In the past few years, pre-workout supplements have become almost as popular among gym lovers as squirrels. But just as protein supplements — and as athletes — not every pre-workout product is the same, nor is every workout product suitable for every athlete. Each of them has different ingredients in different doses with different intended effects and may be suitable for different types of athletes with different goals.
Regardless of whether you want to install a new PR, get a few more reps, or just get the most out of your cardio, good training can be your ally.
In the next tutorial, we'll talk about how to choose the right pre-workout for you and how to make the most of it. Enlighten yourself and make sure your workout helps you reach your fitness goals!
Basics of pre-workout
What is refueling?
Pre-workout supplements include all the ingredients that people take for the sole purpose of making their workouts more effective. The name literally means that you do it before a workout, game or match.
“An hour before a workout, you should focus on shifting your internal environment to physical and mental work,” explains Duane Jackson, Ph.D., in the article “Science for the best pre- and post-training. "Therefore, prior to training, supplements should optimize your mind and body to maximize performance."
However, this “optimization” can mean several things. In many cases, pre-workout supplements provide extra energy or focus. But they can also bring specific physical benefits. For example, one type of athlete may appreciate the increased pain tolerance or strength production that he provides during full efforts, such as a severe reaction to the “big three” during the PH3 Power and Hypertrophy programs from Layne Norton. Another can appreciate stamina to knock out a few more repetitions in high-volume DTP kits at Chris Getina's 8-week Hardcore Trainer. Vasodilators and other ingredients can help increase blood flow to muscle tissue, contributing to recovery and stamina.
The most common ingredients of today's popular workouts are caffeine, beta-alanine, leucine or BCAA, as well as nitric oxide boosters, such as nitrosigin, arginine or citrulline, which seem to help increase blood flow and a “pump” feel during lifting. However, new blends with new ingredients are coming out all the time.
Pre-training can be divided into two groups: with and without stimulants. Stimulants pretty much always include caffeine in a wide variety of doses, but may include other stimulants, including yohimbine, theacrine (Teacrine as the most common), guarana, and many others. Many supplement companies have developed OTC workouts for those who are sensitive to caffeine, who simply don’t want it, or who train close to sleep.
If you are looking for a preliminary workout that makes you feel ready for action, you will not find a lack of them. However, if this is exactly what you do not want, you still have a choice. And many preliminary workouts fall in the middle, decaffeinated, than a cup of tea or coffee.
All this is therefore important to read labels, read a lot of user reviews and buy pre-workouts from well-known, reputable companies.
Do supplements add up to a workout?
Honestly, it depends on what you accept them for. Some people take preliminary training, thinking that it will make them bigger, stronger or faster. It probably won't, but it will certainly help you crush an important workout. And if you crush a lot of workouts, over time it can definitely help you get bigger, stronger and faster!
Remember that the main purpose of training is not direct muscle building, but the improvement of your body, it is to give you energy, endurance and focus on doing exercises that will help you achieve both of these goals.
There are many studies that show that most of the individual ingredients in the most popular modern workouts provide some benefit in strength, endurance, or muscle growth. But the history of training and training of these subjects may differ significantly from yours.
Short answer: Yes, preliminary training can help you improve your training. But the truth is that this is just one factor of many. Get your education right. Build your nutritional foundation. Optimize your recovery with plenty of sleep. And then use add-ons to help you crush the last 5 percent of the project!
What ingredients are in high-quality pre-workouts?
The label on some preliminary workouts looks quite simple. In other cases, this is a list of styles from hard-to-pronounce words and covertly sounding “blends” or “matrices.” In addition, with so many different brands and products, it can be difficult to understand what is doing better than others.
Especially if you're just starting out, it's usually best to keep it simple. Here are four key ingredients to look for and how they help you improve your workout:
Many athletes and other athletes consider caffeine to be the best training partner, and for good reason. “The study after the study showed that caffeine can increase alertness, increase focus, improve tolerance to pain caused by exercise, help burn fat and help athletes work more for a long time in the gym and in sports,” writes Robert Wildman, Ph. D., RD, RISSN, in the article “Increase your caffeine workout”.
