Keeping fit is essential to both mental and physical health; this requires engaging in various forms of exercise, games, and sports. Accomplishing this demands a high level of energy which fatigue and tiredness may not permit you to achieve. There are, however, substances made to boost your performance and aid muscle recovery.
Pre-workout supplements are designed to give you strength and to keep you energized when you work out. It can be in powder or pill form and should be taken some minutes before working out to enable you to ease the fatigue. This way you can exercise for longer hours and achieve better results. There are several other advantages which can be obtained from using them.
Caffeine which is a key ingredient has numerous benefits such as ensuring you stay balanced, focused and increases your general performance. Excess consumption, however, could have possible side-effects such as an increase in blood pressure, insomnia, and irregular heartbeat amongst others. It is vital to be aware of this and prepare your mind and body adequately.
Natural Pre-Workout Supplements
Most times, some persons prefer to settle for natural supplements due to the several side effects encountered when taking the artificial ones. They often contain too much caffeine, artificial sweeteners, and other ingredients that may be offensive to their nervous system. The following natural options are totally safe and healthy.
A cup of coffee is sure to keep you fully energized for your routine. This is an ideal substitute since it contains caffeine which is a primary ingredient; it is also free of addictive and extra ingredients found in other supplements. It is equally known to improve athletic performance.
Lack of electrolytes in the body is capable of causing nausea, fatigue, muscle cramps, headaches, and stiffness. Coconut water however is filled with electrolytes and can help replenish lost nutrients even better than energy drinks. It is equally a healthier choice as it contains fewer calories.
Highly rich in magnesium and potassium, this fruit which is abundant in carbohydrates will fuel your muscles for whatever challenging exercise you engage in and ensure your electrolyte levels remain topped up. The glucose and fructose found in them are perfect for increasing athletic performance.
Compared to other whole grains, this carbohydrate is easier to digest and provides thiamin which contains a B vitamin that reduces tiredness and boosts energy production.
Ingredients Found in Pre-Workout Supplements
There are many ingredients used in making a pre-workout to help ease fatigue and boost performance, but there are certain key components that must always be used. Ensure you look out for these ingredients before making a purchase. Below are some of them and the function they serve.
Most supplements contain up to 300mg of caffeine in each serving which is the same as three cups of coffee. Although it has its benefits such as keeping you focused and improving your performance, too much of it can be very detrimental to your health causing you headaches, stomach aches, and anxiety. It should therefore be taken in smaller amounts or you can opt for natural boosters like coffee or bananas. For more information about caffeine, you can check here: https://uhs.umich.edu/caffeine.
This gives you strength when done together with exercise. Although it is safe, some major side effects that may be experienced are water retention, weight gain, digestive issues, and bloating. However, it replenishes your body nutrients allowing your muscles to contract while increasing your lean body mass levels.
This stabilizes the body against acid buildup and reduces fatigue during intense work out such as cycling, repeated sprints, and running thereby preventing muscle burn. Excessive dosage can cause a stomach upset. It is not ideal for salt-sensitive persons.
This reduces injury and soreness to the muscles after working out while improving muscle growth. Branched-chain amino acids also increase lean body mass. It decreases physical and mental fatigue while boosting endurance.
This boosts the flow of blood to body tissues thereby supplying your muscles with the nutrients and energy needed to function well. It equally increases performance and reduces soreness in the muscle. It is very safe and has no side effects.
This boosts recovery in athletes, aids you in carrying out high-intensity routines, reduces fatigue, and stabilizes your muscles during a demanding workout. When consumed in large doses it often results in itching in the legs, arms, and face.
This is found in vegetables like beetroot, spinach, turnips and when converted to nitric oxide increases blood flow. It boosts performance during exercise by reducing the oxygen required. This makes it ideal for cycling and running.
C4 Pre-Workout Benefits
During workout, energy levels are easily depleted; the supplement helps you achieve your goals by replenishing lost strength and increasing your performance. Some other benefits are:
Prevent Early Fatigue
When you exercise, you easily get tired and become exhausted but the right nutrients contained in the pre-workout nutrition, ensures your energy levels are high and enables you to function optimally.
