by Will Grumke August 02, 2021 5 min read
Taking care of our health is one of the most important parts of life...
Which is why we want to make sure we're setting ourselves up for success when it comes to our workouts and what we put into our bodies, meaning our food and supplementation.
Because when we're putting in the time, money, and energy to improve ourselves...
We want to get the most out of every workout, and make sure our meals both fuel our body properly AND taste good, right?
If we break that down further, when it comes to our workouts, pre-workout supplements can be very beneficial when used correctly, and for the right reasons.
But, everyone is different. Not only can men and women respond differently to individual ingredients, but every single person is unique in their own way.
And since women can have a wide range of goals when it comes to their health and fitness, we understand it is important to know what is right for your specific situation.
In this article, we'll break down what pre-workout supplements are, along with when and why to include them in your fitness routine.
Pre-workout supplements, often shortened to pre-workouts, are a combination of different ingredients intended to improve your performance during exercise.
Some of the main benefits that pre-workouts can offer include helping to boost energy, strength, and endurance ... or help to improve your focus during training.
For example, pre-workouts with amino acids can help prevent an excess breakdown of muscle, and in combination with proper nutrition, can help aid in recovery for better results.
Athletes can especially benefit from pre-workouts when they're pushing their bodies to new extremes during training...
But athletes aren't the only people who can benefit from pre-workout supplements.
Whether it's early in the morning, late at night, or you're just looking to push your limits ... there are pre-workout options that can help you!
See, I get it ... nobody wants to lose momentum during a workout, or have an off day in the gym. We want to give each workout everything we've got in the tank, and ultimately earn the best results possible.
What's great about that is, pre-workout supplements are an awesome way to help prepare your body and your mind to perform better during your workouts!
Yes! Actually, there are countless pre-workout options that are designed to get you specific results, or help you in different ways!
For starters, they can come in different forms depending on your need or the brand.
For the most part, pre-workouts are available as a powder, a pill, or sometimes as a snack-food with the most important components built in. This "snack" could be a protein bar, a drink/shake, or another type of packaged food.
Another difference between pre-workouts has to do with what they're made of.
It's important to review the ingredients in the supplements you're taking, since they vary between types and brands.
However, there are some common ingredients you'll see that help with certain elements, like focus or energy.
• Amino acids are the building blocks of protein and can help prevent excess muscle breakdown.
• Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your energy, focus, and drive ... keeping you motivated during a workout. This can help tremendously with early morning workouts, or anytime you need that extra push to get through a workout.
• Carbohydrates are our main source of energy during most workouts. Adding carbs in before or during your workouts can aid in endurance and performance.
• Creatine can help with temporary strength improvements by increasing your ATP production, a fuel used during explosive movements. It's also known to help decrease soreness.
• Beta-Alanine can help your body buffer lactic acid, which can help improve endurance.
These are some of the more typical ingredients and their functions, so be sure to check the label for the ingredients if you want something more specific in your supplement.
Pre-workouts are safe when used correctly, and when purchased from a credible source using high-quality ingredients.
At 1st Phorm, our process is clean and performed with your best interest in mind. While you may not always buy from us, make sure what you do buy is using quality ingredients, and the company stands behind their products.
Another safety tip is to use pre-workouts, or any supplements, as instructed on the label. I know when I first started, I always thought that "more equals better". When it comes to pre-workouts though, this is not typically the case.
Remember, if the pre-workouts are of good quality, professional research has gone into the formula, which means bigger portion sizes or more frequent consumption doesn't mean better results.
Only take pre-workouts as they're intended to be used, and follow the instructions on the label.
That said, if you're new to pre-workouts, and nervous about getting overly jittery or having too much energy, don't take the full serving for your first workout. The safest and most effective way to gauge your tolerance will be to start with a lower dosage, and work your way up to a full serving from there!
You can also try a moderate amount before your workout, and then self-assess as you go throughout the rest of your day.
It's okay to make adjustments based on your body's needs, as long as you're within the parameters of what's suggested on your supplement's instructions.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, don't use supplements as a replacement for a good, well-balanced diet.
Any physical fitness changes you're making will be mostly affected by the food you're consuming to fuel your body.
Supplements aren't meant to replace the healthy foods in your life...
So, be sure to always use pre-workouts as directed, and in conjunction with the good, healthy choices you are already making.
Luckily, most pre-workouts are made with men AND women in mind. So, for the most part, they're unisex.
One thing I always recommend is a tolerance assessment phase when it comes to pre-workouts with caffeine or any stimulants.
Thinking that the average female has less body weight than the average male, this is not the only factor in assessing a tolerance, but a good rule of thumb.
Regardless of your goal, whether it's to gain lean muscle, lose weight, or perform better ... there's definitely an option to help you out.
Pre-workouts aren't going to magically get rid of your fat or make you gain weight.
The main component that will dictate you gaining or losing weight is your nutrition. More specifically, this is referring to your ability to monitor and adjust your calorie intake.
Fortunately, most pre-workouts have little to no calories, so they will not impact that very much.
That said, some ingredients, like caffeine, can have a small effect on helping you burn body fat.
I know ... with all of the different pre-workout options to choose from, all of them claiming to be the best ... it can be hard to decide.
We understand that you have certain goals, and we truly want to help you reach them...
If you have any questions on picking the right pre-workout, or anything else, please reach out to our Customer Service team, and let us know!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, NASM VCS Virtual Coaching Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer