Pre workout supplements, is a very well-known term in fitness world in general and bodybuilding in specific, they are usually taken to enhance performance, muscle building and working efficiency during exercise.
So what are they? Are they right for you? shall you consume them? and when? Know all this and more n this article.
Before you purchase pre workout supplements, there are few things that you need to consider; since you won’t need all of these supplements all the time, and you probably can’t afford all of them either. Some of these considerations are just the same as the ones before deciding which protein supplement to buy; such as your fitness goal, level of training intensity, product’s brand and cost, in addition to their expected pros and cons.
Are pre workout supplements effective?
Research shows that supplementation timing around resistance training session is actually simple but an effective technique that promotes training results. Others are also about aerobic training, but strength training and muscle building is the focus of concern here.
Pros and cons of pre workout supplements
Possible pros of using pre workouts supplements include:
- Increase average power during exercise
- Delay the onset of fatigue
- Increase concentration and focus
- More endurance
- Build muscles faster
Possible cons of pre exercise supplements include:
Cons -or side effects- depend on the ingredients that compose the supplement product. Caffeine containing supplements may cause increased heart rate and insomnia to set an example.
Pre workout supplements
Pre exercise supplements are usually categorized according to their principle of work into:
- Energy boosters, and
- Muscles feeders during exercise
And they are usually a blend of the bellow mentioned common ingredients in order to maximize results. Here, we will briefly discuss how each of these compounds on its own- would contribute the expected benefits of pre workout supplementation.
Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid that has received considerable attention due to potential effects on growth hormone secretion and nitric oxide production (which functions to dilate blood vessels and enhance blood flow).
Pros: L-Arginine supplementation showed enhanced endurance, strength, reduced fatigue and recovery time, by improving blood (nutrients and oxygen) delivery, regulating hormonal release and blood pressure.
Cons: For most people and at doses around 5 grams of L-Arginine supplementation; it doesn’t cause undesirable side effects. But on the other hand it could cause nausea, diarrhea, cramps, allergic reactions and lowered blood pressure for some. It always better to take your doctor consultation.
- Beta Alanine
Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid naturally occurring in the body with multiple functions.
Pros: beta-alanine is capable of improving high-intensity anaerobic performance, increases strength, power output, muscle mass, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, and delays fatigue.
Cons: beta-alanine supplementation seems to be a safe nutritional strategy at least up to 12 weeks continued supplementation of it, according to a study.
Creatine is an amino acid naturally found in the body, mostly in muscles. It functions to supply most of the energy for short-term, maximum exercise such as sprinting. When creatine stores are depleted in the muscle, ATP (the energy currency in the body) synthesis is prevented, and energy is no longer supplied at the desired rate.
Pros: Creatine supplementation has been supported by research to enhance short-duration, high-intensity athlete athletic activity, in addition to muscle building and other health benefits. It showed benefits whenever creatine is consumed, but its absorption seems to be higher when taken with carbohydrates drinks or juice and.
Cons: No side effects have been reported when taking creatine supplements doses of 5 g/ day.
Betaine is a substance that’s made in the body, where it’s involved in liver function, cellular reproduction, and helping make carnitine (which is considered one of the fat loss supplements).
Pros: leads to an improved sense of well-being, less fatigue, greater general strength and endurance during recovery.
Cons: Most side effects from betaine are mild and include diarrhea, stomach upset, and nausea. It can also raise cholesterol levels, so better consult your doctor before taking it.
Taurine is a nonessential amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood.
Pros: Pre workout supplementation of taurine is thought to improve athletic performance, mental concentration (especially when combined with caffeine), and muscle endurance. A 1-3 gram before workout is recommended.
Cons: Up to 3,000 mg a day of taurine supplementation is considered safe, any excess is simply excreted by the kidneys. But its long term side effects still need more research.
Caffeine is a white crystalline, bitter chemical usually found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, kola nuts, and certain medicines.
Pros: having caffeine in pre workout supplement was found to increase focus, energy, strength , fat burning
Cons: There were no side effects of taking caffeine at moderation, but doses higher than 15 mg/kg bodyweight, can result in insomnia, hypertension, irritability, GI distress and nervousness. It also has dehydration effect and might lead to calcium depletion with prolonged high intake. Some don’t recommend it before exercises that already raise heart rate.
When consume them?
The name gives it all! Usually they are fast absorbed ingredients and need to be taken 30-45 minutes before workout. Well, some of them give you the buzz of energy to a level that you can feel your body demanding physical exercise!!
How much to take from pre workout supp.?
Follow the usage instruction on the products label, and don’t exceed the recommended dosage. Although trusted supplement products do provide benefits; it is wise to use these them sparingly for two main reasons; one: is to avoid any undesired side effects if there are, two: to avoid your body becoming insensitive to these ingredients that you start needing higher doses to see results.