Pre Workout Supplements have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. Why not take something to supercharge your workout routine? Pre workouts are relatively inexpensive, are packed with healthy Amino Acids and a low chance of any possible side effects.
The benefits of a pre workout include an incredible energy boost, more muscle endurance and it improves your physical performance.
Pre workouts are used by athletes and weekend warriors. The activities that enable them to perform better range from cycling to Cross-fit and everything in between. Pre workout supplements even work to better your cardiovascular health and promote weight loss. The only thing is that you will still need to push your self for these better results. The pre workout ingredients are only there to increase your bodies potential by helping you reach your goals quicker and easier..
We are going to discuss what is in a pre workout, how these ingredients work and the different pre workout options available in this post. This should give a better understanding of why pre workouts are used by so many, and if they are right for you.
How it works
Pre workouts work by providing the increased energy and strength that you wouldn’t ordinarily have without them. The Caffeine Energizes, the Nitric Oxide vascularizes your blood flow and the Beta Alanine helps your muscles recover faster between trials or sets.
After approximately 30 minutes, the pre workout moves in your bloodstream. At this point the Caffeine runs through your entire body and brain, giving you energy and motivation to tear it up. The Nitric Oxide (another Amino Acid) increases blood flow and vein size to get more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles faster.
Then there is the Beta Alanine (an Amino Acid) that clears out the Lactic Acid build up in your muscles. Lactic acid is a natural product of exercise, and removing this from your muscles enables you to perform longer without fatigue.
The nutrients in a pre workout are used to recharge the muscles and hydrate the body. Many gym goers drink Intra Workouts or BCAA’s during their workout to keep these nutrients and hydration flowing through out their entire session.
If you would like more information to better understand the benefits of pre workout, check out Benefits of a Pre Workout.
If you have any further questions on the processes of the pre workout supplement, please leave it in the comment box at the bottom of this post.
What is In a Pre Workout
Pre workout ingredients and their quantities are always listed on the back of the container in the “Supplemental Facts” box. The ingredients vary slightly from one pre workout to the next, but it is the basic active ingredients that make all of them perform similarly.
Some pre workouts will show an “explosive energy blend”. This is when they will some times combine the Caffeine and certain Amino Acids together. However, most pre workouts break the ingredients down individually to see the exact concentrations of each ingredients.
One of the most important ingredients in a pre workout supplement is Caffeine. It is sometimes called Anhydrous Caffeine which simply means that it is a dehydrated form of Caffeine. The quantity of Caffeine generally ranges from 150mg to almost 400mg.
You will want to keep this line item in mind, especially if you are Caffeine Intolerant. 400mg can equal as much as 5 cups of coffee, so be cautious since this amount is at the top of the recommended daily allowance. This ingredient accounts for the majority of your energy and motivation in a pre workout.
The Amino Acids (which are basic proteins) are the second most important ingredient in a pre workout. Pre workout supplements provide many different Amino Acids, all with a scientific name and each with a different function. Amino Acids are the building blocks for protein synthesis and building muscle.
One of the most important Amino Acids is Beta Alanine. It is very important for a workout routine because it improves athletic performance, exercise capacity and it builds lean muscle mass. This is the ingredient that sometimes will give you that harmless little head tingle.
Nitric Oxide is key Amino Acid that increases the amount of nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. This may be labeled as Arginine, and then Arginine converts into the Nitric Oxide in a chemical process once in your body.
The other active Amino Acids include Glutamine, Threonine and Citrulline. So if you see any of these unusual words, they are nothing buy healthy proteins to help with muscle synthesis.
Creatine is another very popular Amino Acid in many pre workouts. Creatine is known to improve muscle strength and athletic performance. It is also a key component in muscle recovery. There has been more research on this product than any other when it comes to muscle development science..
Finally, an important part of a pre workout supplement are the nutrients. We use these nutrients much faster when we exercise, so of course our bodies will need even more of these nutrients to recharge our system. These include Sodium, Potassium and B Vitamins. These B Vitamins are usually B6, B12, Niacin and Folic Acid (also B Vitamins).
Non-Active Pre Workout Ingredients
Some of the non-active ingredients in a pre workout can be Malic Acid which is a popular flavoring agent, Citric Acid being a preservative and Sucralose which is probably the most popular and widely used sweetener within nutritional supplements. Sucralose is an artificial zero calorie product that is made from sugar. Most pre workouts will also use basic forms of artificial colors and flavors.
Pre Workout Options
Pre workout blends all have the same goal in common. This is to energize, motivate and strengthen your exercise routine by giving you better performance. However, there are different options available depending on what your preference is. Some are directed more for weight loss, some for the more intense athlete and some healthy pre workout alternatives.
Let’s start with the healthier choices. First there are the All Natural Pre Workouts. These are usually just as potent as the standard ones, except that they do not contain and artificial colors, flavors or sugars. They use different vegetable dyes for color and naturally derived sugar.
Next is are the Organic Pre Workouts. The ingredients in Organic are held to strict USDA standards. Not only are they “All Natural”, but they do not contain any chemicals, man made fertilizers or any synthetic ingredients.
These generally cost a little more because of the purity of the ingredients, but they can be well worth it. Just in case you are following Vegan guidelines, there are plant based Vegan Pre Workouts that are also processed with Organic ingredients.
If you are looking for a more intense, hardcore pre workout, I have a couple of suggestions for you. For these I did a some thorough reviews… Mr Hyde Nitro X Pre Workout, B-Nox Ripped Pre Workout and C4 Pre Workout.
For those that are Caffeine intolerant, they make some great Caffeine Free Pre Workouts. These pre workouts make up for not having Caffeine by bumping up the quantities of other key ingredients.
Lastly, Creatine Free Pre Workouts are available. Creatine (which is a healthy Amino Acid) is found in most pre workouts, but this ingredient doesn’t seem to agree with some. It could cause mild bloating and weight gain, but nothing serious.
We have learned more about the benefits of a pre workout, as well as the key ingredients that they contain. We discussed why people use a pre workout supplement and the way that pre workouts work in the body.
The majority of athletes, gym goers, runners, Cross-fitters, amateur and profession players know these benefits and use a pre workout. The ingredients in pre workouts are scientifically formulated to increase the energy, strength and performance necessary in reaching your goals.
The ingredients formulated for pre workout supplements are meant to be a healthiest and most efficient way to improve your performance in your sport of choice.
Pre workouts also have a variety of options for different ingredients when it comes to our individual preferences. These include: All Natural, Organic, Vegan, Caffeine Free and Creatine Free. Hopefully this information has helped to narrow down some of these options, and perhaps make it easier to find the right one for yourself..
One last important thing to remember is that most nutritional supplements such as pre workouts come with a 30 day satisfaction guarantee. So if a pre workout is somehow not right for you, it can be returned giving you an opportunity to try some other one. I’ve done this several times myself to find the right fit.
If you have any other questions about what’s in a pre workout or about supplements in general, please leave it in the comment box below and I will respond.