Is pre workout bad for you? What does pre workout do? What are the side effects?
All the above are questions that we hear consistently at NC. We have decided to put our learnings into writing for you.
These popular nifty little beauties have been around in the supplement industry since the 80’s and have evolved over the times to the comprehensive range we see on supplement shelves today.
Now days we have pre-workouts that range from non-stimulants to high stimulants, from advanced clinical dosed formulas to candy flavoured collaborations. Formulas for all types of trainers from the beginner to the professional athlete.
With such a variety, it’s easy to see why people get confused on where to start.
Let us help you with the basics.
What is a Pre-Workout?
A Pre-Workout is a supplement that is consumed before any form of exercise with the aim of enhancing the workout and helping the individual perform and execute their chosen exercise or sport with greater intensity.
How exactly does it help?
Pre-workouts contain ingredients to aid in enhancing the following attributes:
Individuals will seek the stimulants, natural herbs or vitamins in these formulas to give them rush needed to push through some of the hardest workouts or simply give the motivation and drive needed to simply get to the gym.
This component of a pre-workout is what helps people “get in the zone”, the increase of neurotransmitters aid in enhancing an improved mind-to-muscle connection and can increase the “tunnel vision” feel when attempting to complete a task.
In fact there are now supplements that now that solely focus on this attribute, this is used by office workers, long distance drivers and even gamers! This sub-category is known as Nootropics.
Pre-workouts will add ingredients such as Creatine which aid with increasing power output and has been proven to increase strength.
This is perfect for any resistance based training or explosive exercises such as sprinting or boxing/martial arts.
This is added to aid in increasing that “pump”, the sensation a muscle can feel when isolated and blood & oxygen has engorged the muscle.
While the immediate aesthetic enhancing trait people love from their supplement this also provides an increase in nutrients further accelerating recovery.
When exercising, we can experience a burning sensation within the muscle which is an accumulation of lactic acid. This accumulation can cause early fatigue, in some cases, causing us to abandon the exercise due to the uncomfortable sensation.
Some ingredients such as Beta Alanine has been shown to buffer the accumulation of lactic acid, aiding the individual in getting those few extra repetitions in before experiencing the fatigue.
Beta Alanine Is also the ingredient that causes the “tingly” sensation pre-workouts are notorious for, this sensation subsides with time and becomes less & less noticeable as the natural ingredient is used.
What if I train late at night?
For those who wish to avoid stimulants in the later afternoon or at night would be wise to prefer that as stimulants can impair sleep quality.
For this reason, we would recommend for opting for what is known as a Non-Stimulant Pre-Workout, this Is another sub-category of Pre-Workouts that contain no caffeine but has all the other benefits mentioned above!
What is the best way to consume a pre-workout?
A Pre-workout is best consumed in solution with 400-600ml of water approximately 30 minutes before a workout.
A generous amount of water in conjunction with your pre-workout of choice will actually aid in the transportation and absorption of the ingredients and ensure you are further hydrated for your workout.
Pre-workout effects can be felt in less than 30 minutes, this depends whether the supplement is consumed on an empty stomach.
Would Nutrition Capital consider pre-workouts an essential supplement?
In Contrast to what other brands would have you believe, the short answer is No.
While these are an amazing tool to use to help boost performance and get more out of your workout, we would recommend for optimal results ensuring protein & micronutrient intake is adequate as intake is commonly inadequate.
We would prefer to classify a quality Greens/Multi-Vitamin or Protein Powder as an essential supplement.