I’ve never had a problem finding supplements to take after my workouts — typically, I just drink a basic protein shake. In fact, at one point, I became rather obsessive about this, and used to drink the shake while still in the gym. However, before arriving at the gym, I always find that being motivated and full of energy facilitates a much better workout.
Pre workout supplements have helped me to make the most of my gym time, and keep me progressing towards my desired goals. Normally, I take my supplements half an hour before training. They increase my levels of energy, make me more mentally alert, and reduce the tiredness in my muscles.
Before I found the best pre workout supplement, I used to just drink a cup of tea, prior to going out and benching 300lb plus. However, it is better to be scientific and look at which specific ingredients can give you the energy to crank out more repetitions, train harder and achieve results faster.
Top Ingredients for Workout Preparation
By and large, Creatine is the most famous bodybuilding aid, and it has the most research to support its’ effectiveness. Essentially, it functions by energising the muscles, which boosts the rate of muscle growth.
I take Creatine regularly and it certainly makes me stronger, and helps my muscles to recover quicker in between gym sessions.
Apart from caffeine, Creatine is the most popular pre workout ingredient. Some data suggests that it is more effective when taken after a training session. However, it works whenever you take it, so don’t lose sleep over this.
The amino acid, beta alanine, creates extra carnosine in the body, which facilitates the suppression of lactic acid. I’ve found that beta alanine improves my performance in exercises that last for a few minutes, such as jogging a couple of laps round the track. Furthermore, several other studies indicate that this ingredient improves body composition.
Tests have shown that Caffeine increases the body’s output of power by about ten percent, and that it lessens the requirement for sleep and the perception of tiredness. Also, I have found that caffeine speeds up my reflexes and makes me more focused. This was why I always used to have a cup of tea before training, and why lots of other bodybuilders do the same.
Unfortunately, for caffeine to be really effective, it has to be consumed infrequently (i.e. no more than two or three times per week) and in large doses (i.e. at least 400 mg). Drinking lots of caffeine regularly helps many bodybuilders to reduce fatigue, however it does not greatly improve their power output.
In contrast to the other ingredients mentioned above, nitrate (which is the primary bioactive in beetroot) has not been extensively tested for bodybuilding purposes. Nonetheless, I have found that this ingredient definitely improves my performance in aerobic exercises, such as long distance running. Some evidence suggests that it can help with certain anaerobic exercises too.
At the time of writing, this ingredient is not allowed to be sold as a dietary aid, or in large doses. However, it is easy to obtain via supplemental beetroot tablets, or by consuming vegetables.
10 Recommended Pre Workout Supplements
1. Infinite Labs: CarnoCre — This contains large amounts of Carnosyn beta alanine, along with Creatine MagnaPower. This is thought to combat tiredness, increase power output and facilitate the growth of lean muscle tissue.
2. Controlled Labs: White Flood — This contains carnitine, ornithine and citrulline. All of these compounds have been proven to complement the muscle building impact of weight training, and increase muscular strength within weeks. This supplement contains norvaline as well, which is a potent arginase inhibitor. This can deliver amazing vasodilation and pumps.
3. Magnum Nutraceuticals: OPUS — This contains Carnosyn, which is a high quality and pure form of instantized beta alanine. This ingredient stimulates the enzymes that generate muscle contractions. It boosts intra muscular Carnosine too, which is utilized by the type two muscle fibers for intense activities, like sprinting and weight lifting.
4. BSN: N.O.-Xplode 2.0 — This contains five unique forms of Creatine to improve oxygen delivery, nitric oxide production, electrolyte balance and working capacity. This allows bodybuilders to experience impressive vascularity and muscle pumps, and enjoy more productive training sessions.
5. MusclePharm: Assault — Every serving of this product contains two grams of Carnosyn beta alanine, as well as ION 3 Nitrate Technology nutrients. This improves stamina, strength, muscle growth and overall athletic performance.
6. Cellucor: C4 Extreme — This contains beta alanine, arginine AKG and creatine nitrate. These ingredients increase energy levels significantly. Bodybuilders will find it easier to complete more sets, do more repetitions and boost their stamina, strength and personal records.
7. AST: DGC — This unique crystal of glucose does not have to be digested, before being absorbed into the bloodstream. Consequently, it is a fuel source that can support rapid, long term mental function and muscle energy needs.
8. Applied Nutriceuticals: Drive — This contains cordyceps sinensis, dodder seed extract, naringin, icariin and forskolin. This burns body fat, improves lean muscle development and delivers blistering pumps.
9. PharmaFreak: Ripper Freak Pre Workout — This contains TyroPure Instantized L Tyrosine, to enhance cognitive function and mental alertness. It contains oleuropein aglycone as well, which facilitates the release of adrenaline. During training sessions, this kind of ingredient can really maximize a bodybuilder’s strength, energy and intensity.
10. Optimum: Essential AmiN.O. Energy — This product combines nitric oxide boosting ingredients and natural energizers, with a potent quantity of free form, rapidly absorbed amino acids. This helps bodybuilders to build muscle and train harder for longer.
Remember that all bodybuilders should take supplements that are suitable for their particular needs. To avoid diluting the effectiveness of my pre workout supplements, I always try to use them frugally — particularly when it comes to caffeine. Indeed, I reserve these supplements for certain occasions, like after a hard day at the office, or when I’m attempting a new personal record.
So, what pre workout supps are you using?