If you’re a part of the fitness community or have slowly become accustomed to it, you’ve likely heard of people using pre-workout supplements. You might be wondering just what they are after hearing the phrase thrown around at gyms, cafes or the office. Beyond finding out what they are, the more important question is whether or not you need them.
The modern reliance on pre-workout supplements stems from one question: are you looking to get the most out of your training sessions? If so, pre-workout supplements can amplify energy, strength, power and endurance prior to working out.
With this in mind, what are pre-workout supplements made of, and how do they supply such energy and power?
The Main Ingredient in Pre-Workout Supplements
Creatine tends to be the most commonly used ingredient in pre-workout supplements. Scientific research has shown that creatine phosphate, when ingested, helps the body create adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is a substance necessary to providing energy for muscle contractions. Research has led many to believe that creatine—when consumed prior to a workout—can help improve strength during training while improving overall energy. This is great news for weightlifters, as the added speed and energy can boost performance while training.
The Benefit of Added Vitamins and Amino Acids
Pre-workout supplements often provide various additives that are essential to maintaining health, especially among people who work out. One additive that many athletes look for in supplements are vitamins B3 (niacin), B6 and B12. These supplements, sometimes referred to as a B-Complex, are beneficial to athletes for two reasons: athletes may require an increased intake of B vitamins compared to USRDA (the United States Recommended Daily Allowance) recommendations and the nutrients they provide can lead to rapid growth and recovery throughout the training process.
In combination with added vitamins, many supplements will also provide branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs). The essential building blocks of protein, BCAAs have been shown to increase muscle growth and reduce the effects of fatigue.
A Pre-Workout Stimulation
To increase that “boosted” feeling, pre-workout supplements will often include caffeine. This added caffeine helps in numerous ways, including: boosting alertness and energy; enacting our “fight or flight” response, which can lead to better performance; decreasing tiredness; improving the body’s ability to burn fat.
Altogether, these benefits can lead to enhanced training sessions—clinical research has shown enhanced performance in both endurance and strength-based athletes.
Good Old Carbohydrates
One of our body’s most natural energy sources, carbohydrates are the best and most traditional way of getting some extra pep prior to working out. Consider them the OG pre-workout supplements. While some modern diets have made people wary of carbohydrates, they are fundamental to supplying energy to all parts of the body.
Complex carbohydrates are the most preferred source for carb-induced energy. This is thanks to the smaller sugars—glucose, fructose and galactose—which carbohydrates are broken down to thanks to digestion. Unused glucose is converted into glycogen by the body, stored into both muscles and liver for future energy purposes. This is why runners and other endurance athletes rely on carbs—that stored energy is beneficial, especially when consumed prior to working out, as that stored glycogen can be instantaneously utilized as fuel.
Recovering After You’re Finished Working Out
People new to fitness think you’re done once the workout is over. They’re incorrect to think so. To make the most of your training sessions, you need to spend time and energy considering your recovery, whether that involves stretching muscle groups, icing sore muscles or setting aside enough time for proper sleep. Moreover, you should be putting considerable work into the kitchen, too.
After you’ve finished your training session, driven by a pre-workout supplement, all of that hard work can be maintained with a protein shake after workouts. Each of our products are crafted to be the ultimate protein shake after workouts, with ingredients including: egg white protein or 100 percent whey protein, both of which protein isolated, high-quality protein that helps support the growth of muscles in a healthy way.
There are many ways to get the most out of your workouts, but the best thing you can do is prepare for both before and after. If you’re looking to perform at your best, consider adding a pre-workout supplement or protein shake after workouts. Our products can provide you with the energy to train and perform at the best of your ability.