You’re always fired up with energy and motivation to hit the gym, right? Not possible – we all have our down days. An intense leg day could leave you feeling sore and tired. Or, your mind could be so tied up with real-life issues, you just can't tap into the focus you need to face weights. We get it.
That’s why pre-workout supplements were initially formulated. The early producers relied on stimulants to increase energy. However, over the past three decades, the focus has shifted to producing high-quality pre-workouts that tick the energy box for users while also improving their performance.
Why should you take a pre-workout supplement? Pre-workouts do more than get you off the couch, they are an essential part of a pre-workout ritual for anyone serious about making gains. The supplements you want to look out for in a formula support energy levels, focus, blood flow, and recovery.
How much of a difference does pre-workout make? When should you have pre-workout? Read on to learn how pre-workouts can improve the quality of your training. Looking at the benefits of pre-workout, we’ve drilled down into five great reasons to add them to your routine.
Strengthen the Connection Between Mind and Muscle
Focus is an essential element of any sport. Our brains play a significant role in the regulation of muscle movement and strength. Our nervous systems drive our muscles – telling them how hard and how much longer they need to be in action. Think of it like this, muscle movement begins in the brain.
Studies back up the notion that you're actually increasing your ability to regulate strength when you hyper-focus on your workout. The stronger the signal coming from your brain to the muscle, the more muscle engagement.
How does this pay off when it comes to the focus-shifting power a pre-workout gives you? If you have a leg up to help you focus on contracting the muscle you're involving, you will undoubtedly get more of a result.
The host of ingredients in a mix – from caffeine to L-Theanine and TeaCrine - are explicitly chosen for their ability to help you get in the zone. They'll also help keep you there longer, prolonging the onset of mental fatigue. So, why should you take pre-workout? We’ve got a few more reasons to cover.
Get Energized When It Matters Most
Having a surge of energy to draw on is handy, no matter what time of day you choose to work out. You can kick your morning meh or afternoon slump and replace it with a rush of energy that makes you feel capable of taking on a high-rep workout.
There are plenty of ways to give your body an energy boost, but the edge of including a stimulant like caffeine in a pre-workout for energy sets it apart. It comes down to timing. When should you have pre-workout? The best time to take your supplement is between 30 and 60 minutes before you start working out.
This gives the caffeine time to work its way into your system. Sure, you'll feel a buzz pretty quickly, but caffeine levels will only start to peak in your bloodstream after 30 minutes. That's precisely when you need it. You're going to miss out on the full benefits if it only really kicks in halfway through your reps.
When you know exactly when the additional power will kick in, you can better plan your training in the long run so you can achieve maximum results.
Get More Out of Your Workout
With better focus and more energy, it’s pretty clear that you're going to perform better during your workout and can really dial in. Great workouts lead to great results. Who wouldn't want to optimize their output and, therefore, their gains with the support of a pre-workout supplement?
We don’t all have to be doing CrossFit to want to perform at the best of our abilities each time we set foot in the gym. Any athlete adding the right pre-workout drink can achieve their fitness goals. If you’re finding your workouts aren’t all they should be, a pre-workout will help you take your progress up a level. From there, the sky’s the limit.
Speed Up Fat Loss
Why should you take pre-workout if you want to cut fat? Many pre-workout drinks contain ingredients that help to speed up fat loss. Caffeine, and the lesser-known organics Yohimbe and Afromomum Melegueta, are all elements that have thermogenic effects, which means they enhance your body's ability to burn calories.
A good way of thinking of it is to understand how thermogenic supplements work. What if your metabolism was a thermostat? The higher you turn it up, the more energy you will use. Need more power, and your body will need to turn to fat reserves to fire up your engine.
Pre-workout drinks contain ingredients that speed up recovery from workouts too. A pump-enhancing ingredient like NooLVL, for example, helps more blood (hence oxygen and nutrients) reach your muscles. Because they cause the veins to dilate, this also impacts how efficiently waste products move out of the muscles.
A flood of the good stuff to your muscles and more efficient removal of waste pays off quickly. It can help you recover more easily and shift the pain once your workout is complete. This will get you into the gym more often so you can continue on your path to crush your fitness goals.
Some pre-workout drinks also contain herbs like ashwagandha that are adaptogenic. These herbs make it easier for your body to handle a challenge (including the positive stress brought on by your workouts) and bounce back from it quickly.
What’s the Right Pre-Workout Drink For You?
There's a ton of pros for adding a pre-workout to your daily workout ritual and many reasons why you should take pre-workout, whatever your goals. But pre-workouts are carefully formulated, drawing on research to match the particular goals of their users. You need to consider carefully why you need a pre-workout and for which reasons.
Here are some quick tips for choosing a pre-workout:
- Interrogate the stimulants and work out which one is right for your energy needs and sensitivities. Caffeine isn't the only option.
- If you’re looking for better pumps or testosterone-boosting, look for extra ingredients designed to offer this nutritional support.
- What suits your lifestyle? A powder you mix to taste or a ready-to-go pre-workout option that you can throw in your bag and drink on the go?
- Check out the small print to learn what testing process has been put in place to ensure the drink is of high quality and doesn't contain ingredients that could cause concern.