Pre-workouts: that extra pump of energy that you need at gym
If you’ve spent any time in a gym, I’m sure you have heard all of the craze over a new “pre-workout” product that someone is using. Those who have never used pre-workouts before can easily be confused into thinking it’s some underground product that is only available on the black market. However, pre-workouts are available just about anywhere that health, fitness, and nutrition products are sold – online and in retail stores. The question becomes, do you need a pre-workout? Below I’m laying down some information to allow you to answer that question for yourself.
What is a pre-workout?
A pre-workout is generally a powder, but can sometimes be in an RTD (ready-to-drink) form such as a can or a bottle. They are to be consumed 15-30 minutes prior to exercise to help provide you with sustained energy throughout your workout. In addition, they generally help induce a “pump” to give your muscles a full look.
Some pre-workouts contain stimulants, while others do not. You would need to assess your tolerance to a product in order to decide how much is too much and where the “sweet-spot” is for you, personally. It is not recommended to ever use more product than what is recommended on the label. Each pre-workout product on the market can have more or less of a certain ingredient, so it’s important to read the directions on each product before consuming.
What makes a pre-workout so special?
We live hectic lives – right? We are always on the go and taxing our bodies with our busy schedules. There are times where we simply don’t feel like working out or going to the gym and need a little “boost” of energy. That’s where a pre-workout really shines.
Most pre-workout products include simulants such as caffeine. This will give you the energy needed to grind out a grueling workout and not be yawning between sets. Many pre-workouts also include ingredients such as beta-alanine, citrulline malate, niacin, creatine, taurine, arginine, along with some other helpful goodies. When all of these ingredients are combined, they give you a powerful combination that fuels your body. You’ll have more energy, better mental focus, vasodilation that floods your muscles with water and nutrients, and overall just give you a better workout.
What ingredients should you look for?
If you feel you need a pre-workout, there are a few ingredients you should definitely look for on the label. Below are some of the ingredients you would want listed.
- Agmatine – Similar to arginine (which should also be in the formula), agmatine helps induce a pump and regulates nitric oxide production. In addition, it can help provide you with mental clarity – giving you a better mind-muscle connection.
- Caffeine – A very commonly used stimulant that can increase energy production and allow you to push harder each and every set.
- Citrulline Malate – When looking to enhance your performance and pump in the gym, this ingredient is a must. Acting as a vasodilator, citrulline malate helps dilate blood vessels.
- Beta Alanine – This ingredient increases muscle carnosine levels, allowing you to have increased performance and work output in the gym – allowing you to have better endurance and show less fatigue. Beta alanine can also make your skin tingle as a side effect, but it is not harmful.
- Hornedine – Has the ability to improve focus and energy by indirectly affecting the adrenergic system. Also, hornedine can improve blood flow to allow quick delivery of nutrients to working muscles.
So, do you really need a pre-workout?
Honestly, I enjoy pre-workouts, but to each his or her own. I have already been half asleep in the evening, but wanted to get in a workout for the day, drank a pre-workout and crushed a workout with insane amounts of energy (and yes, I still slept that night). If you are sensitive to stimulants, though, you are going to want to choose one that is either low in stimulants, use a lower dosage of a normal stimulant-based pre-workout, or one that is stimulant-free.
If you are looking for a pre-workout that provides you with lasting energy, insane pumps, intense mental focus, and without jitters, tingling, or a nasty crash afterwards, then take a peek at SciLabs Nutrition Terminal Shock. One scoop is all you need and a tub will last you 30 workouts. With four amazing flavors to choose from (fruit punch, cherry limeade, grape, and watermelon), you have something to look forward to drinking every day before you head to the gym.