The idea of using a pre-workout drink to improve your performance at the gym, to burn extra calories, or to help you give an extra kick in your workout sounds fabulous. But while they might sound incredible, pre-workout drinks aren’t the miracle potion most people think they are. It’s essential to understand what goes into pre-workout drinks and decide whether they’re suitable for you and your fitness goals before you pop that top and add it to your drink of choice.
What Are Pre-Workouts?
Pre-workouts are dietary supplements containing ingredients that increase energy levels, sharpen focus and concentration, and improve performance during workouts. Pre-workout supplements are meant to be taken before a workout to enhance performance. The market is filled with products containing various ingredients that claim to help do that. But it is crucial to always go through the pre-workout review and label carefully to know which one suits your need.
One of the most common ingredients in pre-workouts is caffeine. And for a good reason; as a stimulant, caffeine has been shown to increase endurance, strength, power and muscular contractions. Beta-alanine is another ingredient frequently found in pre-workouts and one that’s been well studied concerning increasing exercise performance. Beta-alanine can increase muscle carnosine levels, improving exercise capacity and decreasing muscle fatigue during intense training.
Nitrates are another ingredient commonly included in pre-workouts and many other sports supplements. Nitrates help improve blood flow and reduce oxygen consumption, leading to increased endurance, more effective warm-ups, faster recovery after exercise, and less fatigue during high-intensity training.
How Do Pre-Workouts Work?
The benefits of taking a pre-workout supplement are most pronounced when it’s taken before high-intensity exercises, such as sprinting or lifting heavyweights. During bouts of intense exercise, your body uses energy from glucose stored in your muscles (called glycogen) at an accelerated rate. When these glycogen stores are depleted, your performance starts to decrease, and it becomes difficult to keep up the intensity of your workout.
By providing extra energy for your muscles to use during high-intensity exercise, pre-workout supplements may allow you to get more out of every minute you spend at the gym. This is especially true if you’re following a restrictive diet or are new to weight training and don’t have much glycogen stored in your muscles.
Can Pre-Workouts Help In Weight Loss?
Pre-workout supplements are designed to help you gain more muscle and strength, improve your athletic performance, and increase your energy levels and focus. They typically contain ingredients that help dilate blood vessels, increase oxygen delivery to your muscles, and boost your mental acuity while training.
There are a few different ways pre-workout supplements can help with fat loss. First, they often contain ingredients designed to boost your energy, allowing you to maintain a high level of effort in the gym over a longer period. Second, your increased energy levels will allow you to work out more frequently if needed. Third, many pre-workout supplements also contain ingredients that support healthy digestion and appetite control by regulating blood sugar levels and fighting off cravings – which is essential when you’re trying to lose weight.
Pre-workout supplements won’t directly contribute to your body’s ability to burn stored fat as its primary fuel source during exercise. However, the ingredients inside will make it easier for you to accomplish fitness goals like building muscle and losing fat by improving your ability to perform in the gym consistently.
As long as you’re consistently hitting the gym and following a healthy diet that’s low in calories but high in protein (which helps promote muscle growth), then you will lose weight. However, if you decide to add a pre-workout supplement into the mix, it could make losing weight a little easier.
Should You Use Pre-Workouts?
If you’re looking to take your workouts from just O.K. to seriously impressive, then it’s time to find out if pre-workouts are for you. Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle or just feel more energized in your day-to-day life, the proper workout can make all the difference. But if your workouts have plateaued, adding a pre-workout may be just what you need to smash through that wall and take things to the next level!
All pre-workouts are not created equal. The quality can vary widely from product to product, and the potency of the ingredients will depend on how much is added to each serving. As a result, some products don’t work very well (or may even cause side effects like nausea or jitters). Other products work exceptionally well, and if you find one that works for you, it can enhance your training in ways that few other supplements can. You should always check with your doctor first before trying out pre-workout drinks.
The Bottom Line
When looking at a pre-workout drink, there are three main ingredients to keep in mind: the stimulants, the energy-boosting ingredients, and the amino acids. Pre-workouts might help you feel more energized and motivated to exercise, but how many calories you burn seems very dependent on your individual needs and how hard you push yourself during your workout. If you’re already in shape and working out regularly, adding a pre-workout drink can help improve your performance in the gym.