Pre-workout vitamins and supplements can help you reach your goals by supporting increased energy, endurance, and muscle repair.
What are pre-workout supplements and what do they do?
As you may have guessed, a pre-workout supplement is one designed to be taken prior to your daily exercise session. Its purpose is to not only give you the energy you need to power through your session but also begin delivering key amino acids and other nutrients to your body so that it can go into optimal muscle-building mode immediately following your workout.
When should I take pre-workout supplements?
The timing of a pre-workout supplement is key. Take it too early and you’ll be running out of energy before your workout is over while also failing to enjoy the most optimal and efficient delivery of muscle-building proteins throughout your body. Take it too late and the effects won’t kick in until the end of your workout.
Generally, a pre-workout supplement should be taken about 30-45 minutes before you plan to begin exercising. Depending on the ingredients and dosage, your pre-workout supplement might begin giving you energy right away or it may be slightly delayed, kicking in just as you need it so you can keep pushing on.
Is it safe to use pre-workout supplements or vitamins?
While it’s always smart to get your health care provider’s advice before taking any supplement, these supplements are generally found to be safe. The main thing you’ll want to focus on is your protein and overall calorie intake. You should continue eating a balanced diet to ensure you do not gain weight or lose too much weight coupled with your workout routine.
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Ingredients you should look for in your pre-workout
Not all pre-workout supplements are created equal. Here are some ingredients to look for on the label.
- Citrulline: Known as a “non-essential” amino acid, L-citrulline is found in many pre-workouts. It helps to improve blood flow, which is critical during any workout routine and in the hours following.
- Beta-alanine: Another non-essential amino acid, Beta Alanine helps in the production of carnosine, which is important in supporting muscle endurance during long and intense exercise sessions.
- Caffeine: An obvious ingredient, caffeine helps to give you that energy boost you need to get through any long or serious workout. Just keep in mind that too much can be dangerous.
- L-arginine: An essential amino acid, L-arginine does many critical things within the body, supporting the immune system and boosting overall athletic performance.
- Creatine: Research shows that creatine can help to not only boost overall athletic performance but also help support muscle growth and provide that burst of energy you need to keep going. Don’t underestimate it.
- BCAAs: BCAA stands for Branched Chain Amino Acids and there are 11 in all, each serving a key role in the building of lean muscle mass. Taking BCAAs as part of your pre-workout or as a separate supplement is essential to supporting quick muscle growth.
Which pre-workout supplements are the best?
- Cellucor C4 Original Pre Workout Powder: Premium Ingredients: C4 Original is a trusted pre-workout that promises quality ingredients and a purposefully crafted blend of patented ingredients that promote energy and endurance for better workouts.
- Beyond Raw LIT Workout Supplement: Both pre-workout and on non-training days for additional energy and focus. Gluten-free and sugar-free formula.
- Orgain Organic Plant-Based Protein Powder: This alkalizing blend contains a fast-acting natural protein powder that provides all the essential amino acids required for good health.
- Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy Pre-workout: Perfect for any time of the day with its on-the-go packaging, promises to help you get energized and focused in the morning, helping to stay focused and productive in the afternoon, or even supporting your energy levels and focus in the gym.
Choosing the right pre-workout
Talk to your doctor if you’re considering taking any supplements along with your workout, especially if you take other medications. Serious side effects can occur if you introduce new supplements alongside your existing prescription, or over-the-counter, medications6.
Dr. Susanna Ashton has been practicing medicine for over 20 years and she is very excited to assist Healthoriginaltips in providing understandable and accurate medical information. When not strolling on the beaches she loves to write about health and fitness.