Best Pre Workout

If you have had to go on an early morning workout, then you know how much it takes to master the will
to get out of bed and go out for that run. Lucky for you, there are pre workout supplements that promise to give you the energy, focus and endurance you need for your training.

Nutrient timing was an idea that started out with post workout supplements. Sports nutrition then developed and pre workout supplements were also included in the regimen. When pre-workout supplements first came out, they were focused mainly on boosting carbohydrate amounts in the body. With continued research, the scope of nutrients has increased and now includes caffeine, creatine, proteins and amino acids.

Supplements are designed to give you the extra push you need to achieve your training goals much more accurately. Pre workout energy is essential to start training on a high note. The only problem that lies between you and the best supplement is narrowing it all down to a product that actually works. There are plenty of pre-workout supplements out there and they come in all stripes. Picking the right supplement for yourself is not the easiest thing if you don’t know what exactly is in the supplement you are going for. So, what are all the glossy bottles filled with powders and pills all about?

What Is Pre Workout?

A lot of people at the gym or the track don’t really know everything about their workout regime. It’s not the worst thing, as you always get gains as long as you train hard. However, it is important to understand some of these things to get the most out of your training.

Pre-workout is the period right before starting your workout. For most people, this time involves a little training and stretching to help you warm the body up to avoid injuries and also psyche you up for the workout itself. It usually takes about 15 minutes or so.

This time is crucial when it comes to nutrient timing as it sets the tone for the kind of work out you will have. A good pre workout shake will get you jacked up to lift, pull squat, run and do whatever else you have scheduled for the day. You know you are having a good pre-workout if mid-way thorough it you feel like dropping the light weights and getting right into the heavy lifting.

What Is In A Pre-Workout Supplement?

There is a lot of flashy marketing and even more compounds that are involved in pre workout supplements, but the truth of the matter is that you are more likely to buy an ineffective tub of protein powder than something that is actually the real deal. Here is the thing; it’s very hard to get a good supplement at an ‘acceptable’ price. It’s just how the market is set up. The first kind of pre-workout supplements that you should absolutely stay away from is proprietary blends. The word lend makes them sound like they have a little of everything you need but in truth you may end up with a tub full of banned substances.

The four main nutrients that typically go into pre workout supplements include;

  • Creatine Monohydrate

    Creatine is designed to give you the explosive strength required for the heavier lifts. A dosage of 5g before the workout is enough and 20g through the day should give you the strength you need. You might have noticed that the dosage is quite high. This is because creatine works through saturating muscles with the substrate. The high dose speeds up this saturation. It is recommended that you take the 20g a day dosage during the first week and maintain the dosage at 5g a day after, but you don’t need the 20g dosage if you’re not going for a quick bulk phase.

  • Branched Amino Acids

    These are just a few effective ingredients in your post workout supplement. They promote the anabolic environment that you want if you are building muscle mass. The amino acids in question include, isoline, leucine and valine. They are responsible for protein mass in the body through; controlling metabolism, suppressing breakdown and increasing synthesis of proteins. The dosage here is also 5g before the workout and 20g per day.

  • Caffeine

    Caffeine is meant to increase your work load by improving your energy levels. You can train more having taken caffeine before the work out as it reduces fatigue and takes away the perception that you are putting in too much effort. It works well for
    people who need short bursts of energy, for instance in the case of sprinters. The dosage for caffeine depends on your tolerance. If you’ve had caffeine a lot from other sources, you are going to need more of it to get amped.

  • Beta-Alanine

    Bet-alanine works by improving your level of endurance. As every gym enthusiast knows, more work means more gains. This is exactly what you get. With Beta-alanine, you can keep your intensity up for a longer period, allowing you to put in more work. A dosage of 1.5-5g should be enough to get you pumping iron and getting more reps. The supplement works through creating a buffer for Hydrogen ions (H+).

The Science Behind It

There have been a lot of studies about sports nutrition and nutrient timing in particular. While all the individual components for pre workout supplements are proven to work like they should, new research is looking into blends and investigating whether the claims are true. In one study, Smith et al investigated the efficacy of asupplement containing amino acids, creatine and caffeine on anaerobic and aerobic performance during workouts. The three-week long study found that indeed such a supplement promotes cardiovascular fitness and increased anaerobic running performance (Smith et al, 2010).In another study, the significance of caffeine as a stimulant used before workout showed that caffeine works in increasing the overall energy levels allowing you to go for longer and get more out of your training (Duncan MJ et al, 2012).

Generally, the efficacy of supplements before going for workout has been proven by the scientific world to be a real and viable option for people who engage in all kinds of muscle training. As aforementioned, most manufactures are more focused on the bottom line than coming up with something that actually benefits the user. Most supplements have been found to have some banned substances for instance, Craze, which became popular very quickly. The supplement was found to have a chemical that works like methamphetamines.

Another banned supplement went by the name “Jack3D”. This compound- made by USP Labs, apparently contained DMAA; a banned stimulant that is very powerful. Another reason to be wary of the stuff commercially peddled as performance enhancing is the dosages. A lot of the supplements out there contain such high levels of legal ingredients that it makes them just as bad as the banned substances. Often times, you find a supplement with outrageous amounts of caffeine that are likely to cause heart problems and more likely to stir up underlying cardiac problems.

How To Choose The Best Supplements For Your Pre-Workout

Now that you know about the risky substances and some of the malpractices that are involved in the arena of sports nutrition, you need to be smart about the best pre-workout supplement for your needs. Here are a few tips that will help you work through the lingo;

  • “Natural” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean It’s Good

    Oftentimes, products are being promoted for being safe, only because they are natural, but this is a quite bad argument for safety, as many natural products can give rise to several side effects

  • Too Many Ingredients Are Not A Good Sign

    We have seen that the most important ingredients amount to only 4, so what is all that other stuff for? This goes in line with avoiding man-made chemicals. If there are a lot of ingredients, then you are probably ingesting something that will have unpleasant effects in the future.

  • Think About The Stimulants In The Supplement

    Even the top pre-workout supplements are made up of a bunch of stimulants, but what amounts are you allowing into your body in one go? Check for supplements with few stimulating ingredients because you don’t want to overdose on them.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/20156347/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22124354

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20601741

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22349085

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23919405

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/labs/articles/20156347/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22124354