Should I Take Pre Workout? Here’s Everything You Need To Know

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If you’re sat there wondering ‘should I take pre-workout?‘, then you’ve come to the right place.

We’ve put together this guide to help you get to grips with the supplement so you can come to an informed decision on whether it is right for you and your workouts.

If you’re looking for additional supplements to support your training, then check out some of our lists on the best protein powder, creatine, and BCAAs available now.

Without further delay, let’s begin by figuring out what pre-workout is…

What Is Pre Workout?

Pre-workout supplements, or simply pre-workouts, are multi-ingredient blends designed to give you a boost in energy prior to exercising, training, and working out.

The best pre-workouts on the market, like this offering from BSN, typically come in a powdered form and, as the name suggests, are predominately taken before training.

One of the biggest misconceptions of pre-workouts is that they all contain the same ingredients. This is not the case.

Many will be a blend of amino acids, beta-alanine, caffeine, and sometimes creatine, but the quantities of each can vary between manufacturers.

You’ve also got to be careful as some pre-workouts are not tested as stringently as others for purity and quality, which is why this study into the safety implications of pre-workout suggests thoroughly investigating the ingredients prior to consumption.

What Ingredients Should You Look For?

In light of the study above, here are a few ingredients we feel you should look out for if you’re planning on purchasing pre-workouts.

Caffeine

One of the ways pre-workouts provide you with a boost in energy is to add in caffeine, something many of us already consume daily in tea and coffee, so is deemed relatively safe if consumed responsibly.

This paper looking into caffeine and exercise suggests it is clear that caffeine is an ergogenic aid for training, which is why many pre-workout supplements include it.

However, there are a few examples of caffeine-free pre-workout like this Genius Pre blend. It utilises ingredients such as Alpha GPC instead, which are linked to improved power output cognition.

Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino-acid that is said to help you withstand the ‘burning’ feeling you get when pushing an exercise to failure.

According to the International Society Of Sports Nutrition, this is because it acts as a pH buffer, or simply it helps prevent acid buildup in your muscle tissue, hence why most blends, like this one from Elevate Zero, include them

ISSN also states beta-alanine currently appears to be safe in healthy populations at recommended doses.

Nitric Oxide Boosters

Nitric oxide is something found naturally in your body that helps relax your blood vessels.

If you come across ingredients such as l-citrulline during your investigation, then you are looking at a nitric oxide booster which, in theory, can increase the blood flow to your muscles.

Research into nitric oxide and its role in exercise has found there is a relationship between the compound and improved athletic performance, however, not all research agrees, and most of the research out there has only used young men as participants.

Should I Take Pre Workout?

Pre-workout isn’t for everyone, and looking to improve factors like sleep, hydration, and your diet may be a better first port of call instead of turning to supplements to minimise tiredness and fatigue.

Moreover, some of the common ingredients like caffeine can have adverse effects on your stomach and digestion, which aren’t necessarily desired whilst exercising.

With that being said though, most readily available pre-workouts are safe for healthy adults to consume, and the caffeine hit can give you a serious boost to your energy levels which is sometimes necessary for the gym.

If you’re serious about your fitness and in need of the occasional lift, then we’d suggest investigating the ingredients before picking up pre-workout supplements, and make sure you stick to the recommended amounts in order to remain safe whilst taking them.

Read More: Best Protein Bars Available Now – Our Top Picks

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