There are a lot of benefits in taking supplements before you work out. They can increase your energy, they ensure that you workout at maximum efficiency, they increase blood flow and they also help you recover faster. But how do you go about choosing the right supplement for you? There are many kinds of supplements, and each contain different ingredients, so the process can be confusing.
Here, we discuss the different ingredients found in pre-workout supplements and how they can work for you.
Creatine is a compound formed during protein metabolism and is already naturally occurring in your body, supplying energy directly to your muscles. Creatine can help you create muscle mass and strength, so it’s obvious why it’s so popular as a workout supplement for people who want the maximum gains. It is completely safe, and there is a ton of data out there to support the use of creatine as a pre-workout supplement.
If you are anything like me, then one of the first things you do when you wake up is grab a coffee. That’s because caffeine, which is naturally occurring in tea and coffee, is a stimulant that increases your alertness and reduces tiredness. But you might not know that caffeine can also improve your workout experience. It does this by increasing your ability to produce force at a quicker rate than normal and can help with many types of exercise, particularly those that rely on speed.
Beta-alanine is another compound that is already found in your body. It is an amino acid that helps break down the acids that form when you perform intense exercise. Too much acid causes muscle aches and fatigue, which you’ve likely experienced after a long run or intense workout session. By supplementing your body with beta-alanine, you can reduce this fatigue and exercise for longer.
Much like beta-alanine, citrulline is also an amino acid but this one functions by increasing blood flow to your tissues. The more blood flow, the better the oxygen supply, which means your muscles can function efficiently for longer. Citrulline has also been shown to reduce muscle aches after exercising, so it’s win-win!
5. Sodium Bicarbonate
You’re probably wondering why a common anti-nausea tablet is listed in a pre-workout supplement guide. Sodium bicarbonate works by reducing acid buildup, so you can see why it would help during a workout. In fact, there is some evidence that sodium bicarbonate can help induce increased power during intense activities like sprints or cycling. Who knew?
Nitrate is found in vegetables in small amounts, and is extremely beneficial for increasing your blood flow, which in turn increases your muscle efficiency. You can get a hit of nitrate from drinking beetroot juice before your workout, but it makes much more sense to include it as part of your pre-workout supplement regime.
As you can see, there are many options out there in regards to how to structure your pre-workout supplement routine and what supplements you can include. Of course, the supplements you choose entirely depend on how your body performs under the pressure of a workout. There may be benefits for one supplement over another for your particular needs, so knowing how each one works will have you performing at your best during your workout.