Working out is a tiring activity, that is what many believe. But contrary to their claim, exercise is beneficial to our health and not as tiring as what they think! It can improve your stamina, burn unnecessary and unhealthy fats, help you focus at work, and increase your productivity throughout the day. To bodybuilders, however, improving health is not enough, and they strive to build up muscles.
Bodybuilding is not an easy task as it takes time, motivation, consistency, and patience. Some gave up because of the time it took to progress or how tiring it was. But luckily for bodybuilders, there are now supplements they can take to aid them in gaining muscle mass! These are what we call “pre-workout” supplements, and there are many variations of them in the market.
Are pre-workout supplements essential to bodybuilding? Also, what do I need to think about or do before buying one? In this article, we will answer those questions! I will give you three reasons why pre-workout supplements are great for bodybuilding and four tips before choosing the products best for you!
Reasons why taking pre-workout supplements is great for bodybuilding
1. For Energy Boosting
Energizing your body to last longer in your workout session is the primary purpose of the supplements. With more time to spend and more energy to burn in pumping up your muscles, bodybuilding becomes easier. Of course, how much time you last at the gym still depends on your overall stamina. So if you want to last longer, build stamina with these. Here are some other ways you can boost your stamina.
Other Ways To Boost Your Stamina
- Meditation And Breathing Exercises
Breathing techniques are nothing to scoff at. It is used by a wide variety of martial artists not only to increase stamina but also to increase their strength (when punching, kicking and lifting weights). Our body functions normally because of the oxygen we breathe in. Utilizing breathing techniques can reduce the stress in your body, therefore sparing some more energy while working out.
- Taking Ashwagandha
Ashwagandha, as bizarre as it sounds, is a herb proven to boost up energy. Coming from India, parts of Africa, and the Middle East, these evergreen shrubs have a long history of use as traditional medicine. It is used to improve overall health and wellness. It also reduces stress and cognitive function.
- Sipping Caffeinated Drinks
We all know caffeine can help us stay up longer at night, but there is more to it than meets the eye. According to a study (read more), nine male swimmers improved their swim time after taking caffeine before the test. The study proves the significance between caffeine and stamina, so give it a try! Be sure not to drink too much because palpitation is the side effect after taking excessive caffeine, and it would also be counterproductive.
2. Enhances Your Concentration And Improves Performance
Exercise can affect your daily life by improving your productivity and making your mind sharper. But what if I told you it could be enhanced further, and you could feel the effects during a workout? That is right, pre-workout supplements can improve your concentration and performance during and after exercise. Taking it right before you go to the gym, you will start to notice that you have better reaction times and waste no time when finishing your workout routine.
3. Improves Your Blood Flow
Blood is the river of life as it carries vessels of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body. Improving the blood flow can help supply our brain with oxygen effectively, improving our cognitive function. It also increases the oxygen and nutrients to our muscles which in turn can speed up their recovery time. You would also feel the “pump” during and after workouts, even while you are resting!
Here are some tips before choosing pre-workout supplements
1. Know The Type You Would Want To Buy
Before you try out a product, you first need to identify what you prefer; would you choose a stimulant containing supplements or the non-stimulating ones? To give you an idea of the difference, the stimulant-containing supplements work fast inside your body, and you would feel an immediate effect. Non-stimulating supplements have a slow onset, but it does not contain stimulants such as caffeine and citrulline.
2. Read Reviews Of The Product First
One of the most reliable reference when looking for pre-workout supplements are their review websites. To start, The Pre-Workout Review websites are easily accessible via internet browsers. Search for it in search engines (such as Google and Bing). Many review websites can help you choose the right product to buy and where you can buy it. There are also features such as effectiveness, basic information of the product, price tags, and more, so be sure to utilize them as much as you like!
3. Know Your Essential Ingredients
It is critical to know the essential ingredients when choosing pre-workout supplements. Many labels claiming it has this and that, but what exactly are they, and what can they do to your body? To answer those questions, here is a quick breakdown of the common ingredients in the supplements.
- Creatine Monohydrate
To summarize the function of this molecule, it provides the missing molecule to convert Adenosine Diphosphate (ADP) to Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). When our muscles contract, the cells burn ATP (the energy for the cell) and lose a phosphate molecule, thus becoming ADP. Creatine Monohydrate comes in to convert ADP back to ATP. Creatine also pulls the water back into the muscle cells and improves protein synthesis!
Beta-alanine is a compound that buffers the acid in muscles. Because of that, it increases muscular endurance and physical performance. Additionally, it helps to gain lean muscles. Beta-alanine also has anti-aging properties and is an antioxidant itself. Paresthesia or tingling sensation under your skin is the side effect of this compound, but these are normal and should go away after a while.
Citrulline increases the plasma levels of Arginine. Arginine is an essential amino acid that converts into a powerful neurotransmitter, nitric oxide (link: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/326381), that aids in relaxing the blood vessels and increases the blood flow! Citrulline also removes waste like lactic acid (a byproduct of anaerobic metabolism after contracting a muscle), thus decreases muscle soreness.
If you pair up fat-burning supplements with Taurine, it helps by reducing cramps caused by it. However, taking Taurine can be toxic to the body when used excessively. That does not mean you should avoid using it because you can still consume up to 3 grams per day of Taurine in a lifetime without any side effects!
- Trimethylglycine Or Betaine
Trimethylglycine is also known as the Betaine molecule because it was discovered from beetroots. Betaine is a naturally occurring amino acid, and its most notable characteristic is the prevention of homocysteine build-up. Homocysteine links to heart diseases, according to experts.
- Branched-chain Amino Acids
Branched-chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are three amino acids with similar structures, and they influence the muscles. The three are known as isoleucine, leucine, and valine. While contracting your muscles, there will be muscle tears, and after the repair, the strength also grows. BCAAs work by assisting in repairing muscles and their growth! Additionally, it also decreases mental fatigue and reduces muscle soreness.
4. Know From What Company You Are Buying From
Buying from a prestigious company is well-tested and passes through FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approval. The same can’t be said to fake products, however. Unfortunately, there are still scammers that sell illegitimate products that may appear legitimate. They copy a brand and only slightly deviate its appearance. Fake products often come in bulk or at lesser prices than SRP (selected retail price), so watch out for it because illegitimate supplements can be detrimental to your health!