As a gym enthusiast, you know that a post-workout supplement is critical for optimal muscle growth. Religiously, after a gruelling training session you consume a post-workout shake to promote muscle repair, replenish energy reserves and reduce muscle breakdown. However, have you ever given a thought to a pre-workout supplement? It can add the bang to your workout that you wish to achieve each time you hit the gym, but attain sparingly. Just imagine running your car on near-empty gas. Will you be able to traverse long distance or at a high rev? No. Similarly, your performance, intensity, and rigour suffer when you train without supplementing your energy reserves.
Anyone who has flirted with fitness knows that glycogen, a readily mobilized storage form of glucose, stored in muscles and liver is the source of energy for intense or not-so-intense workouts. As soon as your glycogen levels deplete, the body resorts to proteins (stored in muscle tissues) and fats for energy. In the lack of sustained energy, fatigue will set in and your workout will be a bit less than satisfying.
As a result, there will be fewer reps and sets and you will not be able to push the muscles enough to the verge of failure. This situation is going to trap you in the fitness rut, where you will work out but not grow. Pre-workout can rescue you from this situation. To know how and why read further to know what’s in your pre-workout supplement. Fuel your workout with a pre-workout supplement to boost energy, focus and augment muscle pumps.
TOP TEN INGREDIENTS IN A PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT
- The role of caffeine is well documented in enhancing alertness. Ask anyone who is studying for exams. Caffeine, the foundation of any pre-workout supplement stimulates central nervous system, decreases the perception of fatigue during workouts for greater training intensity. Caffeine also has a mild fat burning effect. Caffeine keeps your energy signals perked up amps up your body by preventing energy producing signals from being naturally degraded. The recommended dosage is 100 to 200 mg equivalent to one or two strong cups of coffee.
- Creatine invariably finds a place in all pre-workout drinks. Creatine keeps your energy reserve primed because more creatine is equal to greater ATP, the energy currency of the body. Naturally, when you have more energy, you will be able to lift greater weights and build more muscles. A 2002 study of 20 athletes in the journal Nutrition found that creatine increased their body mass and gave them peak power during short sprints.
- Citrulline gets converted to arginine and then to nitric oxide in the human body. It’s a proven energy booster and promotes better muscle endurance and bigger muscle pumps.
- L-Arginine is an essential amino acid for the synthesis of nitric oxide (NO). Nitric Oxide causes potent dilation of blood vessels that increases blood flow to the muscle for a fierce workout and faster recovery.
- Beta-Alanine supplementation increases muscle levels of carnosine, that helps fight fatigue during high-intensity exercise. One study showed beta-alanine increased total work done during a strength training session by 20 percent
- Bioperine is a pepper extract and it is used in a pre-workout and other supplements to improve absorption of ingredients and nutrients. It even helps improve fat metabolism and improves the body’s rate of fat burn.
7. Whey is a high quality quick digesting protein that contains high levels of BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) Having 10-20 g of whey protein, 30-60 minutes before a workout can increase protein synthesis by delivering more amino acids, building blocks to the muscle that get incorporated into proteins.
8. Taurine is an amino acid found abundantly in skeletal muscle and enhances endurance and muscle strength
9. Tyrosine is an amino acid that serves as the precursor for norepinephrine (NE). NE is an important hormone that acts in the brain to stimulate metabolism. Prolonged, intense physical stress can deplete NE levels, which is associated with a decrease in performance.
10. Carbohydrates fuel your workouts and provide a readily available source of glucose. The basis for consuming carbs before exercise is to provide fuel for your muscles for mean training sessions ahead.
A pre-workout drink will carry a mix of these top ingredients to boost your stamina and endurance.
HOW TO USE A PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT
It is advisable to use pre-workout 20 to 30 minutes prior to your training session. In case, you drive to your gym, you need to calculate the traffic and the distance before you take your pre-workout drink.
- Follow strictly the dosage of your pre-workout drink. Most pre-workouts have caffeine. Therefore avoid mixing it with an energy drink or carbonated beverages that have caffeine.
- It is likely that you will build tolerance in respect to your pre-workout, therefore, once you have figured out your pre-workout regimen, avoid sticking on it every single day. Rather, cycle the pre-workout drink to maintain its effectiveness.
- It is always advisable to begin your pre-workout at a lower dose so that you are able to assess your tolerance in respect to it.
Whether you are training to build six packs or are a plain fitness enthusiast and wish to get leaner, an average workout sticks you in a stubborn growth plateau. Transcend beyond the ordinary by supercharging your workouts. Include a pre-workout supplement to your training regimen. The difference is unmistakable and the results are going to surprise you.
Most importantly, pre-workouts will help you get the required kick while you gym. However, in order to maintain it, you need the support of BCAA while you work out and finish your kick-ass workout with a much-needed whey protein shake to build the body of your dream.