Wondering if you should be using a pre-workout supplement? When used correctly, pre-workouts can take your training to next levle, improving your energy and focus during sessions at the gym. But are pre-workouts right for you?
Before you take the plunge and begin taking pre-workouts, there are a few things that you’ll need to know.
The main difference between pre-workout supplements often lies in the ingredients. Not all pre-workouts are created to meet everyone’s physical needs. For example, some help to improve muscle endurance, whilst others help to increase your metabolism.
Another major difference is the way in which you can consume pre-workouts. They can be bought in powdered form, pills or as ready-made drinks to make your life just that little bit easier.
If you aren't taking pre-workouts already, it's important to do your research. Understanding what your goals are will help to determine which supplement is right for you. Not only do pre-workouts provide you with performance-related benefits for hitting your goals at the gym, but there are also additional health benefits available based on what ingredients are in your pre-workout.
Discover everything you need to know before going out and choosing a pre-workout supplement that's right for you.
What Pre-Workout Should Not Contain
The first thing to learn about pre-workouts is what you should avoid. Ultimately, the supplement industry isn’t regulated, therefore there are few limits and guidelines on what should be included in a pre-workout.
You should keep an eye out for brands and companies that label their pre-workout supplements as “proprietary blends”.
Proprietary blend refers to a blend of ingredients, sometimes listed by name, but without listing the amount of each ingredient within the supplement. Proprietary blends can be risky, especially if you have sensitivities to certain ingredients. If a brand is unable to disclose to you how much of what is in your pre-workout, there is a chance that their blend contains some hidden ingredients that you may want to avoid.
Moreover, some companies that sell pre-workout products may bulk out their supplement with a filler product, meaning you won’t get the desired effect from using the product. As we know in the training world, there isn’t a magic pill that will help you lean out, gain muscle or build endurance overnight. It’s the same story with pre-workouts. A product with more filler than substance won’t help you burn anything at the gym, but it will burn a hole in your wallet!
At ProSupps, all our pre-workout ingredients are clearly listed and easy for you to see on the packaging or online before you purchase.
To ensure trust and quality, all of our pre-workouts are third-party tested; an independent body verifies that what we tell you is in our pre-workouts is actually in them. For performance athletes, we have a range of products that are Informed-Choice Certified (i.e tested for banned substances) like our Mr. HYDE Signature.
Beneficial Ingredients in Pre-Workouts
The key ingredients in pre-workouts have one job: To improve your performance in the gym. But pre-workouts have different blends of ingredients based on the goal they are helping you achieve. If you are looking to gain size or strength, look for supplements with creatine or BCAAs in order to make the gains desired. If your primary goal is lean muscle growth, pre-workouts with ingredients like Yohimbe are what you should be looking for.
When it comes to supplements, you want to always make sure the main ingredients are scientifically proven to work well and within the recommended quantities consumed. You will also want to take note of any listed side effects, especially if you have pre-existing conditions. If you do have health issues or increased sensitivity to certain substances, such as caffeine, always consult your physician to find out which pre-workout supplement best suits your needs.
Before you look for the best ingredients in your pre-workout, you need to know what goals you are setting and where you are on your fitness journey.
Most athletes require more energy to get the most out of their workouts. Bodybuilders might want higher muscle definition and max pump for their sessions. Perhaps, another athlete might be looking for an increase in endurance when running or improved strength when they are lifting weights.
Athletes who are new to the scene or coming back after time off might be looking to their pre-workouts for that additional motivation to get themselves to the gym. When you’re clear on what you want to get out of your supplement, you will then be able to identify which ingredients can help you get there. Choose several goals or have a singular goal in mind when assessing pre-workout ingredients.
Pre-workout ingredients to look out for:
- Caffeine, one of the most common pre-workout ingredients, will be a good choice if you are looking for an effective energy boost. Other performance benefits of caffeine include increased focus and improved mood.
- Beta-Alanine is popular for weightlifters who are looking to increase their muscular endurance and reduce the effects of lactic acid build up in the muscles, allowing them to train harder for longer.
- Vitamin D can improve your post-workout recovery, and boost your cardiovascular fitness together with strength.
- Yohimbe helps to improve your metabolism, which increases the amount of fat loss during your sessions.
- Nitrosigine increases nitric oxide production, which in term improves blood circulation, boosts energy and enhances focus.
- L-Theanine is all about the focus; it helps you to stay calm and focused on your tasks.
Pre-workout Supplement Precautions
Taking pre-workout supplements can be risky for certain people.
More often than not, when people have issues with pre-workouts, their issue is with caffeine. If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you will want to take into consideration the amount of caffeine in your pre-workout products. Caffeine won’t always necessarily be stated as ‘caffeine’ on the ingredient list. It can be present in other products, such as green tea in the form of guarana.
If you regularly consume high levels of caffeine, you will want to watch out for your total caffeine content, especially if you are stacking multiple pre-workout supplements.
When you’re stacking several supplements at a time, the effects of caffeine can increase which can also increase your risk of side effects. An excess of caffeine can lead to headaches, insomnia or dizziness. It is always best to start with smaller quantities when trying a pre-workout for the first time to ensure any side effects are minimized.
Luckily, there are still pre-workout options for those with caffeine sensitivities or limits. ProSupps offers a range of caffeine-free pre-workouts that you can take to ensure you are never overloaded with caffeine.
Another ingredient that could cause unwanted side effects is beta-alanine, which in some cases produces a tingly sensation after consumption. Knowing about potential side effects ahead of time allows you to be prepared, reduce your anxiety and have a worry-free gym session.
Concerned gym-goers will be relieved to know that there have been studies on the effects of not just single ingredients but a blend of ingredients commonly found in pre-workouts. These studies set out to determine if, when mixed, these ingredients are as safe to consume as they are if taken on their own. Based on this research, there is no evidence to suggest pre-workouts are unsafe as long as you keep within the recommended dose limits.
We always recommend consulting your healthcare provider before starting any supplements and getting their guidance on which pre-workout supplement will be beneficial and which to avoid. This will go a long way in helping you achieve your fitness goals without jeopardizing your health.
Benefits of Pre-workouts
Pre-workouts can be incredibly beneficial, as long as you take the time to find the product that is right for you.
What you should not expect is pre-workouts to drastically change your performance in the gym without you putting in the work!
You will need a combination of effort on your part, regular training sessions and a healthy diet in order for you to see results. Good pre-workout supplements can mentally and physically enable you to work and perform harder, but your effort plays a part in achieving those results too.
Therefore, having a good exercise routine that fits within the goals you have set and a pre-workout to match will greatly benefit you. Your pre-workout supplements may enable you to reach your fitness goals faster by helping you with greater focus, energy, strength, endurance and power.
While pre-workouts can greatly improve your performance, always remember to carefully check the ingredients, avoid stacking pre-workout supplements (unless you are an expert or have expert advice!) and make sure you choose a pre-workout that aligns with your fitness goals.
Our HYDE range of pre-workouts are designed to fit all needs, from the casual gym-goer to the professional athlete. Our scientifically backed blends will have you hitting your goals in no time at all!
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