Pre workout is the holy grail of gym supplements. Finding a good pre workout can magnify the results of those hard earned hours in the gym. They are touted as the best way to get extra performance and better results. But have you ever wondered what pre workout actually does, or what ingredients you should look out for? This will be your ultimate guide to pre workout supplements
What is a pre workout supplement?
A pre workout a supplement designed to enhance your workout. There are many different brands with different benefits, from a boost of energy, to increased blood flow to recovery ingredients. Quite simply, a pre workout is anything you take before heading to the gym to boost your results. They can help you push harder and longer, lift heavier, help your bodies build more muscle and give you more energy.
What are the benefits of a pre workout supplement?
A pre workout can provide many benefits - depending on the ingredients. One of the key ingredients in most (not all) pre workouts is caffeine. It will help give you energy to put in a really good effort. There are some pre workouts without caffeine, and these mainly focus on what we call “pump”. Pump is a phenomenon that occurs when you get extra blood flow to your muscles, causing them to pump up and increase in size. This has muscle building benefits in the long term, as increased blood flow leads to increased protein synthesis. More protein = more muscle.
How does pre workout help my performance?
Pre workout can help boost your performance in a number of ways. They can help you reach a number of goals that you may have in the gym - including muscle building, endurance and weight loss. Here are some of the benefits of taking a pre workout.
The most advantageous benefits of taking a pre workout is the boost of energy they proved. Most of the time this is from our best buddy caffeine, but there are caffeine free pre workouts that can provide energy benefits ttoo. If you have an early morning workout and find yourself struggling to get in the zone, a pre workout can work wonders.
One of the most common pre workout ingredients is beta alanine. It’s the stuff that makes your muscles tingle. Some people mistakenly think that beta alanine is what gives you that unassailable energy associated with a pre workout. But it’s role is to improve your endurance, and stop your muscles from getting fatigued. It does this by combating the build up of lactic acid in your muscles.
Ever feel like you are struggling to get your head in the game? Ingredients like Caffeine, Alpha GPC and Taurine help improve your focus, meaning you stay motivated and on task when you are in the gym. So if you find yourself losing count of your sets or having trouble adding up your weight plates, this can really help. You may think that going to the gym is about working our your body, but it is truly is mind over matter sometimes.
Just not in the mood for a workout? That can seriously affect your performance. Ingredients like Alpha GPC can help increase dopamine levels, putting you in a good mood and making it easier to smash through your workout.
Faster weight loss
Many pre workouts, such as pre shred, focus on the fat burning benefits of ingredients like L-Carnitine. L-Carnitine raises your body temperature, boosting your metabolism and burning more calories through your workout and into the rest of the day.
Increased Blood flow to muscles
This is the terminology that may stump people who are new to the gym. As we explained above, pump is the phenomenon of blood rushing to your muscles. This results in a temporary increase in size, but can also have long term muscle gain benefits. Most pre workouts include ingredients that increase blood flow, which will pump your muscles up with blood, make you feel great and deliver nutrients to your muscle that will increase your gains.
Creatine is our holy grail of strength gains. Studies have reported that strength gains are are 5 - 10% higher in people supplementing with creatine. Want to learn more about creatine? Read our article Myths about creatine debunked.
What is the best pre workout supplement?
That depends on what you are looking for in a pre workout supplement! If you work out in the evening for example, you should definitely opt for a caffeine free pre workout. However, if you are looking for our opinion on the best ore workout - look for something clinically dosed with performance enhancing ingredients and definitely one that includes creatine for strength gains. We recommend Pre Load by Emrald Labs. Be warned, it will get your motor running.
What Pre Workout should I use?
This is highly dependant on your goals, but let us provide a few blanket recommendations. We do recommend going into your local elite supps store and have a chat with our knowledgeable staff. Let’s look at a few goals and what you should look for in a pre workout to achieve those.
If your main aim in the gym is to lose weight, we recommend you try a fat burner as a pre workout. They generally contain ingredients to help you feel good, give you energy and boost your metabolism. We recommend trying Oxyshred by EHP Labs or Pre Shred by Emrald Labs. They also help you feel your best when in a caloric deficit, which is the most important thing for weight loss.
If your main goal in the gym is to gain muscle, look for a Pre Workout with creatine and Beta Alanine. This will help you push your muscles harder before you fatigue and improve your strength faster than youw ould without a pre workout. Our top recommendations for pre workout for muscle gain is Disorder by Faction Labs and Pre Load by Emrald Labs.
Toning up is a controversial topic - believe it or not. If you are looking to tone up, chances are you want to both build muscle and reduce body fat to have a tighter appearnace overall. If this is your goal, we recommend you try an energy drink like Bang or Pre Shred. These are convenient ways to get energy for the gym and have ingredients to help you burn fat too.
What ingredients are in a pre workout?
The most common ingredient in a pre workout supplement by far is caffeine. Coffee lovers will be more than familiar with the blessings of caffeine. It can give you energy, focus and for some people, will to live. It’s no wonder caffeine is a go to ingredient for pre workout supplements.
Beta Alanine is commonly included in pre workout formulations due to its ability to delay muscle fatigue. It is also the ingredient that is responsible for that ‘tingly’ feeling that some people hate and some people love. It can also help reduce muscle soreness the next day - speeding recovery and getting you back in the gym sooner.
Creatine is one of the best kept secrets amongst gym fanatics. It helps improve muscle strength by pulling water and nutrients into your muscle tissue. T also helps your muscle cells produce more energy, helping you feel fuelled to kick butt in the gym.
There are 20 amino acids required by the body to function correctly. These are common ingredients in a pre workout formulation because they assist the body in muscle repair, blood flow, energy production and pretty much every essential bodily function.
Where to buy pre workout supplements
Pre workout supplements are growing in popularity, meaning you can find them in way more places than you used to be able to. Whilst you can buy pre workout in your supermarket, the best quality supplements can be bought from your local supplement store. For the best advice on which pre workout is right for you, head into an Elite Supps store and talk to our expert staff. You can also chat live with our customer service team and pick their brains too! Just click the little purple window in the bottom right of the screen.