If you’re deciding to look at pre-workout supplements, it probably means that you’re being pretty serious with your gym goals and with the amount of people taking it and businesses trying to sell it, it must work; right?
For the most part, people who tak pre-workout can testify to the results and feeling it gives them. But how does it actually help you?
When you first look at the ingredients you’re probably just staring blankly at a load of words that you don’t know, or can’t even pronounce. But some of them are helpful and worth learning about; such as Trimethyglycine which can aid in heart health and power output, or Beta Alanine which helps reduce fatigue, so you can possibly run longer or push out a few more reps. One of the most likely ingredients you’ll find is Creatine, known for increasing energy production during anaerobic activities
There are also some not so helpful ingredients, such as Glutamine, which companies have pushed has a muscle gainer and power booster – however research has shown it’s no better than a placebo. Some companies may also add in Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) claiming it will help burn more fat during exercise, but much like glutamine, the effects have yet to be proven by research.
The ingredients so far listed can all be found in pre-work out, but have no greater effect taking them before a workout than on a regular basis or by consuming them naturally by your diet, with the exception on creatine.
So where does that buzzing feeling come from?
Pre-workout also contains stimulants, which serve the purpose of increasing performance by effecting your heart rate, alertness and vasodilatation. One of the most popular stimulants being Yohimbine. However the most effective ingredients in Pre-workout are caffeine. This is the most widely used stimulant in the world, thanks to its ability to inhibit Adenosine, keeping us awake and alert, increase aerobic capacity, power output and fat breakdown. This is what gives you that tingling feeling after taking pre-workout. It’s also the reason why people have different experiences with it and have different tolerances to it.
But if you don’t wish to spend money on supplements, then a healthy diet with a black coffee beforehand can produce similar effects.