Pre-workout is an “ergogenic aid” aka performance enhancing supplement. Pre-workout plays a major role in today’s society, most fitness enthusiasts use this supplement in almost every workout.
So what’s the big fuss about pre-workout? For those of you that don’t know, as stated before, it is a performance enhancer, it allows the user to boost their performance in anaerobic or aerobic activities such as running, cycling, weightlifting or a mixture of both.
Pre-workout has been scientifically proven to have many benefits that range from physical, mental and even emotionally, hence the popularity and frequent use of them.
More On Pre-Workouts
When taking pre-workouts, they can support one of the following or all of the above:
- Lean Muscle Mass
The majority of pre-workouts are used for stimulation of energy production to allow the user to perform at the capacity of a Super Saiyan. This is usually due to the caffeine or natural energy compounds that supplement companies put in their products. Unfortunately, there are people out there that are allergic or sensitive to stimulants and if that’s you, then you’re probably better off going for a stimulant free pre-workout.
If you don’t know which is which, just flip the product around and look at the nutrition panel.
Building Blocks of Pre-Workouts
Caffeine – A commonly known natural stimulant that has been used by humans since the pre-historic ages. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, it can be found in coffee, black and green tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, etc. As the millennium rolls through, caffeine is becoming a more common indulgence in the 21st century, with almost every human being having a cup of coffee as a morning or afternoon boost to keep them on track with day-to-day work, but did you know it can also help you speed through your workout like Usain Bolt!
Creatine – Creatine is a combination of three different amino acids: glycine, arginine, and methionine. Creatine supplementation boosts the natural creatine stores in your body. Your muscle tissue stores creatine as phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine synthesizes during high-intensity exercises, such as lifting weights, to provide your muscles with extra energy. Creatine also pulls water into your muscle cells, increasing protein synthesis.
Beta Alanine - Beta-alanine or 3-amino propionic acid is a naturally-occurring beta-amino acid and a component of the histidine dipeptides carnosine and anserine, as well as vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid. Beta-Alanine has an indirect effect on our bodies, this kind of effect is known as a “rate limiting precursor”, in other words, it’s used within a chemical reaction to produce carnosine which does have a direct effect on our bodies, furthermore, the strength of the effects carnosine has on our bodies depends on the availability of beta-alanine in our system. Beta Alanine is a chemical compound that buffers the build-up of lactic acid and rectifies your pH levels so you aren’t so acidic. People who are new to this compound will experience a tingling sensation upon consumption.
Nitric Oxide Booster – Nitric oxide is a gas-molecule that our body produces to help its 50 trillion cells communicate with each other by transmitting signals throughout the entire body. Nitric Oxide occurs when performing aerobic or anaerobic activities (accelerated heart rate). It allows our body to expand the amount of airflow cycling through our lungs to counteract your body overheating. That being said, Nitric Oxide Boost is essentially what the name has given it, a boost to kick-start the process. Nitric Oxide Boost uses the amino acid arginine alpha-ketoglutarate to essentially boost the levels of nitric oxide in our blood which in turn increases muscle growth, strength, and performance.
Amino Acids – Amino Acids may or may not be included in the pre-workout you buy down the track, but for the ones they are in, they produce many benefits such as increased energy levels, muscle mass, mental focus and reduce fatigue and muscle cell breakdown by promoting protein synthesis. More can be read up about amino acids on our article explaining what they are.
Physical Advantages of Pre-Workout
Taking pre-workout is like eating the forbidden fruit, it’s almost sacred… No, but on a serious note, the physical advantages of pre-workout are almost endless. They offer a variety of benefits depending on the ingredients and the intensity of their dosage size. They can turn you from a normal guy or gal just getting by in the gym, barely reaching the end of the workout, to the incredible hulk lifting deadlift PRs on every set. You’ll be unstoppable. Below are a few of the many physical advantages pre-workout provides:
- Increases focus
- Promotes ATP production
- Reduces fatigue
- Enhances muscle recovery and muscle energy
- Bigger pumps
- Stimulates more lean muscle mass
- Burns fat
- Prevents premature fatigue
- Improves brain function
- Reduces protein breakdown
- Regulates growth hormones
As I said, the benefits are almost endless, if you’ve never taken pre-workout before, then you are missing out!
Mental Advantages of Pre-Workout
Pre-Workout doesn’t just end with physical advantages; it also helps mentally! Who would have guessed…
When exercising day in and day out, it can become pretty repetitive, the grind of getting in shape is just so grueling to most. You lose motivation, feel mentally fatigued, struggle to get yourself out of that comfy bed. Fortunately, pre-workout isn’t just a performance-enhancing supplement, it’s a mental aid as well. Helping you to break that barrier and pump some iron! Here is a list of a few of the benefits it can provide to help with motivation, stress or even fatigue:
- Increased mental focus
- Helps with motivation
- Reduces stress levels (cortisol)
- Promotes the will to not give up!
- More energy after a workout
- Heightened moods
- Increased nitric oxide for brain functioning (resilience)
Pre-Workout provides more benefits than just the physical, as explained above, it also helps with the burden of day-to-day life!
So that’s it! Now you know what pre-workout is, you know the basic compounds, and how they co-exist together. Not to mention, the advantages pre-workout gives you on a daily basis.
If you were a bit worried about pre-workout affecting your particular health circumstance, consult with your doctor before purchasing.