In order for you to make the most out of your workouts, you need your body to be performing at its peak with optimum efficiency. Pre-workout has been designed to fight fatigue and lack of energy when exercising.
A pre-workout supplement can be consumed in a meal, a drink or even tablet form, roughly around 30 minutes before a workout is due to begin. So, as its main feature is to combat fatigue, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that they are essentially filled with sugars, caffeine and other boost stimulants. It pays to check what your pre-workout is including, as caffeine is a major ingredient, yet too much of it can seriously damage your health.
For most, side effects may include itching, jitters, shakes and interrupted sleep, all of which are normal, surprisingly. If you’re new to pre-workout begin by half-scooping.
So, what should you be looking out for?
Creatine Monohydrate – A popular supplement amongst gym go-ers, creatine is included as it has the potential to increase muscle power and performance during exercise.
BCAA’s – Branch chain amino acids, have been found to increase endurance and support protein synthesis.
Taurine – Usually found in meat, taurine contributes to the metabolism of fats and fights oxidative stress during training.
No2 Boosters – Arginine for example acts a vasodilator, which essentially means it expands your veins and arteries. This makes blood flow easier around the body, delivering nutrients to those key areas quicker.
Beta-alanine – This is the ingredient that gives you those shakes, jitters and numbness, it is referred to as paresthesia. It doesn’t affect everyone, and in low doses you can’t feel the effects.
What should you be avoiding?
So, all of the above is safe in reasonable amounts however, there is one main ingredient you should try to avoid at all cost – caffeine.
Now we aren’t talking about caffeine as a whole, we’re referring to those pre-workouts which have over 400mg of caffeine per single scoop! The daily dose for an average adult is 400mg, baring in mind each cup of coffee a day is around 60-80mg. Sports nutritionists have referred to those pre-workouts with over the 400mg of caffeine ecstasy-like.