So many of you have asked me to cover pre-workout supplements & from the poll I posted in my instagram stories yesterday, 45% said you currently or have used one! What's all in pre-workouts? Should you use them? Today I'm talking about pre-workouts!
- A “pre-workout” supplement is usually a powdered drink mix with claims of boosting energy levels & performance if consumed before exercise. The ingredients vary depending on the brand. Generally speaking, they can contain caffeine, arginine, L-citrulline, creatine, BCAAs, & are sweetened either with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
- If you feel like you NEED to take a supplement to have enough energy & strength to get you through an hour workout, you should question your current diet & sleeping habits-the foundation of any effective workout.
- So maybe you hate coffee, tea, espresso. You sleep 7+ hrs a night. You’re already eating a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits, veggies, healthy fats & protein…BUT you just really feel like you STILL need an energy boost and want to try taking a pre-workout...go for it! But just make sure you’re reading the ingredients & look for natural forms of caffeine & nitrates (which boost nitric oxide levels) such as green tea & beetroot juice.
- Most pre-workouts are very low-calorie…so if they’re flavored, there’s a very good chance they used some type of artificial sweetener. Ironic, because they’re one of the LAST things you want to be consuming pre-workout (can lead to GI issues.) No matter how natural a company makes their product sound, if it lists any of these you may want to avoid using it: sucralose/Splenda, acesulfame K, aspartame, xylitol, erythritol.
- Carbohydrates, caffeine, beetroot juice, and creatine. These have all been shown in research to improve performance, & I would absolutely recommend them to my athletes, preferably from food first then supps if needed.
- Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. As I mentioned in my video about protein powders, make sure you’re only using third-party tested products (such as NSF certified for sport.)
- Dosage can become a concern. Using them on a regular basis can dull the effects, causing people to want to use more in order to feel a difference.