In today’s age, everyone wants to achieve fitness in the least time possible. Thus, the need for pre- workout supplements. However, these supplements do much more than that.
Many sportspersons take supplements (under expert supervision) for boosting their performances and help them derive maximum benefit out of intensive workouts.
Usually these supplements are categorized on the basis of ingredients they contain:
1) Containing creatine and its derivatives as ingredients: Excellent for boosting sports performance, authorized and very helpful for increasing muscle mass. This is mostly suitable to bodybuilders.
2) Creatine free pre-workout supplements: These have the flexibility of added, better ingredients which optimize your workouts at a better level.
For people who feel dependence on supplements should be limited and controlled, consumption of carbohydrates prior to workouts or a cup of black coffee is very beneficial.
Why and When To Take Pre-Workout Supplements?
If you feel lack of energy while exercising or experience uncomfortable burning, tingling sensation then you probably need pre workout supplement coupled with balanced nutrition.
Many sportspeople and athletes essentially consume pre-workout supplements to derive maximum benefit out of their efforts and to give their best shot either at gym or the field. Apart from the obvious benefit of increased body mass, pre workout supplements also help improve mental focus.
The various ingredients in such supplements trigger to a person’s stimulus and elongate the time taken to muscular fatigue, thus giving you extra time to practice at the gym. Bodybuilders require endurance and thus using a pre-workout supplement can deliver essential nutrients to the body.
Caffeine based supplements should be taken before 8 hours of your sleep cycle to avoid sleep deprivation. They will be best for morning workouts. However, creatine based supplements can be taken at any time of the day.
How Do Pre-Workout Supplements Work?
Pre-Workout supplements vary manufacturer to manufacturer. Based on the composition of ingredients; the quantities of herbs, vitamins & minerals; and their respective combinations, the benefits are derived and performance is affected accordingly.
So you have to be very careful when you’re buying a supplement, since the benefits promised by the seller should be in accordance to the benefits expected by you out of that. See where your performance is lacking and what kind of supplement can help fill the gap.
Pre-workout supplements generally focus on Strength, Muscle-Building Potential, Stamina and finally, Energy.
Fat burner medications had been so popular earlier, but with their rising popularity came rising risks! Coffee remained a staple since ages but modern pre-workout supplements have enough of ingredients to not rely on older mediums.
Caffeine has always been a source of energy and thus it is present in many supplements. This not only helps in boosting power when doing high-intensity workouts like bodybuilding but also is long lasting.
A substitute to that is Synephrine which contains the same benefits as coffee but minus the jitters. Both of these also promote fat metabolism.
The amount of weight you can lift is very crucial. Creatine is known to be a very good strength stimulant. Our bodies have energy molecules called ATP that is utilized by the cells in our bodies.
Creatine molecules have similar structure to ATP and when the natural production of ATP is slowed down due to depletion of oxygen in muscle cells, Creatine provides body with excess energy molecules. Apart from that Caffeine too is useful in this aspect. Other ingredients like Nitric Oxide (which dilates blood muscles during exercise so that our body is enriched with nutrients and
Apart from that Caffeine too is useful in this aspect. Other ingredients like Nitric Oxide (which dilates blood muscles during exercise so that our body is enriched with nutrients and oxygen rich blood) and Beta-Alanine (which promotes longevity in performance and acts as muscle buffer) are also common.
3. Muscle Building:
Your muscles need amino acids to build themselves. Thus supplements with Amino acids and testosterone booster not only help in muscle growth, but even increase focus and aggression during workouts and performances.
Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements
1) Building Muscle Mass: Pre-workout supplements improve the appearance of your muscles by buffing up their size and vascularity. Amino acids boost the production of nitric oxide which in turn provides more blood, nutrients and oxygen to the body. Apart from appearance, it also boosts muscle growth. This is very much required to body builders.
2) Better Endurance: By reducing lactic acid in the body, anaerobic capacity is increased and the body can be more receptive of increased time and intensity of the exercise. Also supplements help combat fatigue.
3) Help in fat loss: Ingredients like Caffeine help in burning fat at a greater rate during workouts and promote strength & mental alertness.
4) Boost in Strength and Stamina: Our tolerance to fatigue makes a lot of difference to our strength. Thus, ingredients like Creatin and Caffeine in the supplements can help you on this aspect.
5) Long-lasting power and focus: Creatin also helps in long lasting power. B-vitamins and caffeine assist in mental clarity and increased focus, which is a very important requirement for athletes and sportsperson.
Side Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements
- Drowsiness: Supplements with caffeine must never be taken 6-8 hours within the sleep cycle. It is best for morning time workouts.
- Not long term or a substitute: Pre-workout supplements by design have benefits in short term and can never substitute healthy diet and proper (and not excessive) exercise. If you must take supplements, make sure you don’t overdo the consumption and keep a balance with food, water, rest and sunlight as per body requirements.
- The pregnancy effect: If a supplement or some of its ingredients are not suitable to you, then you are bound to experience nausea, vomiting, headache or itching. You don’t want to feel pregnant without even having a baby, so stop using that particular supplement right away.
- Cardiac problems: Never overdo the recommended dosage. At best, take expert guidance before zeroing on a supplement and its dosage. Otherwise cardiac issues in the long run are imminent.
- Dehydration in the body: Pre-workout supplements suck out a lot of water from your body and that can l=make you feel parched without any reason. Apart from sticking to the recommended dosage, ensure enough consumption of fruits and water in a day.
Before accepting any supplement, keep in mind that this is not an everyday household packaged food which is equally suitable for everyone. Supplements depend on person to person and individual suitability to ingredients will vary.
At best you can either take a supplement based on expert guidance, or check it out for yourself and if it doesn’t suit you then stop using it right away. In any circumstance, the recommended dosage must never be exceeded.
Also, keep in mind that supplements are never compulsory to take. A healthy and proper diet, rest and exercise (which also includes avoiding junk and unhealthy food) will help you achieve the same or better results, maybe in longer time but they’ll still be worth it.
Many even argue that supplements work more on “placebo effect” sort of gratification , and are not long term. For long term benefit, you will always have to go the old way or have a balance in both.