Heading into a workout, your ultimate goal is to get in the best possible reps and weight. You want to hit your highest intensity possible. That lets you know you’re building muscle and burning fat in the most efficient manner possible.
The problem is, your body can only do so much. Perhaps you’ve noticed instances in which you just could not hit your biggest weight no matter how much you try. You did better a few days ago than today. This can happen for many reasons. One of the most common reasons is simply not having the right fuel in place to power your cells to achieve the best possible results.
Pre workout supplements are a way to supercharge your results. By providing high octane fuel for your body, it’s possible to give each of your cells the nutrition necessary to function at their very best. What you take in directly influences what you get out of your workout.
Pre Workout Supplements Help You Achieve Bigger, Better Goals
Pre-workout supplements are not just about boosting energy. While having energy is important, you also want to give your cells and muscles more enhanced fuel to produce more effective muscle contraction and function.
In a study conducted by the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, it was found that the use of pre workout supplements offered several improvements. This includes:
- Improved VO2 max
- Lean body mass
- Increased body fat loss
- Increased training volume
All of this was evident in workouts with moderately trained athletes. The key is knowing what to put into your body to get these results.
How Do Pre Workout Supplements Work?
The goal of pre workout supplementation is to provide the body’s cells with the nutrition they need to operate in their most efficient and effective mode. Now, what one person considers optimum, and what another person thinks is optimal will be difficult. For some people, it is about building body mass. For others, it is about shedding weight. Athletes, then, need to provide their bodies with the type and amount of supplementation ideal for their specific goals.
Most of the pre workout supplement products purchased are in a powder form. Others are in pill form. Both are good options based on how you plan to use them.
Most of the time, pre workout supplements are made up of a combination of carbs, antioxidants, and vitamins (specifically B vitamins). How they achieve this ranges widely from one product to the next.
What’s most important for most people is choosing a product that works for them. Unfortunately, there are a lot of poorly designed products on the market that typically lack enough nutrition or customization to provide the best results. That is just one reason it is so important to know what’s in the products you consume.
What Should Be in a Pre Workout Supplement?
The first step is to consider what you want the pre workout supplement to do for you. It can help you with:
- Improving endurance
- Increasing the metabolic rate to burn fat faster
- Increasing strength
- Improving performance
- Reducing muscle breakdown
- Improving energy and focus
Once you know what your ideal goal is, you can begin to compare products to find the pre workout supplements capable of helping you achieve this goal. The good news is that most of these areas are good for all people who are working out, but not all products can offer comprehensive coverage of all of these goals. For that reason, it is important to choose a few key areas of focus.
Are You Looking to Improve Power and Strength?
For those who are in the gym to build strength and muscle mass, a pre workout supplement will be a key component of any workout. It should provide you with supplements designed to increase the function of your muscles and supercharging each rep. Some of the nutrients you may want in this case include the following:
Creatine: A pre workout supplement with creatine gives your body the ability to operate at maximum strength. The more strength you have during a workout, the bigger your muscles grow. This particular nutrient helps to get enough energy to muscles to replenish ATP, or adenosine triphosphate. This is the only energy source your muscles can use to contract. It’s naturally present in your body, but not enough of it is available for a long workout. Taking creatine ensures your body has the reserves it needs.
Taurine: Another important nutrient is an amino acid called taurine. Taurine is very valuable to numerous physiological processes within the body. In this way, it helps with reducing fluid buildup in your body. It also helps muscles to contract. In many ways, it can help support strong cell membrane structure as well. It also works to provide antioxidant benefits to your cells.
Do You Feel You Need More Energy During a Workout?
Energy is a bit part of any successful workout. Yet, it is very common for a person to run out of it fast. If you are tired after a workout – or you cannot complete your desired goals for your workout – it may be beneficial to add a pre workout supplement that can help.
Most supplements for this will contain some nutrients to help with energy. Here’s the key, though. You do not want to take in a supplement that is not but caffeine. Though this can be a part of your workout, it’s not all you need. Drinking an energy drink before a workout is not ideal. It does not provide enough of the nutrients you need.
So, how do you get the energy you need? Look for a pre workout supplement that offers the following nutrients:
Caffeine: It is still a very important nutrient and it is also the most common performance enhancer used around the world (many people reach for a cup of coffee first thing in the morning to wake up). Caffeine works in the body to stimulate the central nervous system. It helps to speed up your metabolism by releasing fatty acids into the bloodstream. That allows the body to use those nutrients for energy. Look for a product that offers caffeine in it, but look for moderate doses. You don’t benefit from huge amounts of caffeine at one time.
Tyrosine: Another important energy enhancer is tyrosine. It works in various physiological ways. It is an amino acid that helps to increase communication in the brain. It can also help reduce overall stress, something that consumes a lot of your energy during your workouts.
Do You Need More Endurance?
For those who need endurance, whether that is to train for a longer period of time or to increase your weights, there are some pre workout supplements that can help. Not all offer a focus on endurance. However, you may benefit from those that contain these nutrients:
Beta-Alanine: This is an important amino acid for its ability to boost the level of carnosine in muscle tissue. You cannot take in carnosine through ingestion because it would be completely metabolized quickly. However, with beta-alanine, it is possible to get more of this amino acid to your muscle tissue faster. It helps to improve endurance by reducing the effects of stress, which happens as your body is fatigued.
Citrulline Malate: Another amino acid, this particular nutrient can help to improve blood flow through the body. The body can also turn it into arginine, an amino acid. This can help to reduce the feeling of being tired and also helps with ATP production.
Important Additional Nutrients for Your Pre Workout Supplements
There are other nutrients important to most. For example, your body needs antioxidants. They work as a type of protector for yous muscles, helping to rid the body of free radicals that typically can damage your cells. Antioxidants are very important, for example, to reducing muscle breakdown during your workout. Some of the most important antioxidants to look for include:
- Vitamin E
- Alpha lipoic acid
For muscle growth enhancement, also consider a few nutrients that are ideal for enhancing how rapidly and how significantly your body builds muscle. This includes BCAAs, a nutrient many pre workouts have in them. It can be broken down by the body and used as energy. It is also metabolized in your body’s muscle tissue rather than in your liver. Also, consider the addition of whey protein for this task. It can work to provide your body with the protein necessary to quickly build muscles.
The use of pre workout supplements that contain a high number of these ingredients can be well worth the investment. It is always important to choose nutrient-rich products based on what your ultimate goals are. Yet, you also want to learn about the company behind them. A product that is all filler isn’t going to help you.
The use of pre workout supplements tends to be a very valuable tool. If you are ready to see an improvement in muscle growth, endurance, and overall energy levels, start with these supplements.