How to choose your pre-workout booster
Many pre-workout formulas are on the market, each more effective than the next, and it is not always easy to choose the right one. What criteria should be considered? With or without stimulants, for what purpose? Caffeine, creatine, citrulline, beta-alanine, Bcaa. Here are all that will weigh in the balance.
1- What nutrition before training?
Taking something before training is a rather new concept. Eating just before training will mobilize the body for digestion and compromise the smooth running of the session.
We have been content to take supplements after the session, which remains the best window to assimilate the nutrients. But the purpose of a pre-workout is quite different. It’s about having the juice to face an intense session.
And sometimes we need a helping hand.
Ingredient research has shown many benefits for those who train hard. So, ready to take your training to another dimension?
2- What is a workout or pre-workout booster?
Why take a pre-workout?
If you have a leg session and feel unmotivated or tired, then appreciate this extra energy boost.
Do you have a big workout planned or a long outing and need more stamina? A carb-enriched workout booster can make the difference and get you going.
Want to build muscle? You want to be able to train with intensity and push the session to the max to gain lean muscle. The pre-workout will bring you additional resources. You aim to lose body fat but the cutting diet you out. Still, you know to train hard to be successful at drying out more, and a boost would be welcome.
3- The different types of pre-workout in bodybuilding
There are different types of pre-workout also called volumizers or NO boosters. Depending on the name given to them, there may be variations in the formulas. Certain ingredients are present, absent, or highly need to look.
The complete pre-workouts contain a list of main ingredients. They act both on energy with caffeine, volume with creatine, and congestion with arginine or citrulline.
They have a sort of triple effect to push your session on all fronts. You should know that these are generally high in caffeine and poorly tolerated.
Most of the time, these are small jars, and the doses to be taken are 5 to 10g. That is enough due to the potency of the ingredients combined. So don’t double the dose. They give you a feeling of omnipotence, boundless energy, and euphoria that can be addictive.
It is based on ingredients or molecules that play a required role in muscle building and muscle recoveries as creatine, amino acids, and fast-acting carbohydrates.
Those who have chosen not to include caffeine are indicated “stimulant-free” on the label and rely on other ingredients to promote the pump effect with NO precursors. It is also the case with creatine-based supplements that favor muscle volume.
They sometimes also incorporate adaptogenic plants that will minimize the stress and allow the body to better adapt to it, thus preparing for recovery.
Finally, simple pre-workouts exist based on amino acids, BCAAs, vitamins, and minerals, sometimes a little carbohydrate, which help to prepare and preserve muscles thanks to essential nutrients. The difference is that this type of product is also called pre-workout, but in fact, it is taken continuously throughout your session.
Pre-workouts without stimulants are less spectacular in terms of thrills but can make a difference. You will be able to increase your strength, your congestion, and your recovery despite muscular failure.
4- Which booster for which sport?
Stimulant-based pre-workout boosters are made for muscle building. They allow you to lift heavier or to chain series to failure without feeling almost tired.
Some brands have declined them for endurance because the benefits are required for many sports.
In general, the stimulating effect is less sought after because it is not long-lasting, but those who have tried it can testify: that it works!
5- The different types of pre-workout supplements
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that also increases metabolism. Taken before training, it has a fat-burning effect. It also increases vigilance and concentration on the performance side. Choose moderate doses of caffeine to boost your performance.
We don’t always think about it, but boosters of this type are also used to increase metabolism (fat burning). Several ingredients will improve fat utilization, especially when feeling weak from a low-carb diet.
The pre-workout keeps the intensity high, promotes thermogenesis, and makes you sweat more to burn more calories.
In this case, be sure to combine it with a drink containing BCAAs to preserve the muscles if there are not already some in your pre-workout.
Creatine is one of the most popular supplements. Studies prove it works. It is useful if one is looking for strength.
Adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, is an energy source used for muscle contraction. But ATP only has a very short lifespan. The body draws on creatine phosphate to recycle ATP. Taking creatine before training, therefore, strengthens muscle reserves.
Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that can increase carnosine levels in muscle tissue. Beta-alanine allows it to be resynthesized and delays the production of lactic acid. It also limits the oxidative stress associated with fatigue.
Beta-alanine can cause a tingling sensation on the skin. It is normal and harmless.
Citrulline Malate can reduce the feeling of fatigue and increase ATP production and delay fatigue during high-intensity training.
Citrulline acts as a precursor of arginine and supports its production by converting to arginine, a powerful vasodilator.
The 3 branched-chain amino acids that form BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Pre-workout BCAAs help reduce the breakdown of muscle tissue.
They can serve as a quick energy reserve when the body needs them. In addition, they would maintain a higher level of testosterone and insulin after training.
6- Which booster for which goal?
Pre-workout supplementation aims to improve performance, increase strength and endurance, limit muscle breakdown during training, increase protein synthesis, improve energy and concentration, facilitate the assimilation of nutrients, to create an optimal hormonal environment.
These benefits are helpful to anyone who trains for any purpose. Who doesn’t want to feel better at the gym and feel like they can go beyond their limits?
Getting the most out of your efforts and getting better results is not insignificant. Ensure the presence of this or that ingredient according to the objective in the list below.
Energy and weight loss
Strength and power
Muscle growth and fuel
Pump and libido effect
7- When to take a booster and how?
Using pre-workout supplements requires some precautions. Most pre-workout boosters are taken without other food on an empty stomach.
Its formula gives energy, so there is no need to add other supplements to it at the risk of compromising its effect and its passage through the blood.
Combining them is also a bad idea because of the risk of caffeine overdose, for example. Also, do not drink coffee or energy drinks with these supplements.
They are to be taken before the session and therefore not on rest days because you do not have a session to boost.
You’ll feel the effects better if you don’t get too used to it.
As with most supplements, creatine or caffeine, and after a while the body adapts and is less effective. Caffeine sensitivity will decrease over time.
The creatine transporters gradually stop doing their job. If you continue to take it. That is why we also recommend going gradually in terms of dosage for people sensitive to stimulants.
The idea is to do 1 to 2 months, then stop for at least two weeks. When you do it again, you will feel the immediate effects, as the body will be re-sensitized to the ingredients. The routine is never good and our body adapts.
Pitfalls to avoid before movement
What is your stimulant tolerance? Do you regularly drink coffee or energy drinks, without much effect, or does the slightest cup of coffee irritate you and make you hypersensitive?
If you have a “low tolerance” to stimulants, you avoid caffeine and tyrosine-type ingredients. Knowing this will allow you to choose the right pre-workout with or without a stimulant.
What is your workout time at bedtime? If you train at 6 p.m. and go to bed at 10 p.m., don’t expect to get a heavy sleep with a stimulant-based pre-workout.
Avoid taking stimulants after 4 p.m. if you want to get quality sleep. Alternatively, use a caffeine-free pre-workout.
Avoid high doses of stimulants in the morning because afterward, you will have a pump when the effect wears off. Choose an intermediate pre-workout moderately dosed in caffeine (200mg), or take a little caffeine a few hours after training to avoid a sharp drop in energy.
Now you know pretty much everything there is to know about pre-workouts and workout boosters. Make good use of them and remember not to abuse them and enjoy their effects.