In recent years, the supplement industry saw a significant rise in popularity of pre-workout energy mixes from all the best brand names in the business. Pre-workouts give you a great boost of energy and allow you to train longer at a higher capacity and ward off fatigue. They come with a variety of ingredients, and while most contain stimulants like caffeine, there are stimulant-free options on the market that work very well, too.
And while we all know what these supplements can do for us, there are some pretty common mistakes people tend to make that don’t allow us to fully benefit from its use. Here are three things you should make sure to avoid when you’re taking a pre-workout.
HERE ARE CRITICAL TIPS TO MAXIMISING YOUR PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENT
1. AVOID TAKING YOUR PRE-WORKOUT TOO LATE OR TOO SOON
I’ve seen this plenty of times before at the gym. I’ll be in the locker room suiting up, and beside me is a gym goer mixing up a scoop of pre-workout in a shaker cup and guzzling it right before he hits the gym floor.
Most ingredients in your pre-workout take around 30-40 minutes to kick in. So if you’re taking it right before you start training, you might very well be into your third exercise before you actually start to feel the full benefits. This essentially means you’re leaving your best pumps for after the workout has already finished.
On the flip side, if you were to take the pre-workout too early, you’d likely end up crashing halfway through the workout leaving you with a less likely chance of finishing strong. The safe bet is to take your dose 30 minutes before training to ensure you get the best value out of your product.
2. AVOID CONSUMING IT ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
This rule applies to people who are very caffeine sensitive. If you’re one of those people, you’re well aware of the jittery feeling of drinking a coffee first thing in the morning before breakfast.
A stimulant-based pre-workout contains caffeine and a host of other ingredients that boost your system into overdrive, so taking it without food in your stomach could be like drinking four coffees instead of one.
In order to minimise that sketchy feeling, time your meals so your pre-workout is consumed 60 minutes after eating. This will at least help your system slow down the absorption and not shock your nerves so much.
3. AVOID PRE-WORKOUTS THAT DON’T CONTAIN THE FOLLOWING INGREDIENTS
At the top of this article, I mentioned the rise in popularity of pre-workout supplements from companies all over the industry. But that is not to say they are all made equal. If you’re looking to add one to your regimen, stick to a brand that contains these three ingredients:
- Caffeine – for a stimulant based pre-workout, caffeine is a must. It will give you that energy you need to keep you going strong.
- Citrulline Malate – another staple common in all top brands. Citrulline Malate aids in the delivery of nutrients and oxygen throughout the body and muscles.
- Creatine Monohydrate – while creatine on its own is a giant seller in the supplement industry, small doses are also commonly added to pre-workout supplements. Creatine helps build muscle and increase strength.
Pre-workout supplements can be very effective as long as they contain what your body needs. Follow these tips to make a better choice.