Caffeine gives you quick energy that you can use for both endurance exercises and for shorter durations, high intensity work, such as lifting or sprinting. It has been shown that it increases maximum strength, strength, endurance and even reduces muscle soreness.,
Is sound effective? It is definitely. “In fact, caffeine works so well that until 2004 its use was banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency,” says Wildman.
Fortunately, the ban ended, and since then, he notes: "More than 75 percent of elite athletes usually use caffeine during competitions." And the rest of us, too, too 80% of Americans consume caffeine daily!
Some people are sensitive to caffeine, no matter what dose, while others do not seem to pay attention to the physiological consequences of this. Studies have also shown that you can create a caffeine tolerance, although this tolerance will not interfere with the physical effects that increase the effectiveness of caffeine.[2,3]Some people believe that they have created a tolerance for the product they are using, and simply change the pre-workout every few months to see if only the “scenery change” helps.
Keep in mind that for those who are sensitive to caffeine, it is better to avoid or limit caffeine intake after 4 pm. (assuming that you are not a night worker), as this may interfere with the quality of sleep or sleep. For those who are sensitive to caffeine and exercise at night, decaffeinated foods are probably the best option.
2. BCAA or EAAs
Provided that you consume enough calories and proteins, branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine help you regulate protein metabolism, which means an increase in protein synthesis and a decrease in protein breakdown. In other words, BCAAs help you build muscle and minimize muscle damage. By taking a preliminary workout, they can also help reduce delayed muscle soreness (DOMS) so that you can quickly return to your workouts, and they reduce mental and physical fatigue during your workout.
The most popular and science-oriented relationship for BCAA is 2: 1: 1 — two parts leucine to one part isoleucine and one part valine. You want more leucine, because research has shown that it is the best amine when stimulating muscle protein synthesis. If the brand you are interested in does not reflect the ratio, find at least 3 grams of leucine per serving.
All the benefits of BCAA can also be obtained by taking the necessary amino acid mixtures or EAA, which are becoming increasingly popular in pre-workout and autonomous amino mixtures. In the end, the BCAAs are part of the EAA. EAA includes three BCAAs, as well as six other amino acids that your body cannot produce on its own. That is why physiological physicist Nick Cocker includes the EAA in his article "The Best 3 Supplements for Getting a Mass."
Beta-alanine is the main ingredient for pre-training with a unique goal: to help you resist this burning sensation and throw out a few more repetitions, making the most of each set.
When you do high-intensity exercises, acidity can begin to grow in your body, increasing muscle fatigue and reducing performance. Beta-alanine binds to histidine to increase the level of amino acid carnosine, which buffers the hydrogen ions that form these acids, ultimately helping to maintain your intensity for a longer period of time. In other words: more volume; more profit. In the article “Your expert guide on beta-alanine,” add-on specialist Chris Lockwood, Ph.D., CSCS, calls it “Probably the most consistently effective addition to performance to get into the sports nutrition market since creatine” and says: beta-alanine – This is an ingredient that I highly recommend to athletes to keep in their arsenal. "
If you take a large dose of beta-alanine, as in many preliminary workouts, you will most likely experience tingling, often on the neck and face. This is a condition called “paresthesia,” and the first time someone takes a preliminary workout, they often notice it as much as caffeine. Scientists are not sure why some people experience paresthesia after taking beta-alanine, but they are harmless and temporary.
However, the benefits of beta-alanine come with a catch: it must be carried out consistently within 2-3 weeks before the results begin to appear. Fortunately, you do not need to take beta-alanine right before training. If you take it in small doses throughout the day, it will provide the benefits of a workout with less tingling. The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends a dose of 4-6 grams of beta-alanine per day, divided if necessary.
