What are pre-workouts?

What are pre-workouts?

As the name shows, pre-workouts are taken before a workout session to boost energy to perform better during a workout. These products mix in water and are ready take a right before a gym session. Majorly they have ingredients like Caffeine, beta-alanine, Creatine, or different sorts of amino acids to give the needed push for a powerful gym session. Some very popular pre-workouts include C-4 by Cellucor, Disorder by Fraction lab, Dragons breath black by Red Dragon Nutritionals, and CMBT Loaded.

Is it safe to take pre-workouts?

There are many theories about pre-workouts whether to take these or not. We have different researches that show results both in favor and against pre-workouts. Sometimes, a regular gym user hits a plateau, and getting some extra energy to do few more push-ups or last needed bicep curls or running a final kilometer pre-workouts helps a lot. Excess of everything is bad so, taking them in large amount has its disadvantages.

When to take a pre-workout?

Always remember, as the name suggests, pre-workouts are to be taken before workouts. It would help if you took it 20mins to 30mins before starting your gym session. Taking it 4 to 5 hours before your gym session won't help you. Always remember taking it before bedtime will disrupt your sleep as they are made to provide high energy that is not required before bedtime. 

Pros & cons of pre-workouts

Pros

Help to boost energy that in return helps to improve performance.

Help to increase the focus by providing you punch of energy.

Help you gain more muscle by providing your excess energy to workout harder for a longer period.

Cons

Insomnia is a side effect of pre-workout abuse.

Overuse of pre-workouts can cause dehydration.

Adrenal fatigue is one of the major issues in pre-workout abusers.

Stomach upset, skin rashes and tickling are some of the side effects caused by pre-workouts if pre-workout has any allergens.

Headaches are common in pre-workout users.

 

Common ingredients found in pre-workouts

Caffeine

Caffeine is the most consumed psychoactive drug. It is the most common ingredient in commercial pre-workouts. It is found in tea and coffee as well, which is very commonly used in different parts of the world as a beverage and to relax the mind and body. Caffeine can block few receptors in the brain and put the user in a euphoric condition.

Normally a supplement can have 150mg to 300mg caffeine or could exceed even more. C4 Ripped and CMPT loaded have 150mg Caffeine Anhydrous whereas disorder and dragon breath black have 225mg and 350mg of Caffeine Anhydrous, respectively. 

Pros     Cons 

Provide energy boost    Acts as a diuretic

Reduce muscle aches and soreness    Disturb sleep cycle

Increase endurance levels    Headaches if taken in excess amount

Calm the body and increase focus    Can cause

 

Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is produced in the body naturally so, considered a non-essential amino acid. It is mostly found in many pre-workouts. It regulates the acids (lactic acid) produced in the body during exercise and reduces fatigue in the muscle, increasing the activity and endurance levels. 

Naturally, it can be found in meat, fish, poultry (especially white meat), etc., but it is present in pre-workouts in higher doses to meet the need of the body to increase the endurance level during workout sessions.  Many formulae of elite pre-workouts like Disorder and CMBT Loaded possess Beta-alanine. We talk more precisely about Disorder, and CMBT loaded have 1.6g  and 2g Beta-alanine, respectively.  

Pros     Cons 

Reduce the levels of lactic acid    Itching 

Increase capacity of the muscle to work    Does not increase aerobic strength

Delay fatigue during gym sessions    Drug interactions can be caused

Citrulline

Citrulline is a non-essential amino acid and provides a lot of advantages during a workout session. Naturally, it is found in watermelon, but pre-workout contains Citrulline to help make a good session into a great workout session. 

Mostly in pre-workouts it is found as L-Citrulline Malate. Disorder and CMBT loaded have 3g and 4g of L-Citrulline Malate, respectively.

Pros     Cons 

Boost the production of nitric acid    Interactions with Drugs

Improves blood flow in body parts    May cause low blood pressure

 

Alpha-glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha-GPC)

It is a chemical that is made in the body. It is taken as a medicine in some countries, whereas it is provided just as dietary supplements in some countries. 

It increases a chemical in the body known as acetylcholine which is a neurotransmitter. Intake of Alpha-GPC prevents reduction in choline levels hence increasing growth hormone and endurance levels during exercise sessions. 

Pros     Cons

Blood flow to the brain    It might cause headaches and dizziness

Improves mood    Heartburn and skin rashes can also be caused

 

Creatine

Creatine is naturally found in the human body and is majorly stored in the muscles of the body. It provides more energy to the muscle cells as it gets stored in the body as phosphocreatine, a form of energy in the cell. More creatine creates more phosphocreatine, which converts into ATP (also known as energy currency), which is one of the most common reasons why most pre-workouts have creatine.

Pros    Cons

Provides more energy    Creatine may cause bloating

Help building muscle mass    Abuse can cause weight gain

May improve brain functionality     Can cause diarrhea 

Nitric oxide precursor

Nitric oxide is produced in almost every cell of the body, and it helps to maintain blood vessel health. It is also taken as a pre-workout supplement to increase the blood flow to the organs. It also increases mitochondrial respiration hence increasing the performance at gym sessions.

Pros     Cons 

Improve exercise performance    It may cause nausea, diarrhea, or bloating

Decrease muscle soreness    It may cause heart palpitations

Promote mood     Headaches are common in abus

 

 

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