Is there really anyone out there who couldn’t use a little boost in the gym? Maybe a little extra energy to push through that tough squat workout? This is exactly what pre-workout supplementation was designed for.
The line of pre-workout supplements is long and competitive. There are hundreds of fitness companies out there producing hundreds of pills and powders created to better the gym experience. However, not all of these products are up to par. The effectiveness of pre-workout supplementation shouldn’t be the issue that’s so far up in the air. These supplements have proven themselves time and time again in multiple scientific studies. Rather, the problem with pre-workout supplementation, as with any supplementation, is locating the good and saving that precious green from the bad.
Generally, pre-workout supplements offer three important benefits – increased energy, decreased recovery time, and a mind-blowing pump. Let’s take a look at each of these aspects in a little more detail.
1. Energy. Everyone could use a little more umph, so to speak, in the gym. We all want stronger workouts and better progress, right? Well, energy is one of the big puzzle pieces to steady and consistent progress. While food is the obviously number one choice for energy, followed closely by rest, pre-workout supplementation may provide a solid boost also. Pre-workout energy boosts are often seen in the form of a caffeine additive. Vitamin B6 and glutamine should also be present in an effective pre-workout supplement. Vitamin B6 is heavily involved in amino acid metabolism and glutamine is an important amino acid directly linked to muscle growth and function.
2. Recovery. Energy isn’t the only factor we need to consider here. Recovery plays just as important of a role in progression as energy. Most people tend to look at recovery as immediately post-workout and the following rest days. However, intra-workout recovery is key to a productive afternoon in the gym. Intra-workout recovery, or during workout recovery, is a benefit that most pre-workout supplements offer. Branched-chain amino acids are extremely important in recovery and are a necessary pre-workout and intra-workout ingredient. These are also known as BCAA’s and include leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These three amino acids play a major role in protein synthesis and allow for optimum growth and recovery.
3. Pump. This should be the last factor you take into consideration when attempting to purchase a quality pre-workout supplement. Sure, it’s a great feeling, but does it really benefit the body? Some will argue that this “pump” allows the for increased muscle expansion and growth, many others believe it is a useless effect that simply feels good. If you’re looking for this effect, check out Nitric Oxide supplementation.
To sum it all up, pre-workout supplementation is based on three factors – energy, recovery, and pump. Energy and recovery are the two most important keys, while the pump is a little something extra. Those looking for a pump should consider looking into Nitric Oxide supplementation. For the traditional few that just want a little extra help intra-workout, look for a good mix of amino acids.