Your pre-workout product of choice sucks. You think it is a good pre-workout because it is popular. You start taking it, and within minutes, you feel the flushing heat, the warmth in your inner ears, the tingling sensation, and the worst: no benefits.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, pre-workout supplements send hundreds of people to the hospital annually.
While TikTok users have filmed themselves drinking pre-workout supplements, many people are not experiencing the benefits of these products. Continue reading to find out why and what you can do in such a case.
What Is a Pre-Workout?
Pre-workouts are a type of dietary supplement that is meant to be taken before working out. They are designed to give you a boost in energy and focus, allowing you to have a more productive and effective workout.
There are many different pre-workout supplements on the market, and they come in all shapes and sizes. Some are powdered drinks that you mix with water, while others are capsules that you take orally.
Pre-workouts usually contain a blend of different ingredients, such as caffeine, protein, B vitamins, and amino acids. They can be quite expensive, so it is important to do your research before buying one to make sure you are getting the best pre-workout supplement for you.
Why Is Your Pre-Workout No Longer Working?
In the first months of taking your pre-workout, you felt like Dwayne Johnson. Your body was full of energy, and all muscles got to full-charge mode fast.
However, just after this fitness high, the workout strength ceased. You no longer had energy, and your mighty pre-workout supplement did not give you that high.
What happened, you ask. Here is why!
1. You Are Taking Too Much Dosage
That is probably niacin. Niacin is doing the job of making you feel like your pre-workout is really working. It gives a similar feeling to beta-alanine.
The only problem is that beta-alanine actually gives both short-term and long-term results while niacin does not. It is only available in pre-work supplements to make you think the product is working.
What is niacin? It is vitamin B3. Vitamin B3 is essential for providing energy. However, they are acute and offer no physical benefits.
You might think because it is expensive, then it must be effective.
Perhaps, you may not have read what was clearly written on the label. Take a look at the servings recommended. Is it probably five to six grams per scoop? That is a small serving size. Actually, it is very tiny.
Do you know why else your pre-workout is not working? Because it is not 100% complete. It is a supplement that needs to be made complete with other supplements. Sounds ridiculous, right? Because it is.
However, if you keep looking through the pre-workouts label, you will likely find BCAAs and creatine as separate products that are recommended to take daily. The label might even recommend taking them both before and after workouts
2. Poor Supplement Choice
Here is another reason pre-workout is not working: you do not know what you are looking for and what you should be looking for. You walk into a supplement shop and see different pre-workouts.
You get advice from the guy at the supplement store who receives a commission to sell some brands but not others. Does he have your best interest in mind or his own bank account? Take a guess …
You are mistaking advertisement for results.
While there is nothing wrong with price shopping for supplements, do your research first to find the very best values you can for your money. Determining value, however, requires more than just looking at a price tag and a number of servings.
It involves knowing what you are buying and knowing what ingredient has been left out.
3. Your Pre-Workout Lacks Adequate Proteins
Many people use the wrong protein pre-workouts before their workout. The goal of eating proteins before a workout is to help prevent muscle breakdown during your training.
Therefore, as long as you are trying to build muscles, quality protein like whey and egg is fine.
Furthermore, protein helps prevent muscle breakdown because it contains amino acids and provides you with the energy needed to power through workouts. Additionally, fat helps prevent muscle breakdown because it has fat-soluble vitamins that provide energy and can slow down the release of lactic acid so that the muscles do not get sore.
For extra muscle tone, check out the Best Workout Benches for Apartment.
4. Bad Nutrition Choices
When you work out, it is crucial to have a lot of energy. There are many ways to keep your energy up while working out, but the best way is through food.
What should you eat? The answer depends on what kind of workout you are doing and for how long. However, some key ingredients can help give you more energy from start to finish – carbs, protein, and fat.
These three nutrients provide fuel for short-term workouts, lasting less than an hour. They also prevent muscle breakdown during longer workouts when the body starts producing ketones as a byproduct of burning fat instead of glucose.
In addition, because all three macronutrients take time to digest, they can help keep blood sugar levels stable.
What Macronutrients Should a Pre-Workout Contain?
Carbohydrates fuel your workout and boost performance in a very direct way. Nonetheless, the other two macronutrients are also crucial for different reasons
Proteins help prevent muscle breakdown during longer workouts when the body starts producing ketones as a byproduct of burning fat instead of glucose
Provides fuel for longer-term workouts, but as pre-workout, you probably want to avoid it.
If you are doing a high-intensity workout, eat some protein before. This will help prevent muscle breakdown during your workout. Eggs, fish, beans are excellent – they offer protein and carbs for fuel.
Eating avocado is also suitable for giving you energy for your workout. Many other fruits and vegetables with lots of nutrients can also give you the energy you need to power through your workout.
To burn fat, you have to be at a calorie deficit, which means that your body uses more energy than it is taking in. By eating fat before your workout, you can increase the time that your body burns fat for energy rather than carbs.
