It’s becoming more and more popular—you’re cooling down after an intense workout and someone says, “I’m exhausted, I can’t believe I forgot to take my pre-workout today.” Athletes and gym-goers alike are taking pre-workout to help them push through exercise harder and faster. And if you’ve taken it before, you probably know why.
Even though they may increase your energy on an individual workout, they are not necessarily healthy and good for you in a long term. Occasional gym-goers never demand the same performance from their bodies as a competitive athlete, so they should look for what keeps them consistent, not just at performance, but also frequency and enjoyment.
The problem is there are so many pre-workout supplements out there to choose from. So how do you know what to take? The best thing you can do is read the ingredients. Because not every pre-workout is created equally.
The first thing you want to watch out for is proprietary blends. These are blends listed under a group name that include something like “formula” or “system.” Then they list the included ingredients in that blend. The problem is, you don’t know how much of those ingredients are in the blend, and they often are imbalanced and could be combined ineffectively, or even unsafely. You can Google “proprietary blend labels” to see what they look like. The takeaway? Stay away from products that don’t have individual dosages listed for each ingredient.
You possibly don’t really need it, but if you decide to take any commercial supplement mix, look through each of the ingredients. Most pre-workout products are full of refined sugars and other chemical additives that the everyday active person doesn’t need and should avoid in their diets.
There are lots of simple snacks that will give you the energy you need to get your training done efficiently, fruits, dried fruits, nuts are some of them. Natural products will usually be the most beneficial to your health.
Here are some of the most common ingredients that can be effective when taken in appropriate doses. Be sure to talk to your doctor before you take any supplements.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine: Promotes fat burning and improves cognition;
Beta-Alanine: Helps reduce fatigue and improves anaerobic output;
Betaine: Improves strength and energy output, increases lean muscle mass, reduces body fat;
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): Known as the building blocks of protein;
B Vitamins: Helps maintain your body’s metabolism and promotes energy;
Caffeine: Increases energy burned, improves strength and promotes endurance;
Creatine: Improves strength, builds muscle, minimizes soreness;
L-Tyrosine: Improves mood and cognitive function;
L-Arginine*: Improves performance and reduces fatigue;
Theanine: Improves concentration
If you want more information about super foods that will make your body perform better and help you create a sustainable active lifestyle, be sure to book a free nutritional consultation with us here:
So now that you know some of the things you should be looking for, you can likely make a better choice when choosing a pre-workout. Hope that helps!
Enjoy your training! And if you would like to take your workout to the next level in another way, why not book in for a 1:1 session with a personal trainer.