Pre workout supplements have been heavily marketed to the weight lifting community as long as I can remember. However, these supplements give the body what it needs for more than just the gym.
I’m going to go over pre workout and cardio to show that pre workout works for cardio, why it has been marketed mainly to weight lifters, the athletic advantages of using pre workout over not using it and why most athletes prefer the boost that they get from pre workout.
How Pre Workout Works With Cardio
The basic ingredients in pre workout are meant to bring you more power, strength, energy, longevity and recovery. Enough to give you a competitive advantage or even give you a mental advantage because you feel more motivated. These are the things that can really help when running, swimming or cycling.
The ingredient caffeine, is the main ingredient that gives you the energy and will help you go faster and further. This is the building block for pre workouts. They contain the equivalent of several cups of coffee. Caffeine is a big reason that you feel the effects for several hour after you have taken it. However, caffeine alone does not bring you the results that you need to have a great workout.
There are also some cool systems at work. The body uses glucose for energy, which turns into Lactase. This can result in nausea, muscle soreness and a list of uncomfortable things. Pre workout, specifically the creatine and beta-alanine help break down the Lactase to avoid these issues.
Another reason pre workout works with cardio is nitric oxide. This is a vasodilator. It causes your blood vessels to widen. This increases blood flow, therefore bringing more blood to your muscles to help you go the extra mile.
The last ingredients are BCAA’s, branch chain amino acids. These include leucine, isoleucine and valine that regulate protein metabolism, increasing protein synthesis, and suppressing protein breakdown.
Pre workout supplements are well rounded and effective for doing most forms of cardio. It will give you the additional edge that you need, especially when it is needed the most.
Anaerobic vs Aerobic Exercise and Why it Matters
The reason that I wanted to get into this question is… Pre workout supplements perform better for certain kinds of exercise. They are known to work more effectively on anaerobic exercise than aerobic.
Anaerobic exercise is a more intense physical exercise. This form of exercise will create lactate(as we just talked about) to form. Anaerobic exercises include weight lifting, sprinting and bicycling and any exercise that consists of short exertion or a high intensity movement. Most supplements are designed for anaerobic exercise. This is why a lot of pre workout supplements are marketed to weight lifters, body builders and power lifters. This is because these categories of training are very intense exercise.
The aerobic exercises include walking, dancing, hiking and long distance running. These sports are endurance based and don’t get the most out of this product.
However, this does not mean that pre workout supplements can’t work for aerobic cardio as well. Put a little spring in your step and get the extra intensity.
As far as running and pre workouts, after I work out at the gym for an hour or so, I will run 30 minutes on the treadmill. My pre workout is still carrying me to keep up a good pace, and I am still energized enough to have that extra endurance to get through my run. Therefore, pre workout can be good for running, at least short distances. If I had not taken my supplement, there is no way I could have gone 100% at two difficult sports back to back.
And if you are wondering about shooting pool, bowling or darts, these do not qualify as either anaerobic or aerobic exercise. However, it would still help keep you awake since these are late night activities, but I would just stick to coffee on this one.
Athletic Advantages to Using Pre Workout for Cardio
Now I would like to discuss how taking a pre workout supplement can lift you up and push you in many sports. Being able to push yourself beyond your limits is what most athletes strive for. Those athletes are the ones that make the grade and get recognized.
That is the main reason why some athletes take steroids. It gives them that extra boost over their competition. This is just an example of getting that extra edge, and I don’t believe or recommend using these illegal steroids with their side effects can be deadly.
Even if you are not an athlete, a good pre workout will increase your athletic ability. If the least it does is get you into the gym on the field, on the court or on your bike that makes it worth it. Getting to your sporting activity can be the most difficult part. I find that once I get to where I’m going, everything seems to fall in place. Remember, you don’t need to be an athlete to reap the benefits of the increased performance and motivation.
Most Athletes Prefer the Boost
Why do the majority of athletes take a pre workout supplement or caffeine before their regular sport? Probably because it gives them a higher intensity and a higher power version in their profession. It has been proven in case studies that athletes out perform their rivals when taking these supplements.
Here is an example of the difference in performance for cyclists and runners to give you an example of a sport other than weight lifting.
Researchers found that workout supplements increased race times by an average of 3%, an equivalent to 2 minutes an hour. In some cases, race times improved by 17%. Similarly, workout supplements increased performance times with cyclists by 27%. Birmingham University Scientists
Runners who had a workout supplement before running a 5K improved their time by about 1 percent as compared to when they didn’t take anything. That means if you run a 45 minute 5K, a workout supplement could help cut off over a minute. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Pre workout wrap up
Today I have demonstrated that pre workout supplements are beneficial when doing cardio. However, it does depend on what kind of cardio. Endurance sports will not benefit from it for the most part, because endurance is an aerobic exercise. However, the anaerobic sports will get the most out of pre workout supplements. From this discussion, it is pretty obvious that long distance runners would not benefit nearly as much from a pre workout.
Anaerobic is any kind of high intensity exercise used by athletes in non endurance sports to promote power, speed and strength. It is also used by body builders to build mass. These anaerobic sports also include high intensive interval training such as cross fit, bicycling, sprinting and climbing. Anaerobic exercises or sports will best utilize a pre workout supplement.
I also wrote about why athletes and non athletes like to use pre workouts. The increased performance, energy, the pump and the motivation. If you think it will benefit your sport or workout, make sure to give it a try. It could make all the difference.
If you have any more questions about pre workout and cardio or need any other information on pre workout supplements, please leave a comment below. I will respond as soon as possible.