4. Amplifiers of nitrogen oxides
These are pre-workout ingredients that increase blood flow to the muscles and help you get a serious pump during a high level lift.
Once upon a time, l-arginine was the most popular NO enhancer, but in itself it is quite rare these days. Today, there are many different ingredients that can help in the production of NO, but the most popular is probably the essential amino acid citrulline, either in the form of L-citrulline or citrulline malate.
L-citrulline is a natural form of citrulline found in watermelon. It helps to increase the level of nitric oxide, which can help expand your blood vessels to get more oxygen and nutrients in your muscles. As nutrition consultant Mike Roussell, Ph.D., said in the article “Citrulline Malate: Fatigue Fighter”, he also plays a role in removing ammonia from your blood, which is known to cause exercise fatigue.
Citrulline malate is L-citrulline, to which malic acid or malate is added. In addition to increased blood flow from citrulline, “Malate is also believed to have its own ability to fight fatigue, supporting the body’s own ability to process the lactic acid produced by exercise and use it for energy,” Roussell notes. This one or two combos can mean improved endurance during a workout, i. E. More repetitions before failure, and even less muscle soreness.
It seems that every day a new workout comes out with a lot of potential and the dosage of ingredients supported by science. Some of the most popular include:
- L-Tyrosine: To increase energy and fatigue resistance
- L-Theanine: To increase mental alertness and combat “displeasure” that can accompany caffeine
- Huperzine-A: For mental energy
- Yohimbin: To increase energy and mental tension (although note that for some people, using this natural alpha antagonist can cause anxiety).
- Nitrosigine: A unique form of arginine for increased blood flow, reduced muscle damage and greater concentration
- Beet Extract: For endurance and pumps
- betaine: For long-term durability, size and profit from recovery
What about creatine? Many pre-workouts contain it, and there is no shortage to accept it before workout. However, at this time it is not much better than any other. More important than when you take creatine is just that you take it consistently. In the article "5 reasons why your creatine cannot work," Chrissie Kendall, Ph.D., writes: "If you rely on your preliminary training to deliver a daily dose of creatine, you will probably come up with a short one." Instead, she recommends taking 3-5 grams per day of this inexpensive performance enhancer in addition to what is in your pre-workout.
This is not a complete list! If you see something new that you don’t find out during pre-workout, do your research to make sure that this is what you want to accept. And only buy pre-workouts from established companies that participate in third-party testing and don’t make horrendous complaints.
Use before exercise
When should I have a pre-workout?
You often see people drinking their pre-workout when they go to the gym or even from the locker room. This is one of the habits in the gym, which you should not copy if you want your maximum efficiency!
That's why: “Most of the active ingredients in your drink before a workout take 30–60 minutes to reach peak blood levels,” writes Chrissie Kendall, Ph.D., in the article “3 mistakes you make with your Pre Workout.” “ If you wait until you reach the gym, you will go to your second or third exercise before the full effects begin. ”
If you start a workout earlier than 60-90 minutes, you will still have enough energy to go through a rather long workout. Most preliminary workouts contain caffeine, and your body takes 3-5 hours to reduce the concentration of caffeine in the blood in half. This is how long a normal workout can be said to be “the last”, although each metabolizes caffeine according to different parameters.
For this reason, an equally important problem is that you train too late, especially if you train late in the evening or early in the evening. Since many pre-workouts contain large amounts of caffeine, too late in the day can harm your sleep. This is very important because getting enough sleep is one of the most important factors for restoring your hard work in the gym. Lack of sleep can even mean more body fat!
The question then is how often you should train. Many people do pre-workouts before almost every workout. The only disadvantage of this approach is that, because caffeine is technically addictive, you can become more tolerant of its effects and need to increase its quantity in order to get the same energy boost.
For this reason, many coaches and athletes recommend saving preliminary training for important workouts, especially intensive, or routines that focus on large groups of muscles, such as the legs, back or chest.
Who should or should not conduct preliminary training?
