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Do Pre-Workout Supplements Really Work? Balancing Up The Pros And Cons

A-bottle- of-supplements-and-a-pot-of-coffee-on-a-wooden-trayThe fitness industry has many supplements to offer, some are good and some aren’t worth the time. One of the most sought-after supplements for fitness enthusiasts is pre-workout which usually have a decent dose of caffeine and other ingredients which help you to workout longer without feeling tired.

But do pre-workout supplements really work? Let’s discuss the basics so you can make an educated decision on whether or not you should take them.

What Are Pre-Workout Supplements?

A pre-workout is a supplement which enables you to perform at your highest capabilities every time you take them. Pre-workout supplements are designed to help people complete longer workouts at a faster pace without getting tired and contain caffeine, which is a stimulant, as their main ingredient; however there are some pre-workouts available that don’t contain caffeine. The goal of a pre-workout is to give you better focus, better blood flow, and allow you to perform more repetitions than you usually would.

A regular pre-workout is comparable to energy drinks which you may find at a local grocery store, but with more fitness-oriented ingredients. Most pre-workouts have an ingredient called “citrulline malate” which increases the blood flow in your muscles allowing you to get better pumps at the gym. If you are a bodybuilder or someone who enjoys increased blood flow to the muscles, then you will benefit from pre-workout supplements to help enhance your performance.

Pre-workouts also have an ingredient called beta-alanine which has been shown to reduce lactic acid in the muscles and help you to squeeze out a couple more reps before you fatigue. Some of the higher end pre-workouts have mental focus ingredients which complement the caffeine and help increase focus.

What Are The Benefits Of Pre-Workouts?

A-woman-in-sportswear-drinking-a-sports-drink-out-of-a-bottlePre-workouts have many benefits, both inside and outside of the gym. The primary benefit of a good pre-workout is that the ingredients are adequately dosed when compared to energy drinks. The companies who create pre-workouts spend their money and time to ensure users get the best results with the least amount of side effects.

Pre-workouts will help you have a more productive workout, which will equal better results in the long term. If you work long hours and are tired, then you can highly benefit from a pre-workout as it will give you the energy and focus you need to hit the gym, even after a long day. Pre-workouts can also be beneficial to people who lack motivation when it comes to working out, especially if early morning or late evening are the only times you can exercise, as the combination of ingredients in a pre-workout will give you that added energy and focus you may need to get active!

If you are a fitness enthusiast or a bodybuilder who would like to take their workout to the next level, then consider using a pre-workout supplement. Not only do they help you perform at a higher rate, but they will help you get the pumps you need to make your muscles look fuller. Pre-workouts have natural ingredients which increase blood flow, making your muscles appear more prominent and vascular. The increased blood flow will also help you digest protein and other macronutrients more efficiently, hence making it a ‘must-have’ addition for fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders. Besides the fantastic blood flow, pre-workout can give you laser focus when you are exercising, which will only make your workouts more productive.

What Are The Potential Downsides Of Taking Pre-Workouts?

No supplement is perfect, and that goes for pre-workout as well. Depending on your health and caffeine tolerance, there might be some downsides towards taking a pre-workout. If you are caffeine sensitive, then you might experience some jitters as pre-workouts usually have 150-300 milligrams of caffeine which is 1.5 to 3 times more caffeine than a cup of coffee. If you already overdose on caffeine and drink more than four cups of coffee a day, then you won’t notice any jitters, but if you have never taken caffeine before, we recommend you ease into taking a pre-workout.

Another downside of pre-workout would be the dependency. Some might get dependent on pre-workouts, which might cause them to take more than the recommended dose throughout the day. Make sure to cycle off and on, so you don’t become dependent on them. Taking a break of a week or so every now and again can also help you lower your tolerance, which will help you get better results from the pre-workout in the long term.

Five Tips For Getting The Most Out Of Your Pre-Workout

  1. Start slow: Start by taking a lower than recommended dose to assess your tolerance. If you feel nothing, then you can increase the quantity. It’s always better to play it safe and to evaluate your tolerance.
  2. Look for a reputable pre-workout: Always purchase pre-workouts with great reviews and proper dosing. Lower quality pre-workouts will load the caffeine content and disregard the ingredients which give you focus and increased blood flow. Always purchase a pre-workout with great reviews, so you know that the product you get is high quality.
  3. Stimulant free pre-workouts: If you are caffeine sensitive, but you want the benefits of a pre-workout, then you can get stimulant-free pre-workouts which will give you the benefits without the caffeine. Stimulant free pre-workouts can also come in handy if you workout late at night, as you won’t be full of energy before you go to bed.
  4. Only take them for workouts: To reduce the risk of dependency, we recommend you only take pre-workouts on your workout days. This will ensure you get the most out of them, without you increasing your tolerance or risking becoming dependent on them.
  5. Consider whether you need to consult with a doctor: If you have certain underlying health conditions, or you’re sensitive to caffeine then you should consult with a doctor before you take pre-workout supplements as they might have ingredients which won’t be safe for you to consume. If you are a healthy person who is not taking any medication then you should be okay but it’s always good to consult with a health professional before introducing a new supplement into your body.

An Effective Way To Enhance Your Performance

An-effervescent-tablet-in-a-glass-of water-next-to-some-blue-dumbbellsPre-workouts can be highly effective if taken appropriately and according to their printed guidelines. If you do choose to introduce them, make sure to take them as recommended and don’t overdo it as that could lead to adverse side effects. It’s also always worth doing your research when looking for a decent pre-workout. Always buy from a reputable supplier and purchase a good quality product which has positive reviews.

I’ve started posting my reviews on pre-workout supplements that I’ve tried, and will continue to do so. You can read the first of my reviews here where I share my experience with a supplement called Nutrigo Lab Strength.

What are your thoughts on pre-workout supplements? Do you take them regularly and swear by their effects, or do you think they’re a waste of time and money? Perhaps you’re looking for a bit more information before you try them for the first time – if so has this article swayed your decision? Comment underneath and let me know!

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