A question commonly asked by most gym goers is “what is the best pre workout supplement”? Well it is first very important to identify what goals you have set out to achieve.
Are you looking to burn more fat whilst you train?
Do you want to lift heavier weights and focus on a more strength based style of training?
Could it be that you are just finding yourself lacking the motivation or energy and need that pick me up energy hit which pre workouts can provide?
By understanding what your fitness goals and needs are you are giving people like myself, who are experts in the supplement field a chance to advise you on the best product for your needs.
This article will go through the different pre workout options that are available and the roles they play in helping achieve different fitness goals.
Burn Your Fat – Thermogenic Pre Workouts
A goal that a lot of individuals share in their unique fitness journey is wanting to burn fat or tone up. A great pre workout supplements used to aid in the fat burning process whilst training are thermogenic pre workouts.
A thermogenic pre workout has stimulants such as caffeine to provide an individual with an energy boost to help push them to go harder and longer throughout their training sessions. However, this is not the only benefits of this pre workout supplement.
The ingredients in thermogenic pre workouts cause your body’s core temperature to rise and you will find that you sweat more during your session as your body tries to cool itself down. As core body temperature rises, the body now has to work harder in order to bring it back to its normal level, this causes the body’s metabolism to accelerate and extra calories and fat are burnt.
Many of the thermogenic pre workouts on the market contain a useful ingredient called “L-Carnitine”.
What does L-Carnitine do? It helps your body transport fat easier so that your body can burn the fat and use it as energy; in short your body is now burning fat more efficiently.
Most thermogenic pre workouts contain L-Carnitine however most do not contain optimal dosages. The optimal dosage may differ from individual to individual but for most people it is between 1.5 – 3g.
Thermogenic pre workout supplements can be very useful in providing a person with an increase in energy as well as boosting metabolism. The ingredients found in thermogenic pre workouts can also increase the fat burning process in the body throughout a training session.
For the best results it is advised to take the thermogenic pre workout 20 – 30 minutes prior to training with about 200 – 300mL of water. More water can be used; however I personally do not like a lot of water sitting in my stomach before an intense training session.
Energy and Muscular Pump – Pre Workouts
The usual reason why people want to begin using a pre workout supplement is to increase energy whilst they train. This could be to help them after a long day at work or to just give them an extra boost throughout their training session.
There are also ingredients in pre workouts to help increase muscular pump, endurance and strength. We will go through each of these ingredients in this article.
If you have never used a pre workout before it would be a good idea to try one of the milder ones for your first time. Try using half a scoop to test out the strength of the pre workout so you are not overwhelmed by a full serve.
However, over time your body will become familiar with the ingredients and formula of the pre workout and most likely you will have to get a stronger product. I would not recommend using a double scoop of your more “mild” pre workout as this will contain too much caffeine which will not be healthy for your body.
Some of the stronger pre workout supplements on the market contain a strong stimulant called “Juglans Regia Extract”. It is a natural source of DMHA which is an extremely strong stimulant and can provide huge bursts of energy; it is considerably safe in the dosages that are used in the pre workout supplements that contain it.
WARNING: DMHA has been banned in pre workouts in some States and countries. Please check the laws of your local area before purchasing or using any pre workout with DMHA in it.
You can still find these pre workout supplements on the market but I would not recommend using them if you have any medical conditions. As well if you are in a job that requires you to do drug testing you should refrain from using such pre workouts as the strong stimulant is not allowed in jobs such as the defence force. Only experienced trainers and people who have been using strong pre workout supplements should use these pre workouts containing DMHA.
Citruline Malate and Arginine (also known as L-Arginine) are both commonly found in pre workout supplements; they help the user to achieve a greater muscular pump. This ingredient gets converted to nitric oxide in the body which sends messages to the brain to widen the blood vessels and in turn more blood is able to be pumped.
Training your muscles requires more blood flow to help with the increased workload. By using a pre workout with Citruline Malate or Arginine your blood vessels will widen allowing more blood to flow to the area of your body that you are working on giving you a greater muscular pump.
Besides having a great pump there are also more benefits to this. Blood is rich in oxygen and nutrients which are vital when we are exercising. The increase in oxygen rich blood and nutrients to the muscles can help you perform more repetitions and will help with muscle repair and recovery.
This works especially well when using creatine as well. The widening of the blood vessels helps to transport the creatine into the muscles a lot more efficiently than it would otherwise without. Pre workouts do have creatine in them but the honest truth is that they do not have enough to really make a difference. I would recommend buying creatine separately and adding around 3 – 5 grams into your pre workout.
Creatine – Stand Alone Pre Workout Or Great Addition To Energy Pre Workouts
What does Creatine do? Creatine can help with muscular strength and muscle gain.
Creatine is found in the body naturally and can be found in foods such as meat. It is used by the body to produce Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) which is the main energy source for the body in heavy lifting exercises or explosive exercises such as sprinting.
By additionally supplementing creatine into your pre workout you give your body more to play with and the ability to produce more ATP to help build muscular strength and in turn build muscle.
Often people find their body getting a tingle from some pre workouts and think this is to do with the strength of the supplement. However, this is not the case. The tingle is caused by an ingredient called “Beta Alanine”.
What does Beta Alanine do? Beta Alanine helps the body reduce lactic acid.
Some people love the feeling of the tingles and others cannot stand it, however it is helping with athletic performance. When a person exercises or runs for a long distance over time lactic acid builds up in the muscles. This causes the muscles to feel heavy and unresponsive.
Have you ever felt that heavy feeling in your legs after a long run or an intense leg workout? That is what lactic acid does to your muscles. Beta Alanine is very useful as it helps reduce the onset of lactic acid, resulting in the ability for us to exercise harder and longer.
Laser Like Focus – Nootropic Pre Workouts
The busy lives that people lead today can have your mind going everywhere rather than focusing on your workout session. Luckily there are specifically formulated pre workout supplements out there to help provide increased focus throughout a training session.
The name of this type of pre workout is called a “Nootropic Pre Workout”.
The majority of them tend to have less caffeine than your normal pre workout supplements or thermogenic pre workout supplements but have added ingredients such as Tyrosine (also known as L-Tyrosine) and Acetly-L-Carnitine.
These ingredients can assist in increase cognitive (brain) function and even enhance mood. This is ideal for those who struggle to focus when training and need that extra energy boost.
Not only in the gym but out of the gym as well; Nootropic Pre Workout supplements can be used. I often get shift workers such as nurses asking me advice on supplements they can use to help them through long night shifts as they don’t want to drink energy drinks such as Redbull or Mother to name a few.
That is when I recommend them to try a Nootropic Pre Workout. It is perfect as it has a low dose of caffeine with generally no other strong stimulants in it. The increased brain function from the ingredients mentioned above is perfect for their type of work and can help them feel alert and switched on throughout the shift.
Pre workout supplements can be extremely beneficial to the user once you work out your goals get the best produc to suit your needs. They can help burn fat, increase energy, strength, endurance and even help enhance brain function and mood. These supplements are not only beneficial to people who are exercising but can also help people in the workforce, Nootropic Pre Workout supplements in particular.
If you need help with anything or have any questions feel free to comment on the post and I will be more than happy to help.
All the best.
Founder of Smarter Supps