These supplements contain ingredients that increase the performance of the body. This prevents quick exhaustion and makes one active during the entire workout session. It also contains various nutrients that aid the growth and maintenance of the muscle.
Increase Energy Level
The low energy level can lower morale and leave one unmotivated. The caffeine content however fires you up eliminating tiredness and fatigue. With boosted energy, you are able to work out with enthusiasm and vigor resulting in improved muscle growth.
Boosts Athletic Performance
The pre-workout supplement enables you to train longer, harder, and faster than usual. This means achieving more results by burning more calories and gaining extra muscle mass. This way you are able to easily achieve your fitness goals.
Better Focus and Concentration
The perks of exercising are not only physical but also mental. This means that a good session leaves you with a clearer mind and better focus, you are able to go through the rest of your day with the utmost concentration and motivation.
One might be left with fatigue and muscle soreness after a hard workout. Although it is fulfilling, this also means a longer recovery time but certain ingredients such as creatine and beta-alanine hasten the healing process. This way you are able to achieve more efficient workouts and recover quickly every time.
Decrease Protein Breakdown
Supplements contain BCAAs which are the building blocks of protein. Maintaining high levels of protein prevents the muscles from being used as energy but rather saturates it.
Exercise has several health benefits and you can find some of them here.
Side-Effects of Pre-Workout Supplements
Although regular consumption is relatively safe, it is however risky since some brands contain large quantities of caffeine and some persons cannot withstand it. Some of the dangers associated with its consumption are:
When taken over time, the body becomes immune to the effects of the supplements. It should be taken cautiously and for sessions that are more challenging. Giving your body some time to reset by going off the supplement will prevent your system from building tolerance.
For persons who do late-night workouts, it is not advisable to take a workout supplement before training despite wanting to boost your performance as it might keep you awake all through the night. Carefully examine the ingredients also to determine the time frame to take it. The effects of caffeine for example do not wear out until 3-5 hours. So, taking it after 6 pm is likely to affect your sleep. Metabolism differs so if yours is really slow it would be better to reduce the serving or avoid taking it entirely.
This is often common with certain supplements and there are several reasons why this occurs. The first could be as a result of the components in the substance and secondly, how sensitive one’s body is. Ingredients such as taurine, creatine, caffeine, magnesium, sodium bicarbonate, and arginine in high dosage can also cause diarrhea. Diarrhea often arises as a result of inadequate use of water when mixing the paste. Drink enough water during the exercise as well.
Water is lost during exercise and certain components also draw water from the body, excreting it through other means thereby causing dehydration. In such instances, consume enough water during the day so as to replenish lost fluid. Dehydration can also occur due to the number of supplements taken into the body and the intensity of the exercise. Poor hydration can also lead to headaches, in such a situation, avoid taking the substance if it contains vasodilators. You can also reduce the serving to see if changes may occur.
Some of the ingredients such as magnesium, caffeine, creatine, and sodium bicarbonate are responsible for causing digestion issues. Ensure you choose one that doesn’t give this challenge.
High Blood pressure
Naturally, stimulants heighten blood pressure due to the caffeine present. High-intensity exercises are also capable of elevating blood pressure. Although some persons might return to normal, some others might experience an increase in that period. This would require you to discuss with your doctor or completely avoid the supplements altogether.
Prickly or tingly sensation all over the body is one common effect experienced. Some persons are more sensitive to some ingredients such as beta-alanine and niacin. Some supplements have a higher dose of this ingredient and it causes itching. This feeling is completely harmless, it is simply caused by a reaction in the system and will subside after a while.
Pre-Workout supplements should not be taken regularly as the body can become resistant to its effects. The body should also be given a break from the supplement from time to time. It can be taken 20 minutes before a session for short training or an hour before for longer training.
However, check the label for instructions and always consult your doctor before consuming any especially if you have certain health conditions. Finally, avoid taking them during evening exercise so as not to interfere with your sleep and ensure you stay hydrated always.