Pre-workout supplements are all the rage nowadays. However, it can be a bit tricky for a newcomer to figure out what a pre-workout supplement even is. Pre-workouts have replaced the pre-workout meal with an array of vitamins, supplements, minerals, and nutrients that many people swear by nowadays.
But what exactly are pre-workouts, and why do they come in so many shapes and sizes? What kind of ingredients are included in a pre-workout supplement? These are the questions that we aim to answer today.
What Exactly Is a Pre-Workout Supplement?
A pre-workout is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: something that you take before your workout. The idea behind a pre-workout is that the vitamins and minerals included in the supplement will help improve your workout.
Pre-workouts can come in a variety of different forms. The most common is a powder that you can mix into a drink. However, you can also find pre-workouts in these forms:
- Capsules containing a number of different vitamins and minerals
- Chewable pre-workout supplements
- Canned or bottled drinks with various ingredients
- ‘Shaker bottles’ which contain a pre-workout that can be mixed into the drink by shaking it
No matter what form you get your pre-workout supplement in, though, you can expect that it’s going to have the same general idea behind it: helping you work out harder, better, faster, and stronger.
That said, the chances of you finding the same pre-workout recipe from a different company is pretty slim. There are hundreds, if not thousands of different ingredients out there that can help improve your workout. Each company has their own recipe and their own ingredients.
A lot of pre-workout supplements use proprietary blends, as well, which means that they won’t even tell you what’s in the supplement. If you’re interested in trying one of these products then you’ll have to rely on the reviews of other people to decide whether or not the supplement will work for you.
We advise reading more about the best pre workout supplements.
What’s In a Pre-Workout Supplement?
As mentioned above, the ingredients in a pre-workout supplement tend to vary from company to company. There are a lot of different things that might be included in a pre-workout supplement.
Carbs or No Carbs?
Some pre-workout supplements focus on supplying you with a healthy dose of carbs. Carbs are an energy source, and healthy carbs are a great way to get powered up before a workout. With enough carbs, you’ll feel like you’re ready to rock the gym.
However, not everyone likes to rely on carbs as an energy source. The keto diet fad has shown many people that fat is a viable energy source, in many ways better and more sustainable than carbs. For that reason (as well as a few others) some pre-workout formulas make a point of being low-carb or carb-free.
Some pre-workout supplements focus on getting you to jack up your output. One of the ways to do this is by putting stimulants in the pre-workout supplement. These stimulants will kick in as you begin your workout, allowing you to work harder at the gym.
- Caffeine is the most common stimulant used in pre-workouts (and throughout the world). Caffeine stimulates your nervous system and makes it easier to do heavy workouts. However, it can also keep you awake at night – so avoid using a pre-workout with caffeine too late in the day.
- Some pre-workout supplements contain other natural stimulants like ginseng or guarana. These aren’t as powerful as caffeine but they also aren’t going to keep you up at night. They also don’t strain your immune system.
A lot of pre-workout supplements contain amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. They can also have interesting effects on their own. Some common amino acids used in pre-workout supplements include:
- L-arginine, a popular amino acid supplement that is known to enhance blood flow throughout the body. This brings more blood and oxygen to your muscles so you can work them harder.
- L-ornithine, which is supposed to kick in your fight-or-flight response and improve your performance by causing you to push harder.
- L-citrulline, which has similar effects as L-arginine and actually turns into L-arginine once you digest it.
If you don’t know what nitric oxide is, it’s not too late to learn. This is a compound that your body produces. It’s used to help dilate your blood vessels so that you can get oxygen and blood traveling through your body. It’s extremely important for athletes and bodybuilders because it allows your muscles to get the supplies they need to work properly.
Many pre-workout supplements contain supplements that help to boost levels of nitric oxide, such as beetroot powder or certain amino acids.
Do I Need a Pre-Workout Supplement?
The reality is that nobody needs a pre-workout supplement. There’s some debate as to whether or not they’re good in the long-haul. Pre-workouts are great for pushing your body past its natural limit.
This benefit is also the downfall of the pre-workout: you’re pushing yourself harder than you would be able to otherwise. The jury is out as to whether or not this is a safe or healthy idea in the long-run.
However, in the short-term, there’s no denying that pre-workouts can improve your workouts. You’ll probably notice that your endurance goes up, you get more results from your workouts, and you’re able to tone up much quicker than you would be able to without the pre-workout.
Whether or not you want these benefits is up to you. Some prefer the challenge of seeing how strong they can get working within the limits of their body. Others prefer to push it up to the next level by using pre-workouts.
Pre-workout supplements vary from company to company, but ultimately they’re all designed to help you work out better. If you think a pre-workout might help you, don’t hesitate to start using one and see how it feels.
Note – This is A guest post by Huge Supplements .