One of the most crucial parts of the supplement group is our pre-workout supplements since it prepares you for the strenuous and rewarding routine. In this article we give you the basic about pre-workout supplements that you need to know.
What are the Benefits of Pre-workout Supplements
Pre-workout supplements are not a very old phenomenon and have only recently gained popularity. Thanks to much research on this issue, now we have a much better understanding of what kinds you should take and what the benefits are. The benefits of taking pre-workout supplements can be listed as:
- Enhanced strength
- Better performance
- Increased endurance
- Lower muscle breakdown during workout
- Increased protein synthesis
- Improved energy and focus
- Improve nutrient delivery and assimilation
- Enhanced fat burning
- Better and optimal hormonal secretion
What are the Different Categories of Pre-workout Supplements and How do they Help
Pre-workout supplements can be grouped on the basis of what benefits they deliver and the broad classification would include supplements that help you gain:
- Muscle mass
- Energy & Focus
- Muscle Protection (anti-oxidants)
The following supplements will help you improve your strength and power while at your workout and beyond. Also mentioned are the usual dosages for each, though you could also check with your instructor.
Muscle Mass Growth Enhancers
If you are looking at muscle mass growth, then the following supplements are what you need to watch out for. You can also check out the recommended doses for each here:
3-10 grams of BCCA is recommended right before you start your workout. You can also take it during your workout.
Recommended doses are around 15-30 grams immediately before workout. Also remember to take your post workout dose for best results.
High Glycemic Carbohydrates
The recommended dose in this case depends on your focus, that is, whether you are trying to lose weight or gain muscles. However in the usual case it is advised that you should take around 20-60 grams of high glycemic carbs right before training.
Energy & Focus (Cognitive) Enhancers
It is very crucial that your energy and focus are at their prime when you are on your workout routine. This will ensure that you get the best results out of the training session. To help you with this, the following supplements can be help.
Endurance during workouts is key to maximise the gains from your workout. Higher endurance lets you lift more weights, do more reps and basically train longer and harder. The supplements to help with endurance are as follows:
Recommended doses are around 2-2.5 gram around 30 minutes before workout and again the same amount for a repeat dose later in the day.
You should take between 3-6 grams immediately before or during the workout
Anti-Oxidants (Muscle Protectors)
Intense exercising causes a lot of oxidative stress leading to release of a lot of free radicals which have the potential to damage cells. Antioxidants help by neutralising free radicals. Some supplements that are high on antioxidants are:
Recommended doses are 100-400 IU’s of Vitamin E to be taken 30 minutes before training.
Alpha Lipoic Acid
Recommended doses are 200-400 milligrams around 30 minutes before workout.
Recommended doses are 300-600 milligrams 30 minutes before training.
Some Important Facts You Should Know about Pre-Workout Supplements
You need to cycle your Pre-Workout Supplements so that your body does not get too adapted to them and stops responding to their doses. Creatine is a relevant example. If you don’t cycle your creatine loading, your body may get used to the supplements and stop producing the amounts that it does on its own. Also taking more of it will simply mean that your body will no longer be able to use it and just excrete it as a waste product. Caffeine is another such supplement. The usual cycle that is recommended is using it for 6-8 weeks and then taking a break for 2-3 weeks.
Take your pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach. In case you are sensitive to certain supplements like caffeine, you can combine it with a light snack but otherwise avoid taking them with food. Additionally it may not be a good idea to take multiple supplement products at the same time.