Pre-workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements

Pre-workout supplements are generally a combination of multiple products that have performance enhancing properties combined into 1 convenient supplement. It’s thought that by taking these products 30 minutes before your workout, you’ll have the best work out of your life, increased energy, focus and muscle pumps beyond belief. But do they work?

First of all, lots of these supplements offer a propriety blend. If this is the case, put that supplement back down. This means the company don’t want you to know the exact quantities of each ingredient inside their supplement – why? I’ll leave that to your imagination – but I certainly can’t think of a good reason as a consumer.

There are so many different ingredients that companies claim to be the next big thing in the pre-workout industry. But the following are generally staples of them all (with some actual research behind them) so I’ll explain a little further into each of these as I don’t have a year to write up about every ingredient I’ve ever seen in pre-workouts supplements.

Caffeine – energy

Caffeine helps to stimulate our central nervous systems; this is done through the promotion of excitability in our spinal cord and enhances muscle fibre recruitment. Not only does it help fire us up in preparation for exercise but it also helps decrease our perception of fatigue and muscular pain.

Please note:

  • Caffeine can cause a slight diuretic effect, therefore hydration is extremely important.

  • Caffeine can be addictive, minimise use when not required.

  • Due to caffeine being a stimulant, don’t take a pre-workout supplement with caffeine in late in the day/before bed time.

Creatine Monohydrate – power

Creatine is a completely natural supplement and is one of the most studied supplements in the industry. Over the years, the safety of creatine has always been an issue. However, there have been over 500 studies supporting the safety and effectiveness of this product. If however, you already have a pre-existing kidney condition, it is not recommended.

  • Helps muscle cells produce energy

  • Helps the body to increase muscle mass

  • Improves high-intensity exercise performance

Citrulline Malate – blood flow/fatigue fighter

Citrulline malate is used in pre-workout supplements to help increase blood flow and reduce fatigue, win win. When we exercise, the body uses a cycle called urea to help dispose of any nitrogen waste. When we supplement with Citrulline malate, the urea cycle is sent into overdrive and helps by sucking up some nitrogen molecules before they can cause fatigue. 

Citruline has shown to increase the amount of arginine (amino acid that promotes nitric oxide) in our blood, therefore more Citruline = more arginine = more nitric oxide. The more nitric oxide we have is said to increase blood flow to muscles during exercise causing increase in muscular pumps.

  • Fatigue fighter

  • Increase muscle pumps

  • Increased recovery

Beta alanine – lactic acid buffer

  • Boosts explosive muscular strength

  • Boosts muscular anaerobic endurance

  • Increases aerobic endurance

  • Allows us to train harder and for longer

Please note:

Beta alanine can cause acute paraesthesia (pins and needles), which can feel like a burning or itching sensation. To reduce this from happening, try doses <800mg per serving, separated throughout the day.

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