It's a difficult question! If you only go to the gym to get a light sweat, then a preliminary workout may not be of much use. But if you're the one who wants to turn serious preparation into serious results, training can help. Say that you have four weeks to Jim Stoppani, Php & # 39; s Shortcut to Shred, and you know that you need to speed up the process at night with cardio-accelerated. You are hungry and sore, but the workout must be done! This is the mentality that forces many to start their first workout.
Anyone who feels that they need an energy boost in the gym, or who have ambitious PR in their thinking, is the main candidate for refueling. However, even with the best pre-bag in the gym, the best achievements are achieved over time with consistent preparation, constant use, adequate nutrition and appropriate rest and recovery.
A good reason is that physiologist Krissy Kendall, Ph.D., includes the pre-workout basic ingredients of caffeine, BCAA, citrulline malate and other NO stimulants in her list of "8 best supplements for strength athletes and bodybuilders."
However, if you know that you are very sensitive to caffeine, you can benefit greatly from a workout with little or no stimulation. Since many of the pre-workouts contain stimulants, and some of them contain a large number of stimulants, first consult your doctor if you have any health conditions that may cause adverse reactions to them.
Parents should also be careful to give a stimulus-heavy preliminary training for teenagers, and no, this is not a good idea for young children. If your child becomes serious about learning, tell them that they must be able to motivate themselves to get to the gym and work first. Intensity supplements may appear later after they have built a solid foundation.
Can I just drink coffee or energy drink before training?
Good point! A strong cup of tea or coffee, or the bath of your favorite energy drink, of course, has the same performance potential as a pre-workout. After all, caffeine is the undeniable pre-holiday powerhouse! It can increase stamina, strength and strength, reducing the feeling of fatigue. This can make you more alert, able to quickly trigger energy and help you focus during a complex set.
However, a simple caffeinated drink is a one-dimensional fix, whereas pre-workout is a multi-dimensional solution.
"When it comes to the specific difficulties associated with heavy training, you can stop doing yourself relying only on energy drinks," writes physiologist-physiologist Nick Cocker in his article "Transform your energy drink into a power station before training."
If you're going to use an energy drink instead of a workout, Coker suggests taking an extra amount of key pre-workout ingredients, such as citrulline malate. And, frankly, if you are trying to get the most out of your workout, it’s also a good idea to carefully examine what you want – you eat at your pre-workout meal.
“While caffeine can help you crawl through your day without eating a lot, it has been shown that it more effectively slows down your workout fatigue when combined with carbohydrates,” says Cocker. “Whatever food you choose, target for 35 grams of carbohydrates and at least 6 grams of essential amino acids or about 20 grams of high-quality protein.”
With some food in the stomach, your muscles will enter the workout with the fuel they need to perform, and then get better.
What if I'm sensitive to stimulants?
In a world full of people who drink caffeinated beverages all day long, people who do not want or need caffeine can sometimes feel like second-class citizens. But in the gym, you can get many of the same benefits as people who take up pre-election training. And as an added benefit, you can't shake so hard that the drum falls out of your hands.
Studies have shown that genetics play a significant role in caffeine sensitivity: some people are heavily affected by this, some of them are not affected at all, and some are in between. If you are very sensitive to caffeine, just do not like it, you are trying to break the habit of training-stimulator, or you train late at night and do not want your sleep to be interrupted, a non-stimulating pre-workout is offered a good alternative.
If you are looking for one or two ingredients that can help with your workouts, physiologist-physiologist Nick Cocker calls these "4 best caffeine-free ingredients to enhance your workout."
- Citrulline malate: To increase blood flow and stamina
- Theacrine: For the same benefits of caffeine, without energy disaster or addiction problems (this ingredient is commonly known as Teacrine.)
- Alpha GPC: The premise of a neurotransmitter to help the nervous system maximize muscle activation
- betaine: For longer growth and higher profits.
