In this post, we will be discussing what a pre workout is, the different ways that pre workout supplements are used, the products contained in pre workouts, and how to take pre workout supplements. Keep in mind that we are all designed differently, have different goals in mind and don’t all process supplements the same. That being said, different products will affect each of us differently.
We will of course, answer the question what is pre workout for. Hopefully you will have enough information to help you make an educated choice on whether or not you should be taking pre workout supplements.
What is a pre workout actually used for
Pre workout is a supplement that boosts your workout performance, It is usually in powder form to be mixed with water but can be sold as a liquid or even in a capsule.
Pre workout supplements are generally used by athletes, from bodybuilders and weightlifters to gymnasts and runners. Even a college student cramming for an exam would benefit. Basically a pre workout gives you energy for anything you are doing physically.
So pre workout can benefit you when taken before any athletic event, class or workout. Depending on the person, the effects take anywhere for 15 to 30 minutes and can last a couple of hours. On gym days I usually take it right before I leave the house, and by the time I get to the gym I am ready to go.
Pre workout can be used at any age. However, I high recommend it more as you get older. Sometimes we just don’t have the same kick that we use to when we were young. With age, we have to work out harder just to make “less” gains since our bodies metabolize differently. At same time, we need it more to help battle the effects of aging and try to stay healthy.
How to take your pre workout
If you have never taken a pre workout supplement before, please take my caution. Start out slow, less that the serving size at first. These powders are very strong and your body and your brain is not used to the ingredients. If you take the full amount or more the first time, there is a very good chance that you could get a headache. One of those brain freeze type headaches that can last awhile.
Take your pre workout 15 to 30 minutes before you need it. You will eventually know exactly how long it takes to “kick” in. In time, you will also be able to adjust the amount that is necessary to get the energy that you require for your activity. One of my favorite high powered Pre Workouts is Mr Hyde, pictured to your right.
You can reach a limit to were you don’t get any better results by taking more. It is definitely not recommended to do this. After time, you can also build up a resistance to your pre workout. If this happens, the best thing to do is to take a break for a while or change brands.
At 180lbs, my optimal serving is about 1 1/2 scoops or 1 1/2 servings. If you are a big guy, you may be at 2 scoops. If you are a small framed female, it may be 3/4 scoops. Once again, don’t take too much. It can be unhealthy and you will build up your tolerance quicker.
Pre workout benefits
- Improves time to failure and work capacity by giving you increased amounts of energy
- Draws fluid to muscles making them have a greater appearance.
- Boosts adrenaline helping breakdown fat cells.
- Enhances physical performance.
- Enhances the blood flow and helps muscles have a quicker recovery.
- Increased Oxygen to you muscles giving you a better pump and more strengh
Boost power for a longer and harder workout.
- Improves focus and attention.
- Uses energy to burn fat rather than carbohydrates.
What is in pre workout supplements
The key ingredient to most pre workout supplements is caffeine. This provides most of the boost for your energy and endurance. This ingredient is found in your pre workout anywhere between 100mg per serving and 500mg per serving.
It is important that you get the correct amount for your body. There should be enough to provide you with the energy to power through your workout, but not so much that it keeps you up at night. Keep in mind that your body does become resistant to the amount you are taking and you will eventually need a little more to keep the same effect, especially if you are trying to maintain a high amount.
The next ingredient that most feel is very important is Nitric Oxide. This increases blood flow to your muscles which helps with your muscle pump and endurance. Nitric Oxide will cause you to look more “vascular” because of the added blood flow that will make your veins look more pronounced. Many times Nitric Oxide is the ingredients that will give you a little head tingle. This invigorating affect can be very motivating for some, but if you are uncomfortable with it don’t worry because the feeling will not last long.
Most pre workout supplements also contain Creatine. Creatine helps your muscles to produce energy during heavy lifting. It also helps with muscle gain and strength enhancement. Many athletes also take Creatine supplement in addition afterwards for post workout recovery. One side effect is that Creatine can create weight gain because one of the processes that makes it work, can retain water. So use this in moderation.
Pre workout supplements contain many different Amino Acids. Amino Acids are protein building blocks that help the body manufacture protein. One of the main Amino Acids found in pre workout supplements is L-Arginine which also helps in muscle recovery.
L-Tyrosine is another Amino Acid sometimes found in pre workout supplements. L-Tyrosine can mentally stimulate your brain by increasing dopamine and adrenaline. There are two many Aminos to talk about in this post since there are so many different processes going on in your body.
BCAA’s are sometimes found in pre workout supplements. These are a group of 3 Amino Acid chains. These BCAA’s increase muscle growth, decrease muscle soreness, and reduce fatigue. Many serious lifters will drink BCAA’s by itself during their workouts.
A last key ingredient that can be found is Beta-Alanine. This is used to help remove lactic acid build up. Lactic acid is a by product from that comes from using your muscles while exercising. By removing this, it increases your athletic performance.
Here is a post getting into detail on C4 Pre Workout Ingredients.
Are you ready to get energized!
Hope this helps you in getting ready to enter the pre workout world successfully and that this will streamline you on this venture. You may need to try several brand to find the one that’s just right for you. You don’t want one that keeps you up all night. Fortunately, Most Companies have a 30-day Policy, so you will be able to return anything that doesn’t work for you even if you have used it.
The pre workout supplement that you choose should energize and motivate you to go harder in your sport of choice. If you’re into weightlifting like me, it will help you get a stronger, longer workout.
If you are more into endurance, cardio based athletics, check out my post on Pre Workout for Cardio.
My pre workout pushes me from a 30 minute workout to sometimes 1 1/2 hours. Remember not to take the full amount on your first time and never take more that you need.
If you have any questions or need any further information on pre workout supplements, please leave me a comment. I will respond as soon as possible.