If you asked anyone who spends time or has spent ample time working out, they will tell you that there are three distinct periods that are critical to the success of a workout session. These are your pre-workout, workout and post workout stages.
Managing these three stages well is important for the overall success of your workout program. This is because each stage makes special demands of your body, demands that your body must meet for your performance to be regarded as top level and the results you seek attained.
In this article, we will be looking specifically at pre-workouts, which has a specific meaning in the fitness world. Though we’ll be briefly discussing this subject in the next section, you can learn a lot more about it here.
This is a special name given to supplements that are taken by athletes or body builders before the start of their workout session. The purpose of this intake is to enable the athlete perform with better focus, energy and endurance.
This class of products came on the market in the early 1980s and was an instant hit. Below are some of the ingredients that you will find in most of the common products available.
This is a naturally occurring chemical. The body produces it in the liver and kidneys and it is known to enhance physical strength as well as improve general body strength. Taking this in before the commencement of your workout helps the body perform better.
This is a well-known substance used widely. It’s known to help with alertness and mental concentration while also adding some energy.
This is one other ingredient that helps with building endurance and strength. It also helps speed up the recovery process, allowing the muscles to get back into shape a lot faster.
Known also as DMAA, this is one ingredient you may want to take special note of. While it is commonly used because it is said to improve perception, mental alertness, concentration while also reducing fatigue, it has a few issues.
The FDA warns that its use can result in a variety of cardiovascular challenges that could even culminate in a heart attack. This is because it is thought to cause a narrowing of blood vessels which will in turn lead to an increased blood pressure.
If you are a professional sports person, then you will want to steer clear of any supplement that contains this ingredient because it is classified as a banned performance enhancing substance.
One of the things that make athletes unable to work out for very long is muscle fatigue. This ingredient reduces the pace at which this fatigue occurs by increasing the amount of carnosine present in the muscles. Carnosine is a substance that helps the muscles take a lot more than they usually will.
You can find more about these and other ingredients here: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23515510/.
Are they Safe?
This should be the very first question that anyone who cares for their health should ask. The truth is that there may be a lot of unproven reports about the benefits that are being attributed to these products. That said, from the few ingredients listed above, there are certain benefits that can be derived from their use.
On the flip side, there are a few things you should be aware of that may make a product a bit unsafe or less than completely healthy for you.
We already mentioned one ingredient above that you should watch out for. Once you can ascertain that DMAA is not one of the ingredients included in the product you are considering, you are practically half way there.
A lot of times, supplements are flavored with artificial sweeteners or even sugar alcohols. These can result in some side effects for some users. The side effects can include: diarrhea, gas, intestinal discomfort and bloating. These side effects will of course mean that the workout session will have to be put on hold until you recover.
Remember that your supplement is likely to contain caffeine. If you therefore consume additional quantities of caffeine from other sources, you will likely end up taking in a lot more than you can handle. You should therefore be sure to watch your caffeine intake when taking these pre-workouts.
Baring the above concerns, you will find these supplements to be quite safe.
How to Make the Right Choice
To make the right choice of something, an individual most first know what they need. The same is applicable here.
Not everyone needs a pre-workout supplement. Sometimes, simply having a good rest, good diet and taking in enough water may be all you need to provide you with all the juice you need for an effective workout.
If however you decide that you need to have these supplements to perform optimally, the very first thing you can do is read reviews like the LIT pre-workout reviews you will find available online. These will help you begin to narrow down on the products you can choose from.
Remember that you need to carefully check the ingredients contained in the product you choose to be sure that they are indeed what you need.
Another important thing to do is to research into the brand behind the product. You want to go for a product that is produced by a reputable company. A company that has made a name for itself will not want to put out a product that has issues.
By simply choosing a product from this kind of company, you significantly increase your chances of choosing a safe and effective pre-workout.
In concluding this short article, we must reiterate that pre-workout supplements are not for everyone. Before beginning to attempt to use one, first make sure that you are on a proper diet, that you get enough rest and also stay well hydrated.
Use should be with some level of caution. As the name implies, it is a supplement and should be used as such, rather than a replacement for your meals. The easiest way to get the most out of these supplements is to ensure that they are only used as support for your meals, rest and adequate hydration levels.