There comes a time in most exercise programs that motivation starts to decline. Maybe it is because we have other things going on in our lives, we are bored, we aren’t getting enough sleep..whatever it is, it happens. This is the point that supplementation can be beneficial!
There are many pros and cons to Pre-workout and they are not always widely known in the fitness industry; every company/compound is different. The idea of pre-workout is to give you an energy boost, enhance muscle contraction, and vasodilate your muscles to allow for more blood flow. There are a lot of pros and cons of pre-workout because of the different ingredients and combinations companies can create. Some have more stimulus’ than others, which are going to leave you itchy and jittery, but also give you that caffeine boost. There are some pre-workouts without caffeine that just include the compounds to increase performance. Let’s talk a bit about different ingredients you should look for in your pre-workout so that it helps with what you are looking for!
If you are looking for a pick-me up from lack of sleep, or just want an extra “kick” make sure your pre-workout has caffeine in it. That is what will give you the extra energy boost, but what will also give you the jitters and the tingles. The more caffeine means the more stimulants, and that can lead to a major crash later in the day, so be mindful of that!
Beta-alanine is a compound used in pre-workouts to delay muscle fatigue. This is going to allow you to work specific muscle groups for a longer period of time before getting too tired to continue. If you are looking to gain muscle strength, size, endurance, then you want to make sure this is an active ingredient!
Electrolytes (potassium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sodium and phosphate) are needed for general body process’, even if you aren’t working out. The thing is, exercise depletes them. And without electrolytes, the pH of our body is off and can cause serious illness. Therefore we want to make sure we are replenishing these stores during exercise so we do not cause damage.
L-arginine, L-citrulline, beetroot are all vasodilators. This means they increase nitric oxide in the blood to enlarge our blood vessels to increase blood flow. This increase in blood flow to the muscle is what gives us the “pump” feeling. So if you are looking to “feel” huge during workouts and get that euphoric feeling, check for these!
With any supplement, there are also cons. If you take pre-workout that includes creatine for an extended period of time you can become immune to it, and therefore it is going to take more and more to give you that feeling you are after! So make sure you take a few weeks off here and there so let your body rest before using it again!
Supplements can be a great addition to any health and fitness program, but make sure you are not totally relying on them. Afterall, it is hard workout, disciple, and good habits that great results!