Almonds are an excellent source of fat and protein, so they are great for helping you maintain energy levels when you are in a calorie deficit.
Benefits of Taking a Pre-Workout Without Water
Carbohydrates are one of the three macronutrients that give you energy for your workout. Everybody needs to take in carbs, proteins, and fats to stay healthy. However, these nutrients are more important for exercise.
Carbs are your primary fuel source for short-term workouts lasting less than an hour because they are digested quickly.
Before training, eat a medium or large apple. If you are on a low-carb diet and do not want all of the sugar, consider peeling an apple and eating only the skin since that is where most of the polyphenols are located.
However, if you want to mix carbs with some fats, adding a spoonful of peanut butter or almond butter can achieve that balance. Include fat, which is one of the other macronutrients you need.
Fat is perhaps the most misunderstood macronutrient. It is often wrongly associated with poor health outcomes. Yet, acknowledging that fat provides the body with energy and can aid in muscle endurance is important for all athletes.
To be clear, fat is one of six nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. Taking pre-workouts high in fat and training with the SereneLife Trampoline can boost cardiovascular health and increase your strength.
Furthermore, fats are highly compacted and lightweight, making them an excellent method to store extra energy. Due to their gram for gram calorie content, lipids contain more than twice as many calories as other macronutrients.
This is perhaps the reason fat has such a bad reputation. However, understanding how a high-fat pre-workout can benefit you is another tool in your arsenal to apply.
Fat is the energy source for long and moderate-to-low-intensity exercises. In contrast, glycogen is utilized for short and high-intensity workouts. Fat intake has been studied to intensify a workout.
Should You Consume Fat as a Pre-Workout?
There is a lot of debate surrounding pre-workout supplements. Some people swear by them, while others think they are nothing more than a waste of money. However, what about fat as a pre-workout?
Unbelievably, there is some evidence to suggest that eating fat before you train can actually improve your pre-workout results.
Your body is constantly burning calories, even when you are not working out. This process is known as basal metabolic rate (BMR), and it accounts for the majority of the calories you burn each day.
BMR is affected by several factors, including age, sex, and genetics. Nevertheless, one of the most important factors is your body composition.
In other words, the amount of muscle you have relative to the amount of fat. The more muscle you have, the higher your BMR will be. And the higher your BMR, the more calories you will burn each day, even when you’re not training.
So, Why Is Pre-Workout Fat a Thing?
The pre-workout window is the 30-45 minutes before you train. It is also one of the longest pre-training windows, which means it is an ideal time to eat something that will prolong the effects of your pre-workout supplement.
And this is where pre-workout fat comes in.
Eating fat before you train can help to increase your BMR, and as a result, the number of calories you burn each day. This is because fatty acids are digested and metabolized slowly, which means they can help to keep your metabolism elevated for a longer period.
In addition to this, pre-workout fat can also help to improve your focus and performance.
So if you are looking for a way to boost your pre-workout results, eating fat might be the answer. Just make sure you choose the right type of fat and avoid overeating.
An excellent pre-workout fat source is coconut oil, which is high in medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). MCTs are a type of saturated fat that is metabolized quickly and easily, making them a perfect choice for pre-workout fuel.
If you can, avoid it pre and post-workouts. However, the benefits of fat are numerous, and it is worth touching on it here just to make sure it is not ignored. A small amount of fat is necessary for muscle recovery.
Fat is essential for providing essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce itself.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my pre-workout is working?
If your goal is weight loss, you will notice a reduction in overall weight. Anyone targeting muscle tone will see definition.
Do pre-workouts work for everyone?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the effectiveness of pre-workouts will vary depending on an individual’s unique physiology and goals. However, pre-workouts can be a helpful tool for many people looking to improve their performance in the gym.
Are pre-workouts safe for pregnant women?
Pregnant women should be cautious about pre-workout supplements, as there is a lack of research on the safety of pre-workouts during pregnancy.
When should I take a pre-workout?
You can take your pre-workout anytime. However, consuming a supplement 2 hours before your workout session is recommended to boost energy levels.
Is it safe to take pre-workout every day?
It is safe for healthy people to consume about 400 milligrams (0.014 ounces) each day, which is equivalent to roughly two cups of brewed coffee. When measuring out your pre-workout supplement, keep in mind how much caffeine it has per serving and the amount you have already consumed before your workout.
Can pre-workout cause acne?
Protein powders, pre-workout supplements, and even vitamin pills are frequently laden with chemicals that can aggravate acne. Protein shakes are particularly prone to produce breakouts due to the use of processed milk components. Whey protein is high in compounds that cause acne.
It can be easy to be caught up in the latest pre-workout fad, but it is important to remember that a complete pre-work should be effective.
High-calorie-low cab foods are vital for fueling your workout and boosting performance in a very direct way.
High-fat pre-workouts provide fuel for long workouts and are not as important to be consumed every workout but as part of an overall healthy diet.
Be aware that too much fat, just like carbs, is stored in the body as fat for later use.
The bottom line: make sure you are physically active enough to use all of the fats stored.