Using Pre-Workouts Before a Workout Session
Many people nowadays swear by their pre-workouts, and for good reason. Pre-workout supplements can help boost your performance during your workouts to make sure you get the most out of every set and reach your fitness goals.
The benefits of pre-workouts are backed by science, as researchers are continuously discovering new ways for gym enthusiasts to optimize their workouts.
Despite the research behind these supplements, however, there is still some doubt in the industry about whether pre-workouts can deliver on their promises. If you're still on the fence about trying them yourself, read on for everything you need to know about pre-workout supplements.
What Are the Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements?
Put simply, pre-workout supplements help you get in the zone before and during your workout to maximize your productivity and results. They give you a boost of energy so that you don’t tire as easily and enable you to do more than you would normally be able to. For those days when you just don't feel motivated to hit the gym, pre-workout supplements can be especially helpful.
Here is a further breakdown of the benefits that pre-workouts can help provide:
- Increase strength for weightlifting
- Improve endurance
- Decrease muscle breakdown so that you get the most out of your weight-lifting routine
- Increase protein synthesis for those looking to build mass
- Improve energy and focus to maximize productivity during your sessions
- Improve nutrient delivery and assimilation so that your body can better fuel and repair itself
- Increase metabolic rate to help with fat burning
- Create an optimal hormonal environment and enabling a more effective fitness regime
What Type of Pre-Workout Supplements Should You Take?
Just as there are different types of routines for different fitness goals, different pre-workout supplements also focus on building up different areas. So, in order to utilize pre-workout supplements as effectively as possible, you’ll first need to determine what your fitness goals are. From there, you can select specific pre-workout supplements based on the ingredients that will help you achieve the results you're looking for.
Strength and Power
If your primary goal is to lift heavier weights, keep an eye out for the following ingredients:
If you're into weightlifting, chances are you've already heard of creatine. Creatine is widely consumed because it helps maximize strength and enhance performance during a workout.
During strenuous activities like lifting heavy weights, your muscles need Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) to maintain muscle contraction, but the body naturally only has enough to withstand a few seconds. In order to create more ATP, your body has to break down phosphocreatine for more energy, which is where the supplement comes in.
Consuming additional creatine enables the body to generate more ATP and gives you a boost of strength to allow you to get in a few more reps or lift heavier weights. Ideally, you should take up to five grams of creatine about 30 minutes before your gym session. A pre-workout like Mr. HYDE Signature will provide the creatine boost you need to help you reach your strength and power goals.
While taurine hasn’t been as well-studied as creatine, research has shown a correlation between taurine levels and muscle performance. A drop in taurine levels has been linked to weakened muscle contractions, which reduces performance when lifting weights. Getting some additional taurine in may therefore help increase strength by maintaining muscle contractions during strength training.
If you're looking to primarily build muscle mass, your pre-workout can help support your muscles while you exercise and speed up recovery. Look for the following ingredients in particular:
Taking BCAAs before your workout can minimize muscle tissue degeneration or breakdown, since BCAAs are metabolized in your muscle tissue and can be quickly broken down to be used for an additional surge of energy when the body requires it. Boosting your body with BCAAs before an intense workout helps ensure optimal performance as your body will not need to take aminos from your muscle tissue.
Research has also shown that people who take BCAAs have higher insulin levels, which can lead to less muscle breakdown. Insulin is an anabolic hormone that stops muscle tissue from being broken down to be used as a source of energy.
The recommended dosage is 3-10 grams, consumed before (and/or during) the workout.
L-Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid that helps improve blood flow in the body by supporting the production of nitric oxide. This leads to better nutrient delivery to the muscles, helping you perform your best and achieve faster gains.
Energy and Focus
Running out of energy during a workout is very common, but it can be prevented. If this is something that you're trying to combat, look for the following ingredients in a pre-workout.
Caffeine is an extremely common stimulant that many people consume daily when they need an energy boost. While it's important not to overdo it, taking a pre-workout that includes caffeine about 30 minutes before you hit the gym can help revitalize your workout and improve your performance.
Tyrosine is another type of amino acid that helps improve focus. It supports the production of certain chemicals in the brain to enhance alertness and attention, which can help you focus on your workout. It is particularly useful in situations where you will need to perform under pressure or when you may be stressed.
Muscle endurance is an important part of training. The longer you can work out at a high intensity, the better your overall stamina and strength will be. Here are some ingredients that are commonly included in pre-workouts to help improve your endurance.
As you exercise, your muscles break down glucose stores into lactic acid, which causes muscle fatigue. This can be combated by carnosine, which limits lactic acid accumulation in the muscles and is produced by beta-alanine. Beta-alanine is another non-essential amino acid that can be taken as a supplement to reduce muscle fatigue and get more out of your workout. It’s ideal to take in 2-2.5 grams of beta-alanine 30 minutes before your training, along with a follow-up dose later in the day.
Citrulline malate is a useful supplement because it can help to increase ATP production, which is very important to preventing muscle tissues from breaking down. It also helps reduce fatigue by eliminating endotoxins such as lactic acid. The recommended dosage is 3-6 grams, consumed right before a workout.
There are many pre-workout supplements out there, and it can be overwhelming to try to find the right one. When sorting through your options, be sure to consider your goals, as well as your tolerance to certain ingredients such as caffeine.
If you’re struggling to decide which supplement is right for you, check out our quiz to find out which pre-workout would best suit your fitness goals.
If you’re taking pre-workouts for the first time, you should stick to the recommended dosage guides until you can test out what works best for you.