At some point in your weightlifting career you might consider using a pre-workout supplement, or another type of supplement. Oftentimes guys are not content with their muscle gains or energy levels. The workout alone just doesn’t cut it. It is appealing to try one of these supplements because they claim dramatic results. But it’s also important to investigate these supplements further because they contain a lot of mysterious ingredients that you probably are not familiar with. In this article I will talk a bit about pre-workout supplements and whether or not they are safe and effective.
The Placebo Effect
Despite the perception that some of these supplements are really making you stronger, faster, and better, some think that most of this is just in the head. You may feel pumped up during your workout, but it’s not necessarily doing what you think. Many ingredients in these supplements increase blood flow, heart rate, and focus, all of which might give you a tingling feeling all over your body. This combination of effects gives the sensation of muscle building and surging energy, but they may be placebo effects. There is some evidence that suggests caffeine and creatine enhance performance, but marginally at best.
Proprietary Blend Supplements
This is one term you are going to come across pretty frequently. It sounds scientific, serious, and healthy. But is it? This is something important to remember about supplements. Proprietary blends are essentially blends that are not specific about the amount of each ingredient in the product. These are essentially secret recipes, which means that the manufacturer doesn’t have to detail every single ingredient. In this case, you may be getting a lot less of a certain ingredient, such as creatine, than you think. This also means that there may be dangerous additives that you’re not aware of.
This may be the biggest concern with using a pre-workout supplement. Because despite the doubts about ingredients like caffeine, you at least know what it is and how it works on your body. There are other additives, however, which could be potentially harmful. Some of these supplements may include dangerous substances that could hurt your internal organs. In the past, amphetamine-like additives have been found in pre-workout supplements, which are considered doping agents and can be dangerous. It is obvious in that case that the manufacturer adds this ingredient to give the illusion of energy and strength.
Supplement The Supplement
If you do decide that you want to try a pre-workout supplement, it’s important that you also get the majority of your nutrition from real food. Make sure you maintain a healthy diet and exercise in addition to the pre-workout supplement. Before you workout, even when you are using a supplement, make sure you have the two most important pre-workout nutrients: carbs and protein. Eat a full, nutritious meal an hour or two before you hit the gym, with around 40 grams of protein in it. Carbohydrates are also important for the pre-workout routine. Carbs aid the delivery of nutrients to your muscle tissue, which will make your session healthier and more effective. With any supplement, make sure you do your research and carefully read over the nutrition facts.