7 Benefits of Pre-workout Supplements

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Almost all bodybuilders and regular gym-goers use supplements to boost their performance in the gym.
Dietary Supplements
Pre-workout supplements are taken sometime before you go to the gym and are meant to prepare your body for the strenuous workout ahead. These supplements come with lots of benefits. Here are the seven most important ones.

1) Increased Energy for Workouts

One of the key reasons that people take pre-workout supplements is for the energy boost. The supplements are made of ingredients that supply the body with energy, usually caffeine and arginine. These ingredients stimulate you and cause a spike in your energy levels so that you can work harder in the gym.

The benefits of caffeine are not just imaginary, as demonstrated by this study. In this particular research, some bodybuilders were offered caffeine while a different group got a placebo product. Members of the group with the real caffeine supplement were more capable of lifting heavier weights and had a higher capacity to work hard compared to members of the placebo group.

It is important to note that the supplement will not give you the energy to work out if you are not already motivated to go to the gym. If you haven’t built up enough motivation, you will need to tackle that part first before looking for supplements to give you a boost of energy.

2) Weight Loss

Ingredients used to manufacture pre-workout supplements also help to increase metabolism in the body. These products help to improve the Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), which is simply the number of calories the body burns when you are at rest. The boost in BMR is not negligible; it can increase by up to 11 percent.

Products with higher concentrations of caffeine will offer a more significant boost in the basal metabolic rate.

Caffeine stimulates the body by increasing the blood levels of the hormone Epinephrine or Adrenaline. This hormone travels through the bloodstream and to the fat tissues and stimulates their breaking down. The free fatty acids are then released into the blood.

Pre-workout supplements have a more significant effect on the burning of fat in younger people. Also, if you are obese, they will have a lesser impact on your overall body weight. It is inadvisable to use these products continually since your body will eventually develop tolerance. At this point, the effects on your BMR will diminish significantly.

3) Improved Concentration and Focus

Pre-workout supplements also help to program your mind for hard work. This is very important since working out takes a lot of mental toughness and concentration. Otherwise, you are likely to give up and quit. These products also help to improve your mood post-workout. If you exercise without pre-workout supplements, you are likely to feel drained after the session. The caffeine in the pre-workout supplements helps to keep you alert through the training.

4) Improved Performance in the Gym

The main purpose of pre-workout supplements is to help enhance your performance in the gym. Ingredients that help to improve your workout experience include caffeine, carbohydrates, and creatine monohydrate.

Carbohydrates are known to provide energy for workouts since they are the body’s primary source of energy. In some cases, swishing carbs in the mouth before exercise even helps to increase your energy levels as you get to the gym. If possible, you can take carbohydrates every hour during endurance workouts.

Caffeine helps to spike your energy levels and increase your alertness. This ingredient burns fat in the body and releases the fatty acids into the bloodstream. This provides the body with an extra source of energy. For this reason, you will be able to work out for longer without feeling fatigued.

Creatine monohydrate also plays a vital role in the quality of your workouts. In the human body, this element exists as creatine and phosphocreatine or PC. The latter serves as a storehouse for high energy phosphate. Creatine is important in the phosphagen energy system in the human body. This is the primary source of ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is a vital source of energy in the body.

Phosphocreatine or PC also transfers a phosphate group to the ADP, and this helps to replenish ATP in the body. Without creatine in the system, the muscles may shut down, and it can be tough to engage in strenuous activities in the gym.

5) Faster Recovery Times

Pre-workout supplements are taken before you start your exercises. However, they help you recover much faster after the workout. This is especially important for those who believe in working out till failure. Such people will often have to deal with severe cases of muscle soreness later, and a quicker recovery can help them get through the day smoothly.

Pre-workout supplements increase your glucose and insulin levels after workouts, and this helps you recover much faster. They also help to reduce muscle soreness after strenuous exercises.

6) Improved Cardiovascular Performance

Manufacturers of pre-workout formulas also include beetroot juice in their products. Beetroot juice helps to improve the body’s cardiovascular performance by increasing the levels of nitric oxide. This ingredient also serves as a natural vasodilator, meaning it will increase the size of your blood vessels. This will increase the flow of blood and decrease the amount of work the heart has to do during workouts.

Bodybuilders will also appreciate the pumped-up look they get when their blood vessels dilate.

7) Improved Endurance

Certain ingredients are included in pre-workout supplements to increase endurance. One notable component is beta-alanine, a non-essential amino acid. This particular ingredient helps to combat fatigue, reduce lactic acid formation, and improve sprint performance.
Ideally, you should go for a product that also has L Histidine, which is another non-essential amino acid. These two ingredients work best to form another element known as dipeptide carnosine. This amino acid is highly effective at reducing the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles. In this way, users will be able to work out for extended periods without feeling exhausted.

Recommendations

Pre-workout formulas come with many benefits, and they have been covered extensively in the article. It is important to note that these supplements should not be overused as they can cause unwanted consequences. One of these risks is the fact that their positive effects will diminish as your body adapts. As the body adapts to caffeine, you will be forced to increase your dosage to experience the same benefits.

You should limit your usage of pre-workout supplements to only a few times a week and try taking a week off every month. This way you won’t become reliant on them and you can stay at the same dosage level without having the effects diminish over time.
It should be noted that these supplements are meant to cause a short-term spike in energy levels. You will find your energy returning to normal after a few hours, this can feel like a crash and can cause drowsiness in some cases.

That being said, pre-workout supplements are generally safe and will help you reach your bodybuilding goals. They can be an effective part of your workout routine.

References:

  1. https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1700&context=ijesab
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8964766
  3. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042570/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5295087/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20479615

This article is for educative purposes only and not to be substituted for professional medical advice.