What Does a Pre Workout Supplement Do?
By Scott Black - September 6, 2016
A pre workout supplement is designed to do exactly what it says. It’s designed to make you more effective in the gym by increasing your performance.
Pre workout supplements support the following, depending on their list of ingredients:
- Lean muscle gains
Not all pre workouts are made alike. What your buddy in the gym takes might not be the right mix for you. Similarly, what you require from a pre workout might change depending on what sort of exercise you’re doing.
The majority of pre workouts are based on stimulating your body, and the majority of them have quite a big hit of caffeine included. If you are sensitive to caffeine, including coffee, cola, or energy drinks, then you might be better suited to take a stimulant free pre workout.
Building blocks of a pre workout supplement
The world’s most commonly used stimulant does help you to get through your workout better! You know how people have cups of coffee to concentrate on their work throughout the day? Well caffeine can also help you concentrate on your workout more easily. Caffeine provides energy to help you get through a gruelling workout.
Creatine is one of the most important parts of many people’s body building stacks. Creatine can help to build more muscle and provide you with more energy across your workout. Creatine helps to give energy to the cells, especially to the muscles, so getting in some extra creatine before your workout effectively aims to give your body (and specifically your muscles) more energy for your workout.
Beta-alanine helps to protect your body from damage caused by lactic acid build-up that comes about due to exercising. Beta-alanine increases the levels of carnosine in your body, which effectively rectifies your pH levels so that you aren’t so acidic. Beta-alanine must be taken before working out to have this protective effect. Beta-alanine is also known as CarnoSyn. Newbies to beta-alanine should expect a strange warm tingling sensation after taking it - It’s nothing to be scared of and you will get used to it!
Nitric Oxide boost
Many pre workouts tout that they also include things like an NO boost, Nitric Oxide Matrix, or perhaps Pump Matrix. These are all specially designed mixes of vitamins and minerals that aid in production of nitric oxide in your body. Nitric oxide helps to dilate blood vessels in your body, thus increasing blood flow. Better blood flow leads to a better work out.
Amino acids may or may not be included in your pre workout mix. It is a personal preference whether you like to take them as included in your pre workout or separately. Amino acids such as L-leucine help to promote muscle growth via protein synthesis, L-arginine also has the pump effect, it increases NO production, improving blood flow and delivering nutrients, to the muscle fibers - which assists growth. Similarly agmatine (a metabolic derivative of L-arginine), assists in NO production and also has cognitive benefits, assisting with mental endurance during a workout. Another amino acid that falls under the pump/vasodilator blanket is L-citrulline which converts to L-arginine and then into NO, assisting with vasodilation and increasing blood and oxygen levels to the muscles, again assisting with reducing physical and mental fatigue. Occurring naturally in your body, adding essential amino acids as a supplement can help lead to larger muscles.