What do you do when it's time to hit the gym? Do you sigh, heave yourself off of the couch or out of your desk chair and drag yourself there, all while giving yourself a pep talk about how you'll feel better once you get this workout over with?
It's great that you're getting yourself to the gym, but chances are you'd see better results from your workouts if you had a more uplifting pre-workout ritual, perhaps one that included a pre-workout drink made with ingredients meant to increase your energy and improve your performance.
Read on to learn six of the greatest reasons why you ought to include a pre-workout drink in your pre-workout routine. You'll also learn how to choose the right pre-workout drink for your needs.
The Importance of a Pre-Workout Ritual
Pretty much everyone has some kind of pre-workout ritual that they go through before they start lifting or doing their workout of choice. Whether your ritual looks like the one described above and involves a lot of cajoling, or if it is carefully crafted and involves a lot of stretching and warm-up sets, chances are you're doing something before you start training.
Your pre-workout ritual can actually play a big role in determining the quality of your workout. If you go through the routine half-heartedly or aren't using the right products to get in the zone, it's likely that your session will be a bit lackluster.
Here are some specific reasons why your pre-workout ritual is so important:
Increased Mental Readiness
A pre-workout ritual helps you to prepare your body for what it's about to go through, but it also helps you to prepare your mind.
When you go through this routine, you have a chance to shift your mindset and start focusing on yourself and your training, rather than whatever you were doing before you got to the gym. This helps to strengthen your mind-muscle connection and allows to be more engaged (both physically and mentally) when you begin your workout.
Reduced Injury Risk
There's a safety component to a good pre-workout ritual, too. When you take the time to get your mind and body ready to go, you're less likely to hurt yourself. This is especially true when you start lifting heavier weights and doing exercises that require your full concentration and involve a highly specific combination of movements.
Reasons to Include a Pre-Workout Drink in Your Pre-Workout Ritual
Okay, you're convinced that having some kind of planned-out ritual is a good idea if you want to stay safe and get the most out of your workouts. You might still be on the fence about adding in a pre-workout drink, though.
These drinks have a lot to offer, especially if you're using a high-quality product. Here are some of the most noteworthy benefits you can enjoy when you starting incorporating pre-workout drinks into your routine:
1. Increased Energy
Perhaps the best reason to use a pre-workout drink during your pre-workout ritual is the fact that it can give you more energy.
It doesn't matter if you workout in the early morning, the afternoon, or in the evening after work. We all have days when we could use a little more energy before we start sprinting or picking up heavy things and putting them back down again. This is where a pre-workout drink comes in handy.
Your pre-workout drink, whether it contains stimulants or not, can help you to perk up and feel more energized. It gets your blood flowing and sends a signal to your body that it's time to get to work.
2. Improved Focus
In addition to increasing your energy, a pre-workout drink can also make it easier for you to focus during your workout.
With the help of ingredients like caffeine, as well as blood flow-boosting compounds like beta-alanine and NooLVL, you can get in the zone and feel prepared for whatever your coach is throwing at you.
This increased focus helps to keep you safe, especially when the weights start increasing. It allows you to connect better to the muscles you're working, too, so you really feel the burn during every session.
3. Better Performance
When you're energized and focused, there's a good chance that you're going to perform better during your workout. It doesn't matter if you're sprinting or getting ready to set an Olympic lifting PR.
No matter what your workout of choice is, everyone wants to perform to the best of their abilities every time they set foot in the gym. The right pre-workout drink, coupled with a great pre-workout ritual and solid programming, can help you get there.
4. Stimulant-Free Options
Some people are wary of taking a pre-workout drink because they worry that it'll give them too much energy. These people might be sensitive to caffeine and other stimulants, or they might work out late in the evening and have concerns about being able to fall asleep at night once their training session is complete.
The good news is that you don't have to consume caffeine to experience the benefits of a pre-workout drink. There are lots of stimulant-free products on the market that help to boost your energy without giving you any anxiety or jitters or making it difficult for you to fall asleep.
5. Increased Fat Loss
Many pre-workout drinks (both stimulant-containing and stimulant-free varieties) contain ingredients that help to speed up fat loss.
From caffeine and Yohimbe to Afromomum Melegueta, there are lots of ingredients out there that have thermogenic effects and can boost your metabolism. They're not magic pills, but they will enhance your body's ability to burn calories and make it a little easier for you to lose weight if that's your primary goal.
6. Improved Recovery
Pre-workout drinks often contain ingredients that can help you recover faster from your workouts, too.
This includes things pump-enhancing ingredients like NooLVL. These ingredients bring blood and oxygen into the muscles to flood them with nutrients. They also move waste products out of the muscles in a more efficient way so that you can recover more easily and feel less sore once your workout is complete. This allows you to get into the gym more often and continue crushing your fitness goals.
Lots of pre-workout drinks also contain adaptogenic herbs like ashwagandha. These herbs make it easier for your body to handle stress (including the positive stress brought on by your workouts) and bounce back from it quickly.
Choosing the Right Pre-Workout Drink
Clearly, there's a lot to be gained from including a pre-workout drink in your pre-workout ritual. Remember, though, that not all pre-workout drinks are created equal. The following are some guidelines to consider when deciding which pre-workout drink you're going to use:
- Learn about the ingredients and find out what the manufacturer uses to boost your energy (caffeine, beta-alanine, Yohimbe, citrulline, etc.)
- Find out if it contains additional ingredients to provide other benefits (better pumps, testosterone-boosting, etc.)
- Decide if you want a powdered drink that you mix yourself or a ready-to-go option that you can toss in your bag and drink anywhere
- Decide if you want a stimulant-containing pre-workout drink or a stimulant-free option
- Learn about the manufacturer's testing process to ensure the drink is of high quality and doesn't contain any questionable ingredients
Following these guidelines will help you choose the best pre-workout drink and minimize your chances of experiencing any negative side effects.
Making Your Pre-Workout Drink Work for You
It's not enough just to have the right pre-workout drink in your ritual. You also need to consume it in the proper way. These tips will help you maximize the benefits you see from your pre-workout drink:
- Time it right and drink it about 20-30 minutes prior to your workout; this gives it time to take effect before you pick up your weights or begin your first set of exercises
- Read the label carefully and measure out a serving; this will save you from accidentally taking in more than you'd planned
- Start slow and work your way up to larger servings, especially if you're drinking a pre-workout drink that contains a lot of caffeine; this helps you avoid experiencing negative effects
Remember these tips and you'll be more likely to enjoy the advantages of making a pre-workout drink part of your pre-workout routine.
Fine-Tune Your Pre-Workout Ritual Today
Even if you've never realized it before, it's likely that you have some kind of pre-workout ritual that helps you get ready to crush it in the gym and get the most out of your training session. If a pre-workout drink isn't part of that ritual, though, you're probably not getting as much out of each trip to the gym as could be.
Keep these benefits of a pre-workout drink in mind so you can maximize your lifts and push yourself to the limit. Don't forget to check out our line of high-quality pre-workout drinks as well. Whether you prefer a powdered drink or something that's easy to grab and drink on the go, we've got lots of options for you.