What does your current supplement regimen look like? Do you take a pre-workout before training and call it good?
Beyond pre-workout, there are plenty of other supplements that you can take to enhance your training sessions and ensure you continue to see progress. Read on to learn about 3 of our top picks.
What Does Pre-Workout Do for You?
Before we explore the supplements you ought to consider taking alongside pre-workout, let’s talk about pre-workout itself for a minute. What does pre-workout do for you?
Pre-workout offers a lot of benefits for athletes and gym-goers. The following are some of the top reasons why people make it a staple in their routine:
Most pre-workout supplements contain caffeine. Caffeine is a central nervous stimulant that works by blocking the adenosine receptors in the brain.
Adenosine is a neurotransmitter and, when it builds up, it causes you to feel sleepy. By blocking the adenosine receptors, caffeine can prevent this buildup and help you to feel energized during and after your workout.
Stimulant-free pre-workouts can increase energy, too. They mainly boost energy by improving blood flow and delivering more oxygen to the brain, which helps you to feel alert and focused without any side effects from caffeine.
Increased Endurance and Better Performance
In addition to increasing energy, pre-workouts can improve your endurance and stamina, too.
High-quality pre-workout supplements help you avoid fatigue and push yourself harder during your training sessions without sacrificing your form. This leads to better results from your workouts and allows you to achieve your goals faster.
Pre-workout doesn't just provide you with a physical energy boost. It can also help you to feel more mentally energized and focused.
You know those days when your head just isn't in the game? Taking a pre-workout supplement (with or without caffeine) can help you to get out of a funk, stay focused, and maintain alertness during your workout.
When you're more focused, you'll likely notice a stronger mind-muscle connection. This can help you to feel your muscles working and can make it easier for you to perform exercises with more precision, which allows for better results (and faster progress in many cases).
Better Muscle Pumps
Many pre-workout supplements contain ingredients like L-Citrulline, which is known as a nitric oxide booster. Nitric oxide is a molecule that dilates the blood vessels and supports better blood flow.
When blood flows more efficiently throughout the body, you'll notice bigger muscle pumps during your workout. From an aesthetic perspective, this is a nice benefit because it gives you that "swole" feeling that everyone loves after a tough lifting session.
It's not just about looks, though. Pump-enhancing ingredients like L-Citrulline can also help your muscles to receive more oxygen and nutrients. This promotes better post-workout recovery and may reduce muscle soreness.
How Crucial Is It to Take Pre-Workout Before Lifting Weights?
Can you still strength train and see progress if you don't take pre-workout? How crucial is it to take pre-workout before lifting weights?
You can certainly make progress without this supplement. Pre-workout can make a difference in your strength training performance, though.
For example, a comparison of 27 different studies revealed that caffeine could improve leg muscle power output by up to 7 percent. Another study showed that caffeine consumption leads to a significant increase in participants' bench press one-rep max.
Endurance athletes can benefit from caffeine intake, too. A study showed that those who consumed about 400mg of caffeine (or 0.014 ounces, about the same as what's found in HYDE XTreme) were able to cover between 1.3 and 2 miles more than the participants who received a placebo.
When to Use Pre-Workout
How can you experience the benefits of pre-workout? One of the most important things to consider is your supplement timing.
When deciding when to use pre-workout, make sure you're taking it between 15 and 30 minutes before you start training.
This gives your body a chance to absorb caffeine and other active ingredients. It also ensures that you'll experience maximum benefits by the time you get through your warm-up and transition into the main part of your workout.
3 Supplements to Start Using When Taking Pre-Workout
If you're looking to level up your supplement regimen, there are a few other products you can start including in your pre- and post-workout routine. Here are 3 of our top recommendations:
1. Branched-Chain Amino Acids
Branched-Chain Amino Acids (or BCAAs) are a type of Essential Amino Acid (or EAA). The body can't make Essential Amino Acids itself. It needs to get them from food or supplements.
The 3 BCAAs are Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine. Each of these amino acids plays an important role in muscle-building and muscle recovery. Leucine is particularly beneficial, though, because it's responsible for stimulating muscle protein synthesis.
Many people take BCAA supplements before their workout. They may also sip on them throughout their training session (especially longer sessions) so they can stay hydrated and maintain their energy.
When shopping for BCAAs, make sure you choose a product that contains the 3 amino acids mentioned above in a 2:1:1 ratio of Leucine to Isoleucine and Valine. In other words, there should be twice as much Leucine as the other two BCAAs.
This is the ratio that has been shown to be most effective for muscle growth and recovery.
2. Protein Powder
Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle, or support overall health and wellness, protein powder is another great supplement to add to your stack.
Think of it this way: You can use your pre-workout drink to ensure you have energy during your workout, and you can use protein powder to maintain your energy and support recovery when your workout is over.
Protein powder, both whey protein and plant-based protein, provides you with all of the amino acids your body needs to maintain and build muscle mass.
By making sure you're consuming enough protein, you can also increase your satiety and reduce cravings. This helps you to avoid overdoing it on high-calorie or low-nutrient foods that could sabotage your progress.
Creatine is an amino acid derivative. It's made from 2 amino acids: Glycine and Arginine.
Creatine is stored in the muscles as phosphocreatine. Phosphocreatine is needed to make Adenosine Triphosphate (or ATP), a high-energy molecule that increases your muscle endurance and improves performance during high-intensity workouts.
You can take Creatine at any time, although some research suggests that it's best used either right before or right after your workout.
Many pre-workout supplements contain Creatine. However, you can also take Creatine separately from your pre-workout if you prefer.
This is a good option if you want to take a higher dose than what a typical pre-workout contains. It's also helpful if you don't take pre-workout daily but still want to make sure you're consistent with your Creatine supplementation (which is essential if you want to experience long-term results).
Try These Supplements Today
A high-quality pre-workout can take you pretty far when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals. If you want to make even more progress, though, these 3 other supplements can give you an extra edge and help you earn results faster.
To pick up any of these supplements, head to our shop today. From protein to pre-workout drinks, ProSupps has got you covered.