What are they?
Simply put, Pre-Workouts are supplements meant to give you the energy and endurance you need to complete your workout.
What do they do?
Say you’re coming to the gym after a long day at work, you’re probably exhausted, you might not feel motivated to workout. Pre-Workouts provide your body with the stimulation to get you “in the zone”, and allow you to push yourself harder in the gym.
While Pre-Workouts often have various different ingredients unique to their brand, the three most common ingredients are caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine.
Caffeine – Serves as the main source of stimulation/energy.
Creatine – Used to replenish the body’s natural stores of ATP energy, which provides the fuel for muscle contractions.
Beta-Alanine – Really helps with endurance workouts.
The Beta-Alanine found in Pre-Workouts has been known to cause a slight tingling sensation in the skin. This is the result of your blood vessels dilating to allow more oxygen-rich blood cells and nutrients to reach your muscles. This reaction is perfectly normal, and will subside once you start your workout.
How/When to take them
Generally, it’s recommended that you take your Pre-Workout around 15-30 min before your workout. It’s also recommended you take your Pre-Workout on a semi-empty stomach, to make it easier to absorb. For cycling purposes, you should take your Pre-Workout for about 6-8 weeks, with a 3-4 week break, to let your caffeine tolerance drop.
Care should be taken when using Pre-Workouts if you consume a lot of caffeine throughout the day, as caffeine is one of the key ingredients in Pre-Workouts. Always check with your doctor before taking Pre-Workouts.