Did you know pre-workout supplements are gaining even more popularity over the years? It’s now an essential part of any workout regimen.
But are they safe?
Well, yes, and they can be effective, too. However, you need to look at the ingredients closely. Do this to determine whether the ingredients align with your goals and if they’re safe for you.
You also have to scrutinize the company. Only get supplements from credible businesses to ensure the labels provide correct information.
With that said, you also need to know what to look for to get the best pre-workout supplement for you. Look for these supplements below.
Beta-alanine is a beta-amino acid. It’s a common ingredient used to improve athletic performance and build body mass. This is why you’ll find it in most pre-workout supplements.
It doesn’t affect the muscles per se. When our bodies digest it, it’s then converted into other chemicals. These chemicals are the ones useful for boosting physical performance and delaying muscle fatigue.
One such chemical is carnosine, which beta-alanine produces together with histidine. Carnosine combats lactic acid, which builds up in the muscles during exercise. This causes discomfort and sore muscles.
Carnosine helps fight against these effects by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid. This leads to improved performance.
Beta-alanine has some side effects when taken in high doses. You may feel some tingling in your fingertips and/or nose. Worry not, most supplements in the market don’t contain enough dosage to produce this effect.
Caffeine, the same chemical found in coffee and tea, also helps improve your workouts. Like the way it stimulates our minds, it also increases our energy and endurance.
The working theory behind it is that it encourages muscles to burn more fat for fuel. Thus, it makes you feel less tired, allowing you to work out harder and longer. You’ll be able to use your energy preserves to the max before you wear your muscles out.
If you’re a coffee-lover, you may be able to get your dose of caffeine via your coffee drink. Make sure to drink it 1 hour before your workout.
If your pre-workout supplement already has caffeine you may want to hold off drinking a cup. The best pre-workout supplement for you has a nice blend of different ingredients, anyway, so it’s likely it already has caffeine.
Taking both may produce undesired side effects, like restlessness and increased blood pressure.
Citrulline is another naturally-occurring amino acid. It’s known for improving performance, delaying exhaustion, and supporting better post-workout recovery.
It’s a precursor to another amino acid, L-arginine. This, in turn, is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO). This is the chemical that creates the effects that Citrulline is well-known for.
NO promotes vasodilation, the widening of the blood vessels. Relaxing the blood vessel walls results in increased blood flow. This increases the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your muscles.
Citrulline appears to have no side effects even when taken in higher doses. Still, it’s not a good idea to test it, especially if you’re taking medicines and supplements with nitrates.
Creatine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements because it has a lot of scientific evidence backing it up. It’s one of the most widely studied chemicals in our bodies.
It’s a derivative of three amino acids produced in our bodies. It takes part in the energy production of cells and muscle strength.
Taking this supplement, therefore, can increase muscle mass and strength. It also helps improve your performance and recovery period.
You may be familiar with electrolytes because of Gatorade and other sports drinks. You may also be familiar with its claims that it increases hydration and improves muscle function. These are true as these are the same benefits you’ll get from a supplement with electrolytes.
Yet, sports drinks may be unhealthy. They may contain too much sugar and artificial additives.
For these reasons, you may instead look for a pre-workout supplement. It must have the three most important electrolytes: sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
You’ll also see taurine in pre-workout supplements. What it does is that it helps muscles to work harder. It increases muscle contraction, allowing it to use greater force.
It helps the muscles recover in many ways. First, it combats oxidative stress, reducing cell damage. Then, it also removes waste products that cause muscle burn, similar to beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate.
BCAA stands for branched-chain amino acids. It consists of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Our bodies cannot produce these molecules, so we must get them from an outside source.
It’s a popular ingredient in the best workout supplements, but they’re available in protein-rich foods, too.
BCAA has several proven benefits, like increasing muscle growth and preventing the deterioration of muscles. It can also improve endurance and decrease muscle soreness.
8. Sodium Bicarbonate
If sodium bicarbonate seems familiar, that’s because it’s a common household product. You may know it as baking soda, the same ingredient for cakes and cleaning.
Sodium bicarbonate is a buffering agent, which helps muscles flush out metabolic byproducts like lactic acid and hydrogen. This causes the burn you feel in your muscles and fatigue.
It also balances the body’s natural pH level. Intense workouts make our bodies more acidic. Baking soda is alkaline, so it can counteract the acidic environment created by exercise.
SARMs are in the same vein as testosterone. It stands for selective androgen receptor modulators.
They are similar to steroids in that it increases muscle development. However, it’s safer and it produces fewer undesirable side effects.
It’s growing in popularity all over the world, but you can only buy SARMs wholesale overseas as of now.
What is the Best Pre-Workout Supplement?
The best pre-workout supplement for you depends on your current muscle mass, exercise routine, and workout goals. Do you need endurance or do you need to build muscles?
However, many supplements have a blend of two or more of the ingredients above anyway. If you need more tips, though, feel free to read more with our blog posts today.