In the case of not adding food, a snack rich in carbohydrates and proteins 1-2 hours before a workout may be the best workout you do not take. Getting these calories and nutrients before a workout can give you long-term energy that will give you strength even with long workouts. Avoid pre-trained snacks with high amounts of fiber and fat, which take longer to absorb and, for some people, can cause an upset stomach during intense exercise.
How can I prevent the feeling of insecurity after I do a preliminary workout?
Depending on how hard you exercise and how your body reacts to caffeine and other stimulants, some uncomfortable feelings may be unavoidable. However, many of the pre-workouts today contain stimulants that are thought to feel “smoother” than direct caffeine, such as sacrarin, or they contain soothing compounds to “give up caffeine,” for example, L- theanine.
Keep in mind that the International Society of Sports Nutrition indicates that when dosing caffeine based on body weight, the range of optimal performance is 3-6 milligrams per kilogram or 1.3-2.7 milligrams per pound of body weight. For a 150 pound person, this will be a range of 204-408 milligrams of caffeine. This is a great range! Know where you put it in before taking it, and if you have ever taken 100 milligrams of caffeine at a time, you may not jump right up to 350 milligrams before an important workout.
However, you can also take control of the situation by paying more attention to your other food before training.
“If you ever drink coffee on an empty stomach, you know this feeling: frivolous, nervous, and sometimes nauseous,” explains Chrissie Kendall, Ph.D., in the article “3 mistakes that you make with your preliminary“ Develop. ” "If you drink a pre-workout with 200-300 milligrams of caffeine, do not eat anything, you can feel the same way."
The answer, according to Kendall, is to take your pre-workout meal as seriously as your pre-workout meal. “Having a small meal 30-60 minutes before you begin your workout can minimize side effects like these,” she says. "In addition, these additional nutrients will help you push through your workout."
Are pre-workouts safe?
There is no doubt that some manufacturing companies have added headlines for the wrong reasons in recent years. And pretty much every athlete can tell you a story about a time when they conducted an intense workout, which was a little more intense than they expected. However, if you follow a few simple rules, you can conduct a safe and productive workout after a workout.
First of all, keep on opening your eyes! Know what you are taking. Make sure you have purchased a pre-training from a reputable, established company, preferably one whose products have been tested and approved by an independent third party. Informed-Choice is one such testing organization. Informed Choice checks about 18,000 samples a year for pollution by prohibited substances and checks that the label of your training matches indicates exactly what is in the bottle.
If you know what you are doing, the next step is to know yourself, and why you train first. Do you need to get a specific additional advantage for your specific workouts, or is it just a way to try to motivate yourself to workout? Are you comfortable with stimulants, or do you know that they make you feel anxious and unpleasant, or fight insomnia? Is your training and nutrition okay, or are you hoping that pre-training will magically give you results? Answer these questions before clicking “buy”, and remember that preliminary training is just icing on the cake. Training consistently and proper nutrition – these are the real keys.
In particular, for young athletes there is no legal age limit for the use of preliminary training or any other supplements associated with the exercises. And, of course, preliminary training can be “safe”, for example, for a teenager athlete, but this does not mean that it is necessary or even useful. A teen athlete or athlete will gain more from proper nutrition and exercise than from taking a particular supplement, especially one that can cause fast heart rate and other side effects that can interfere with potentially productive training.
And regardless of your age, if you have heart problems, be sure to consult your doctor before starting a workout or any other supplement.
Are some preliminary workouts better for women?
More women in the weight room than ever are exercising more than ever, which means that more women than ever take supplements. We think it's time! But there are certain supplements, such as pre-workouts, where the same rules and doses that apply to one athlete may not always be best for another.
That's why: recommended studies of caffeine dosage for sporting performance are usually based on body weight. The range that Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., RD, and co-founder of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, gives to Bodybuilding.com's Foundation of Fitness Nutrition is 3-6 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, provided that it is very a personal — and that 6 milligrams — is a serious dose that does not suit most people.
