most used artificial sweeteners in pre-workouts is sucralose. It changes the taste of an awful-tasting supplement to a yummy treat. Let's suppose BCCA is the worst tasting ingredient, but when a sweetener is added, the flavor becomes pleasant.
They create havoc in the body when you consume artificial sweeteners containing supplements. They increase the insulin level in the blood and block the glucose from coming out of the cells. It results in an increased level of insulin in the body, causing insulin resistance. If you see sucralose on any supplements label, don't go for it.
Filler & Unwanted Ingredients
Several companies add fillers and unnecessary ingredients to their supplements. These companies fool the users by making them feel that they are getting a lot of things at less cost. Using supplements with such ingredients can badly affect a person's health. Maltodextrin is a bad carbohydrate and a filler used in supplements. It leads to increased blood pressure, damaging the gut bacteria, promoting weight gain and inflammation. So, avoid supplements with such unhealthy ingredients.
Pre Workout supplements are necessary nowadays and play an essential role in the life of gym rats. They are responsible for enhancing the blood flow, boosting energy, keeping you active, increasing muscle mass, and repairing torn muscles. Always treat your body with the right ingredients to prevent any discomfort later.
On the other hand, staying hydrated and getting proper sleep is the key to a healthy workout. But if you want to go with the pre-workouts, don't forget to read the labels of the supplements. If they contain artificial flavors, colors, or unnecessary or high-dose ingredients, don't bother to buy them.
- Is Branched-Chain Amino Acids Supplementation an Efficient Nutritional Strategy to Alleviate Skeletal Muscle Damage? A Systematic Review. (2017). Nutrients, 9(10), 1047. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu9101047
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- Watson, E., Coates, A., Kohler, M., & Banks, S. (2016). Caffeine Consumption and Sleep Quality in Australian Adults. Nutrients, 8(8), 479. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu8080479
- Riksen, N. P., Rongen, G. A., & Smits, P. (2009). Acute and long-term cardiovascular effects of coffee: Implications for coronary heart disease. Pharmacology & Therapeutics, 121(2), 185–191. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pharmthera.2008.10.006