If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you’ve probably heard of pre-workout supplements. These products are designed to give you an extra boost of energy and stamina, helping you to push through even the most challenging workouts. But what are pre-workout supplements, and are they right for you?
Like any health supplement, there can be benefits and possible risks. Keep reading to get well-rounded knowledge on pre-workout supplements, plus tips for how to choose one, if you decide they’re right for you.
What are the Benefits of Pre Workout Supplements?
Pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. They offer several benefits that can help you train harder and longer, build muscle mass and improve your strength and endurance.†
Kevin Le Gall, founder and editor at Runner’s Lab, shares his expertise.
“Pre-workout supplements work by increasing the amount of energy that is available to your muscles. This extra energy helps you to train harder and longer, which in turn leads to increased muscle growth and improved performance†,” Le Gall said.
Pre-workout supplements are a great way to improve your training. They offer many benefits that can help you train harder and longer, build muscle mass and improve your strength and endurance.† Additionally, pre-workout supplements can increase your energy levels, which in turn can help you perform at a higher level for longer periods.†
So if you’re looking for an effective way to train, pre-workout supplements should be at the top of your list.
Are there risks associated with pre-workout supplements?
Pre-workout supplements can be a very useful tool for bodybuilders and weightlifters looking to build muscle mass. However, these same supplements can also carry some risks. For example, pre-workouts can cause side effects such as nausea and vomiting.
Tory McBroom, chief editor at Yoga Answered, explains that in some cases, “pre-workouts can even lead to a lack of results due to their stimulant properties. It is important to speak with a doctor or other health professional before starting any new supplement regimen so that you know what risks are involved and how to minimize them.”
How to pick the right pre-workout supplement for you
When choosing a pre-workout supplement, it’s important to consider your individual needs and goals. First, decide which ingredients are best for you. Always make sure to read labels carefully and check the dosage of each ingredient. It’s also important to make sure that no ingredient is at a level that could potentially be harmful to your health.
Additionally, it is important to consider potential side effects and consult with a doctor before taking any supplement. While the benefits of pre-workout supplements are noteworthy, some may cause an increase in heart rate, blood pressure, jitteriness or dehydration.
Thus, it is important to research the different types of pre-workout supplements and their ingredients before deciding which one to take. Doing so can ensure that you are making an informed decision and are aware of any potential risks associated with taking the supplement.
Common pre-workout supplement ingredients
Each ingredient has its benefits, and it’s important to choose the right one for your needs.
Caffeine is a stimulant that increases energy and motivation levels and can help to improve performance during workouts.†
Beta-alanine, also known as l-alanine, helps to reduce fatigue and promote muscle growth.†
Creatine monohydrate is known for its ability to promote strength and power output during workouts.†
Guarana extract is commonly used as a natural source of caffeine replacement because it contains high levels of caffeine without the jittery effects that occur with regular coffee consumption.
L-arginine hydrochloride helps to increase plasma nitric oxide levels, which can promote healthy blood flow throughout the body and increased oxygen uptake when working out.†
BCAAs are essential amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own, so they must be obtained through diet or supplements.
Beet root or pomegranate extracts: Beetroot is known for its high nitrate content, which promotes healthy blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles. Pomegranate extract is also rich in antioxidants and can help promote a healthy inflammatory response and reduce muscle soreness after a workout.†
Carbohydrates: While many pre-workout supplements contain simple carbohydrates such as dextrose or maltodextrin, some contain complex carbohydrates like waxy maize starch which help to sustain energy levels throughout workouts.†
L-glutamine: Studies have shown that supplementing with l-glutamine before workouts promotes strength and power output, as well as reduces fatigue.†
Vasodilators are designed to increase blood flow to the muscles. This increased blood flow helps improve oxygen delivery and nutrient absorption, resulting in improved performance during exercise.
Vitamins: Pre-workout supplements often contain a variety of vitamins, such as vitamin B6 and B12, which can promote healthy energy levels and reduce fatigue. They may also include vitamin C, which is an antioxidant that helps protect healthy cells from free radical damage. Additionally, vitamin E helps promote a healthy inflammatory response and supports muscle recovery after a strenuous workout. Finally, vitamin D plays an important role in calcium absorption and supports healthy muscles.†
Yohimbe is believed to support physical performance, energy and blood flow.†
Citrulline malate: Studies have shown that citrulline malate can help reduce fatigue and muscle soreness, as well as support muscular endurance and strength.†
L-theanine can help support focus and concentration, support healthy energy levels and ease jitters associated with caffeine and other stimulants. It also promotes a sense of calm and mental clarity, helping athletes to achieve peak performance levels.†
L-carnitine is an amino acid that promotes healthy energy by breaking down fatty acids. It supports physical performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue.†
Ginseng is an adaptogenic herb that supports energy and focus.†
Pre-workout formulations you should be careful with
When selecting a pre-workout supplement, it is important to be aware of what to avoid. Many pre-workout products contain stimulants such as caffeine, ephedrine and DMAA, which can be dangerous in high doses. Additionally, many of these products contain artificial colors, flavors, preservatives and other synthetic ingredients.
It is best to opt for natural pre-workout supplements that are free of these potentially harmful ingredients. Be sure to read the ingredient list carefully before purchasing a pre-workout supplement and make sure it does not contain any of these artificial additives.
Finally, be aware of the potential side effects and risks associated with taking pre-workout supplements. Some of the most common side effects include mild jitteriness, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting. It is important to consult your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen and to exercise caution when using these products.
How long do the effects of a pre-workout last?
Pre-workout supplements are typically taken before exercise to help support energy levels, endurance and strength. Additionally, pre-workouts can promote healthy focus and concentration. Pre-workout supplements are most effective when taken 30-60 minutes before exercise.
Pre-workout effects typically last for about 1-2 hours. However, the effects can last longer depending on how active the person is when taking the pre-workout and how much they have eaten that day. Generally, if someone has exercised recently, then their pre-workout will have a shorter duration of effect. If someone has not exercised in a while, then the pre-workout may have a longer duration of effect.
Pre-workout supplements are a popular and effective way to improve your physical performance. However, it is important to choose the right supplement for you and to be aware of the risks involved with its use. With some research and trial and error, you can find the perfect pre-workout supplement to help you achieve your fitness goals.
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.