For a 55-pound (or 120-pound) woman, this is “I feel it, but not too much,” 165 milligrams of caffeine at the lower end, or “My eyes get out of my head” 330 milligrams at the high end. And this is very different from the 200-pound bodybuilder! However, many popular pre-workouts contain a fixed scoop with a volume of 300 milligrams or more per serving, no matter how large you are.
This is not necessarily a problem, but it is worth taking into account before you take a random scoop before and perhaps end up feeling that your heart is beating you out of your chest. Several companies on our list of the best women's workouts take into account that women-specific products with women's body size are taken into account when dosing.
“I always say, start small and then go from there to see how well your body tolerates it,” says Chrissie Kendall, Ph.D. in the episode of the podcast Bodybuilding.com "Everything about caffeine: what every tenant needs." Translation: Try a half scoop or, even less, popular pre-workouts to first assess your tolerance and then adjust subsequent doses.
As for the effectiveness of all the individual ingredients in the pre-workouts, this does not change just because you use one dressing room or another. Increased energy, strength, endurance, and reduced muscular soreness, which Jim Stoppani, Ph.D., creator of the Label for Size program, and others, say is that help improving caffeine training is also valid for women as for men. The same goes for common ingredients such as citrulline malate and beta alanine.
In one recent support vote, the study “2018”, published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, confirms the fact that preliminary workouts can “improve muscular endurance and anaerobic performance of the upper parts of the body [in women], improving the feeling of concentration after exercise of high intensity. "
Sounds familiar? Just find out which dose works for you and try it yourself.
Can I take other supplements if I take preliminary workouts?
Yes of course! Preliminary training supplements are formulated with a specific goal: to give you extra energy or stamina so that you can attack your workout with focus and purpose. Other additions are formulated to achieve other, equally specific goals.
For example, if you do not get enough protein in your diet, all the preliminary workouts in the world will not help you see solid results. Eat it, and if you can't eat enough, practice after a workout or even near your workout.
On the flip side, if your pre-workout for choosing a little lower in some ingredients, like many of them, it's ok to soup with a little added. Here are some tips:
- Beta Alanine: This ingredient needs to be taken almost daily in order to work effectively, so getting an extra 3 grams outside of your pre-workout does not require much effort.
- Creatine: Like beta alanine, creatine should be taken daily to provide muscle recovery and other benefits.
- Nitric oxide boosters: Some companies produce non-stimulating “pumping” blends that can be stacked using pre-treated caffeine or a caffeinated energy drink.
If you are taking a preliminary caffeinated workout, just be careful not to take other stimulants on top of it. The dose in most preliminary workouts is strong enough without additional caffeine!
Should I buy or cook refueling?
If you are the one who likes this extra level of control in your diet and supplement, there is no reason why you couldn’t do your own preliminary training. Well, scratch it, there are several reasons: it can be much more expensive, and depending on how you do it, you can skip a few key ingredients. And the taste will probably be terrible … Yes, this is a fairly high order for the average goalkeeper.
So, before you put on a lab coat and go into PubMed, make sure that you have a solid foundation for training and nutrition. Do you train 3-5 times a week consistently and in good shape? Do you eat enough calories and protein and have a solid preliminary workout before intensive workouts? Check, check, check. Well, then maybe you are no longer the “average” athlete.
However, before you start exploring the dark web for the discounted palette of pure African yohimbine, keep in mind that starting is simple – this is almost always the best option. If you're going to make your own, keep it in key ingredients that share the best pre-workout: caffeine (if that's your thing), beta-alanine, and possibly nitrous oxide boosters for endurance and pumps. If you want to go down to the rabbit hole of nootropes (i.e. supplements to enhance the brain) or other highly intelligent ingredients, go for it, but don't expect magic.
Remember that this is not about cheating the process. This is only a reasonable improvement in what you can get from it!
Revised by: Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., R.D. and Susan Hewlings, Ph.D., R.D.
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