We know what you might be thinking. There are so many supplements on the market that promise to improve your performance. But which ones work? We like to consider ourselves the experts, so we will give you a quick rundown on the most popular pre and post workout supplements - and whether or not they work.
What is a pre workout supplement?
A pre workout supplement is designed to improve your performance in the gym and give you energy to get through a great workout. They can also include ingredients that increase your endurance and strength. As the name suggests, you take them before a workout.
What does pre workout do?
Depending on what type of pre workout you take, they can perform a range of functions from increasing blood flow to your muscles, to getting you hyped up if you are in a slump. Pre workouts can keep you focused, give you energy, improve your overall performance and increase your time to fatigue. Some will also contain ingredients that will help your body turn fat into energy, and can have weight loss benefits.
How long does pre workout last?
The effects of a pre workout will last anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the ingredients. Some forms of caffeine will last much longer. If you are sensitive to caffeine, we recommend not taking a pre workout within 6 hours of your planned bedtime. Furthermore, Pre workout reaches its peak at about 60minutes after consumption, so if you smash down a pre workout as you are walking in the door, chances are you aren’t getting maximum benefit.
Is creatine a pre workout?
Many pre workout formulas contain creatine, but creatine on its own is not considered a pre workout. However, it is one of the most extensively researched supplements and has been proved to help muscle synthesis, increase strength and endurance. So whilst it is not technically a pre workout, we think it should be part of everyone’s pre workout routine.
Are pre workout supplements worth it?
Pre workout supplements may not be necessary to see results in the gym, but they can help you increase your motivation, get better results and improve your performance. In our eyes, that is definitely enough to say that they are worth it.
What is the best pre workout?
The best pre workout will depend on what your goals are and how you do your training. For example, if you wake up early and have trouble getting into the groove, you would look for a preworkout with a good caffeine content to get you in the zone. If you train late at night you would definitely need something without caffeine, and that instead contains ingredients to increase blood flow and endurance. Let’s look at a few of the most popular pre workouts and the benefits and applications.
Disorder pre workout
Disorder is one of the most popular pre workouts available at the moment. People like it for its high stimulant formula and great flavours. A double scoop of Disorder will make you feel like you can move mountains!
Total War pre workout
Total war is one of our most popular pre workouts for those with a high tolerance for pre workout ingredients. If you are looking to step it up in the gym, give Total War a try.
Pre Load Pre Workout
Pre Load by Emrald Labs has a good amount of caffeine and Beta Alanine to have you jumping out of your skin. What makes Pre Load so good as a pre workout is the formula that includes Beta alanine and Creatine. So it not only gets you hyped up for a workout, it helps you perform better and increases your endurance.
Stimulant Free Pre Workouts
If you train in the evening then a stim free or pump formula could be the best pre workout for you. They contain ingredients to get the blood flowing to your muscles, increasing performance without keeping you staring at the ceiling for hours on end. Our favourite pump formulas are Pre Pump by Emrald Labs and Bulge by Faction Labs.
What is a Post Workout supplement?
A post workout supplement is designed to be taken after a workout. It will include ingredients to help your muscles recover, rehydrate and rebuild your muscle so you can become bigger and stronger. They may also include ingredients to reduce muscle soreness and provide your body with extra calories.
Do pre workout supplements help build muscle?
Yes, but perhaps not how you think. Pre workout contains a combination of ingredients that help you work harder and longer in the gym. This will lead to increased muscle gains because you are pushing yourself harder than you might without pre workout. But pre workout is not a magic potion. In order to see real gains you still have to put in the work and make sure you take care of your nutrition.
How important is a post workout meal?
After exercise your body needs to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and grow your muscles. Providing the right nutrition to achieve this is very important. If you can’t manage a meal straight after a workout then a protein shake is the perfect way to replenish your body. There are also many post workout supplements, such as BCAAs that can aid muscle recovery, reduce muscle soreness and aid in rehydration.
What can I take post workout?
The best option for a post workout shake is protein, baby! But that’s not all, your body also craves carbs to replenish your energy stores after a workout. If you are looking to gain weight, then a mass gainer is a great option after a workout. It has the correct ratio of carbs, protein and fats to optimise muscle growth. Otherwise, two other great options are a whey protein shake or BCAAs. A whey shake is a great option because it is rapidly absorbed by your body, meaning your muscles get refuelled quickly. If you suffer from sore muscles after a workout, BCAAs will help reduce the dreaded DOMs.
So what is the verdict? Pre and post workout supplements are definitely worth the money. While they are not 100% necessary for your fitness journey, they will amplify your results and keep you on track to become the version of you that you are working hard to achieve.