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Nutrition & Fitness Tips

What’s In Your Pre-Workout Supplement?

What’s In Your Pre-Workout Supplement?

Are you serious about getting solid results at the gym? Of course you are. That’s why you constantly educate yourself on fitness and health topics. And it’s also why you want to be sure you’re using the best pre-workout supplement available.

But that’s easier said than done. There are many different supplements and each claim to offer amazing results. How can you sift through them and understand which are actually effective?

Take a good look at their ingredients. After all, you should know what you’re putting in your body before each workout. The right pre-workout supplement will keep you energized and strong. Even during the most intense workouts. It will give you bigger, more impressive pumps. So do your research and be sure you know what’s in your pre-workout supplement.

Caffeine

An effective pre-workout supplement contains caffeine. That’s because research shows that caffeine helps you endure exercise sessions better. It allows you to “train at a greater power output and/or train longer.” In simulated race conditions, research shows that caffeine can “increase speed and/or power output.” 

How does caffeine work in your system to produce fitness results? The specific mechanisms are still unknown, but many researchers believe “it enhances fat oxidation and spares muscle glycogen.” It may also create “a more favorable intracellular ionic environment in active muscle.”

Vitamin B-12

You definitely want vitamin B-12 in your pre-workout supplement. It’s essential for energy production. And you’ll need plenty of energy - whether you’re trying to increase weight at the gym or want to add a few miles to your long run. 

Vitamin B-12 is “integrally involved in red blood cell development.” It also reduces inflammation. Researchers know that “a vitamin deficiency impairs physical performance.” So a great pre-workout supplement will help ensure that you’re not deficient.

Experts also believe that “additional research with certain vitamins appears to be warranted, such as with the vitamin B complex and fine motor control.”

Creatine Monohydrate

You may take a creatine supplement. Still, you want to use a pre-workout supplement with creatine. Why? It’s one of the best muscle building supplements available. 

Researchers have “regularly reported that creatine supplementation, when combined with heavy resistance training leads to enhanced physical performance, fat free mass, and muscle morphology.” Don’t believe the myths. The experts report that “the available evidence indicates that creatine consumption is safe.”

Learn more about the benefits of using a creatine supplement in our Definitive Guide to Creatine.

Beta Alanine

Beta alanine is an amino acid dipeptide. One you definitely want in your pre-workout supplement. It helps muscles contract with more force. Research also suggests that using this before training increases strength and power. Beta alanine helps with muscle endurance too.

Consider the results of a meta-analysis of multiple studies into this nutrient. They show that “there is a significant effect of beta alanine supplementation on all exercise measures.” From the data available, “it can be concluded that beta alanine supplementation elicits a significant ergogenic effect on high-intensity exercise.”

Arginine Alpha

Arginine alpha is better absorbed than other forms of arginine. It’s also easily converted into nitric oxide by the body. So it has an important place in the best pre-workout supplement

Experts have found evidence that your body uses L-arginine in protein synthesis as well. That means it helps you build lean muscle and get strong. Studies have also shown that bodybuilders are able to get larger, longer lasting pumps when using this supplement. 

Guarana Seed Extract

This extract comes from the seeds of the guarana plant. It’s a bush native to South America. Its extract is often used to enhance athletic performance because it’s a stimulant. It contains caffeine and contributes to a reduction in physical and mental fatigue.

What about research into the effectiveness of guarana for fitness? Should you use a pre-workout supplement that includes this extract?

Yes. Research shows that it can reduce fatigue and improve reaction time when compared to placebo. Tests have proved that moderate amounts of guarana seed extract - like those found in the best pre-workout supplement - won’t cause negative side effects. 

Alpha Lipoid Acid 

This is a naturally occurring compound that is also called thioctic acid. It’s a potent antioxidant that is used to treat diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Beyond that, it is used by the body in lots of different processes. In fact, researchers say that “to our knowledge there are few compounds as multifaceted as lipoid acid as a bioactive agent.” 

Some of the benefits of alpha lipoid acid include:

  • Decreased resistance to insulin
  • Improved metabolic activity
  • Better mitochondrial energy levels
  • Enhanced metabolism

Citrulline Malate

Citrulline malate is a compound of citrulline, a non-essential amino acid. Interestingly, citrulline is found in many melons.

The compound is a nitric oxide booster. Nitric oxide helps improve muscle pumps, so it’s perfect for a pre-workout supplement. And you already know that bigger pumps help you build lean muscle.

The body converts citrulline malate into arginine, then converts that into nitric oxide. It’s a better source of arginine because it’s not as quickly absorbed into the intestines. So it boosts arginine and nitric oxide better than arginine can alone.

One study into citrulline malate investigated its effect on athletes’ anaerobic performance and how it relieved muscle soreness. After chest workouts, supplementing with this compound decreased muscle soreness in participants by 40%. That shows that citrulline malate is especially beneficial for “athletes undergoing intensive preparation involving a high level of training.”

Use the Best Pre-Workout Supplement

Don’t just grab any supplement that claims to be effective. Use the research to find the best pre-workout supplement. That will help you lose weight, build lean muscle, and get more out of every exercise session. 

 

 


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