Pre Workout supplements are big business now.
Go back 30 years and you just rocked up to the gym and trained hard, getting mentally into the zone as you were on your way to the gym.
Nowadays, we are spoilt with concoctions of mind and body stimulating nutrients with disgusting after tastes and colours.
So whats my opinion on Pre Workouts?
Personally after over 20 years in the training game I think some pre workouts have gone over the top and are being misused. People seem to be more hooked or focused on the "HIT" they get from them rather than the ingredients. It seems the more wired a pre workout makes you the better it is! Not necessarily
I was reading an american article the other day on how potentially taking a Pre workout could get you results 5 times quicker!! WOW!
Well this is my argument for using a Pre Workout. Yes Pre workouts can help you get in the zone, but this isnt the reason I take a pre workout.
A good Pre Workout should
- improve nutrient delivery
- Eliminate toxins and lactic acid more efficiently
- Suppress lactic acid production
- Improve Power
- Provide Antioxidant protection
If these criteria are met then there is every chance of getting results 5 times quicker.
What to look for in a Pre Workout?
Here are some ingredients and dosages to look out for!
AAKG or Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate
You dont need loads of this but ideally look for between 1 and 2 grams in your Pre Trainer. Arginine is a vasodilator which increases muscle pump. But more importantly it is increasing nutrient deliver to the muscles and increasing repair time whilst eliminating waste quickly.
Ideally 1-2 grams again is brilliant in a pre workout complex and Beta Alanine is a very under used product in my opinion. Beta Alanine suppresses lactic acid production and helps keep your muscles in that training zone. Workouts can be improved dramatically and growth and recovery enhanced considerably. If your doing more than 5-6 reps then this is a go to, must have product pre training.
Between 40mg and 80 mg is sufficient within a complex to do a job. Not many people have heard of this product but it has a very expansive history and again an unsung hero of the sports nutritional world. It is very much like a product called Ephedra which most bodybuilders will be familiar with. About 20 years ago before pre trainers were used body builders used to buy a product called Ultimate Orange which was mental. People using this product would have insane workouts and often be completely shredded. This potentially be due the the fact that Ultimate Orange was laced with Ephedra. Well Citrus Aurantium in a pre trainer can be a fantastic add in targeting bodyfat for energy during the workout.
between 100mg and 250mg is perfect. Caffeine Anhydrous isnt just like having a cup of coffee at all, so people who tell you it is don't understand it. Yes it is a stimulant but its what it stimulates that is the key. It stimulates our central nervous systems, a little like a growth switch, switching our bodies into the zone.
300mg - 1000mg L Taurine helps muscles work harder, longer and safer. Taurine increases muscle contractility both within the heart and joints resulting in more powerful workouts. Taurine also helps to remove lactic acid build-up which means that you can carry on working out for longer than you would otherwise. Finally, taurine’s ability to mop up compounds that cause oxidative stress thus protecting them from damage.
Grape Seed Extract
800mg - 1200mg this little bad boy is totally under estimated in the sports nutrition community. Grape seed extract has it all, a massively powerful antioxidant potentially 50 times more powerful than vitamin C and 30 times greater than vitamin E. Grapeseed is full of Ogliomeric proancyanadins OPC's which simply ROCK! They are incredible vasodilators, immune boosters and will protect the body from oxidative stress brought about from massive workouts
100mg is ideal to again help with increased nutrient delivery and due to collagen production and anti inflammatory properties vitamin C is a great addition.
3-5g is ideal and forget the marketing BS about 4:1:1 and 8:1:1 ratios. The best ratio to help increase repair and growth is 2:1:1 period. BCAA's will help keep you anabolic in your workout and also help healthy anabolism in repair and growth of muscle tissue.
2-5g before a workout is perfect to increase strength and power output as well as suppressing lactic acid production.
2-3g is perfect for enhancing Nitric Oxide uptake in the workout. This works synergistically with AAKG in particular, supercharging pumps and essentially, blood flow to the muscles. A definite add in to a pre training formula if you want the effects to be dramatically enhanced.
Tri Methyl Glycine
1000mg Tri Methyl Glycine is a molecule that is shuttled in and out of a cell to affect its hydration status. Much like creatine Tri Methyl Glycine promote cell hydration and resilience to stressors.
1000mg If you take tyrosine before you work out, it can help improve the intensity of the workout.
Black Pepper Extract
5mg is all that is needed to enhance absorption of nutrients massively. In some cases up to 42 times more absorption than if taken without black pepper.
So my friends, there are a few thoughts on why it is a good thing to take a pre workout formula and also which ingredients to look for in that formula.
As always train hard, rest well, eat right and empower yourself with knowledge.