Pre-workout is considered as any type of meal or a dietary supplement which is consumed before a workout which helps in producing energy for a…
Pre-workout is considered as any type of meal or a dietary supplement which is consumed before a workout which helps in producing energy for a workout. A few examples of pre-workout meals can be fruits such as Banana and Apple, Oatmeal, Eggs, Fruit smoothies, Black Coffee, etc. Also, if one wants to have a ready-made pre-workout, they can opt for pre-workout supplements available in the market which come with some added benefits. The end goal of both the alternatives is to make the body ready for a workout.
The origin of pre-workout was in 1982 and it has been an integral part of workouts ever since. Pre-workout is a dietary supplement most commonly used before any type of workout to boost the athletic performance of the body. Pre-workouts come in various forms such as capsules, liquid and powder.
Pre-workout contains ingredients like Caffeine which helps in increasing concentration, control and energy which proves beneficial for the body during the workout. It may also contain Creatine as a form of ingredient which helps the muscle cells to produce more energy while enhancing muscle growth as well. Taurine is also found as a common ingredient in pre-workouts as it helps in increasing endurance, reducing muscle damage which happens during the workout.
1. Increased Muscle Endurance: The Taurine and caffeine present in a pre-workout is a major reason for muscle endurance as it helps in reducing the pain experienced during a workout allowing the user to put in the work for a longer period than usual.
2. Decreased Muscle Recovery time: A very crucial benefit of taking pre-workout supplements is the decreased recovery time of the muscles as muscle cells are stretched and torn amidst your intense workout and they need time to recover before you step into the gym the next day. This phenomena usually happens because of BCAA‘s (Branched Chain Amino Acids) present in the pre-workout, which are known to decrease the recovery time for the muscles so that you are ready for your workout on the next day with a little or no muscle fatigue.
3. Increased Energy, Focus: Pre-workout has been proved to increase energy in the workout mostly because of the caffeine present in it, which is proven to be a source of high energy for the body.Caffeine also activates hormones like epinephrine and norepinephrine, which keeps you more attentive and focused as they run throughout the body.
4. Better Pump: Consuming pre-workout enlarges the blood vessels for a short period. This leaves the body with a better pump after your workout as the vessels have been enlarged to a different size than usual.
5. Reduced Fatigue: Pre-workout contains Caffeine, sometimes methylhexaneamine as well. Both these sources are proven to elevate your energy to a higher level which results in staying more active and putting more effort into your workout than usual.
As the name suggests, it has to be taken before your workout. It should be taken at least 20-30 minutes before your workout. User should give atleast this much time to the supplement in order to take out the best possible benefits of the particular pre-workout. The effects usually last 3-6 hours depending on how sensitive the body is to stimulants and the quantity taken.
Side-effects of Pre-workouts ?
1. May cause headache: As explained above, pre-workout expands the blood vessels in the body, which sometimes may lead to expanding the blood vessels in the brain as well, causing a headache.
2. Tingling of hands and feet: Some pre-workouts consist of beta-alanine and niacin. Research has shown that some people are sensitive to beta-alanine, and they experience tingling as a result. This tingling sensation is harmless, but it is still uncomfortable.
3. Difficulty in falling asleep: As mentioned earlier, pre-workout remains active in the body from 3-6 hours, which is a long period, especially if you workout late at night and go to sleep after some time. The activation of epinephrine and norepinephrine through caffeine results in the body being active and attentive for a long period which means you cannot sleep until the hormones go back to their normal state. That is why it is advised not to take a caffeine heavy pre-workout in the evening hours or at night.
4. Diarrhoea/Nausea: If the particular pre workout has stronger ingredients than your body can take or the dosage taken is heavy, it may lead to diarrhoea and nausea. Make sure to asses your limit of consumption before increasing dosage to be safe.
Pre-workout supplements are a great way to enhance athletic performance. You can use a preworkout supplement if you’re looking to go all blazing at your workout and that normal coffee isn’t doing its bit. Although, these supplements come with an added risk of safety if not taken properly, therefore, it is advised to take pre-workout supplements with caution and as per the directions of use on the label. Consult a doctor/physician before using a pre workout supplement if you have had any heart related issues.
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