Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements
Many of us have heard of pre-workout supplements, they seem to be a staple of many athletes and bodybuilders.
The question is, do they really work?
I know many people ask themselves if they should be spending money on them.
If we take a look back 30-40 years ago there were not many pre-workout supplements available.
Back in the day (Golden Era of bodybuilding), bodybuilders like Larry Scott, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Mike Mentzer focused more on good nutrition than they did a pre-workout supplement.
Nutrition has changed a lot, in the old days in order to get enough protein and energy before a workout many would consume things like raw eggs, milk, and caffeine.
Some pre-workout powders were available back then which could be mixed with water or juice.
Both dietary and pre-workout Supplements have been around for many decades and became more popular in the late 60s and early 70s.
Some of the more popular pre-workout supplements were introduced by Joe Weider, there were others but Weider seemed to have the biggest market share.
The nature of pre-workout supplements today is to provide you with energy, strength, and to help you increase muscle mass.
Benefits of pre-workout supplements:
- Increase energy and stamina
- lessen the symptoms of fatigue
- Reduce muscle recovery times
- Boost mental energy and focus
- Speed up your metabolism
- Burn fat
It seems that today there are pre-workout supplements for just about anyone and for any purpose.
Some pre-workout supplements are called that but come in the form of diet pills or fat burners.
Men and women take them to give them a quick boost of energy before they do any sort of cardio workout or train with weights.
Not all pre-workout supplements are the same
These supplements for women and men generally contain a combination of specially blended ingredients that include, whey protein, green tea extracts, BCAA's, guarana, caffeine, and creatine.
What some experts say
Experts state that pre-workout supplements can bring a change in the way you feel during your workout sessions.
The reason is that many ingredients in these supplements are added to help stimulate and supercharge your body.
Yes, there are ingredients that are capable enough of increasing blood and oxygen flow which in a way can boost energy and stamina.
However, the thing to remember here is that these physical effects are not necessarily going to make you faster, stronger or bigger.
Even though it is true that some of the ingredients in many supplements will improve performance, they are only as effective as your training.
The problem with supplements that contain too much caffeine is that the can often cause a crash and burn scenario.
In other words, you start off strong with lots of energy but after a half an hour you quickly become fatigued.
Many studies clearly state that caffeine can provide an immediate physical boost required for active workout sessions.
Studies show that joggers and runners can experience a considerable improvement in their aerobic capacity with a small dose of caffeine.
In the case of individuals with an intolerance to caffeine, the benefits can be counterproductive causing shakiness, nervousness, and anxiety.
Many old school bodybuilders found that a nice strong cup of coffee was sufficient to kick start their training.
Considering that most bodybuilders were already consuming several meals a day they already had the required nutrients they needed.
The average person who works an eight hour day and eats three regular meals may find that a supplement could be essential for improving their training.
So do you need them?
This all depends on how hard you train and the extent of your training.
For the average person who goes to the gym and works out for 45 minutes a pre-workout supplement may not be necessary, however, someone who trains for an hour or more might need one.
The longer you can train without becoming fatigued will help you better achieve your fitness goals.
Pre-workout supplements not only give you energy, but many of them also provide nutrients that will help prevent muscle fatigue.
What are the best pre-workouts?
If I tell you to go out and buy a particular brand I would be biased.
I have my favorite brands that I use but what works for me may not have the same effect on you.
I much prefer a pre-workout supplement that focuses more on the nutrient side of things versus one that is loaded with caffeine or other stimulants.
Nutrient-rich pre-workout supplements offer better long term results both before and after you train.
Pre-workout supplements that contain vitamins and minerals along with creatine and whey protein will suit most men and women.
I should also mention that you should also choose a supplement that is gender specific, while this might seem like an odd thing to say, there are some ingredients that work better for men than they do for women.
I would be pointless for women to buy a pre-workout supplement that is loaded with testosterone boosting ingredients when women are more interested in something that will burn fat and boost energy.
You get my point.
Do you need a pre-workout supplement?
I feel the answer to this question is common sense if you workout 4-5 days a week yet lack energy and motivation it is most likely due to a poor diet or lack of certain nutrients your body needs to perform.
I find that a lot of people suffer from symptoms of fatigue on occasion, if you do, by all means, you should use one.
Not everyone will want to spend money on supplements but if you feel that lack of energy and motivation are interfering with your workouts by all means you should take a pre-workout supplement, most of them are not expensive and you should notice c change in how you feel in just a couple of days.