Pre-workouts are a popular go-to supplement for athletes and gym-goers. We know them as the answer to helping us make the most of our workout.
But, how long have these dietary supplements been around? How did athletes boost their workouts before we could get these high-tech formulas in convenient scoops of powder?
What Came Before Pre-Workouts?
Before the first forms of supplements designed to take before a workout hit the market in the early 80s, trainers and athletes had been wise to the benefits of caffeine for decades already. Bodybuilders, for example, would commonly consume a couple of strong cups of coffee before their workout. The stimulating effects of the chemical gave them the kick they wanted to push harder and faster to gain muscle mass.
Another long-time workout buddy used in gyms before pre-workouts was niacin, a B Vitamin that creates a pump by temporarily enlarging the blood vessels.
Then in the early 80s, the first pre-workout supplement hit the shelves. It contained caffeine, niacin, and other ingredients to serve up pump, focus, and energy to the bodybuilding community. Many of the elements in it, and different formulas that followed, didn’t pass muster (ephedra proved fatal), or they were found to be too high in caffeine and sugar.
To put it simply, early pre-workout supplements were an epic fail. But the concept of pre-workout as a formula designed to boost energy and endurance was here and here to stay.
Soon after, creatine came into the mix. Athletes had been using it experimentally for decades. In the early 90s, it came onto the scene as an option for bodybuilders to feed their muscles before a workout.
The race to bring new compounds combining caffeine, niacin, creatine, and other ingredients to the mark ramped up over the next 20 years.
Pre-Workouts: a Formula For Success
The clumsy early days of pre-workout use made way for quality formulations based on research. These studies also highlighted the dangers of certain ingredients in many of those formulas. DMMA, which was shown to elevate blood pressure, was soon added to the United States Anti-Doping Agency list.
These days, it's pretty easy to spot a quality pre-workout supplement by glancing at its label. It will carry an Informed-Choice Certified certification meaning it has been independently tested for safety.
For modern-day muscle lovers who want to power up a workout, there's also plenty of solid science now backing up pre-workout's benefits and safety. Thankfully, we've come a long way since the eighties.
But to get the most out of your pre-workout, there are some 'best practice' guidelines to follow. Let's deep dive into them.
The Amount of Caffeine Counts
You'll need to do some label gazing before you buy a product if you want to make sure you're investing in one that'll give you the results you want. Caffeine is the most popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements, favored for its energy and focus-boosting properties.
However, you can have too much of a good thing, and you can experience side effects of caffeine.
While it’s considered safe to consume 400 milligrams (0.014 ounces) of caffeine a day, at these levels, you could feel side effects like jitters, nausea, anxiety, headaches, and a racing heart. You only need half of this quantity to reap the performance-enhancing benefits of the stimulant. Overdoing it can also hamper your ability to focus, wiping out another of the significant benefits of caffeine if taken in the correct dose.
Take it at the Right Time
Taking it at the wrong time is just one of the pre-workout blunders you can make before starting your session. So how do you get the timing right, and how long before a workout is it safe to take a pre-workout?
It's safe to take one at any time of the day and at any time before you start working out. However, if your timing is off, you won't make the most of the beneficial window that a pre-workout gives you.
If you take it 15 minutes before you pick up your first weight, you'll start to feel the buzzy effect of the stimulant. But it takes at least 30 minutes for caffeine levels to peak in your body. To make the most of your workout, down that supplement at least half an hour before you get your sweat on.
Get it right, and you'll enjoy the energy and focus that'll get you on the path to achieving your strength, swole, and fitness goals.
Pick the Right Product for Your Goals
Choosing a pre-workout that is science-backed and safe is a no-brainer. But choosing one that delivers the kind of results you're looking for isn't always so easy. There's a lot on the shelves, and matching a product up to your particular goals can be overwhelming.
Luckily, we’re breaking down a few of our top picks to get you started:
THE WINNING FORMULA
HYDE Pre Workout is the go-to pre-workout if you're serious about crushing your training sessions. It is designed for high-intensity performance athletes who are training daily. If you're looking for a pre-workout to help crush your goals, start right here. Energy, pumps, and focus are just a scoop away.
THE STIMULANT-FREE OPTION
ProSupps HYDE Max Pump is a stimulant and is also caffeine-free. If you're concerned you will experience side effects of caffeine when taking a pre-workout supplement, but still want to get more pump than you thought possible, this is for you.
The kingmakers here are L-Citrulline and Arginine Nitrate for increased blood flow and therefore oxygen uptake and maximum muscle pump. Also, with creatine and Beta-Alanine, it's a full-house pre-workout; it's just stimulant-free.
IF YOU WANT MUSCLE AND CUT
Are you looking to double the benefits of pre-workout during your workouts? HYDE Thermo is a pre-workout combo solution if you want pre-workout benefits and achieve fat loss. The ingredients allow for a muscle-building and fat-burning workout all in one.
Get The Best Workout of Your Life Today
If you’ve been on the fence about trying pre-workout, hop on over. There’s a quality formulation to match your exact goals that you can buy today.
Now that you're clued up on how to get the most out of a pre-workout, you can pick your pre-workout partner from our wide range of supplements from ProSupps. You’re on the path to making your next workout the best workout of your life.