Pre-workouts are usually powdered blends that provide an energy boost before you start your workout. This allows you to get the most out of a physical training aimed at improving performance. With a pre-workout you often experience that extra physical and mental push to find and push your limits in the gym. The effectiveness of pre-workouts comes about through a variety of active ingredients that are part of the respective formula. But what's in pre-workout supplements?
The purpose of a pre-workout supplement is to provide you with several nutrients that are important for improving physical performance. These can be substances that have the property to counteract mental fatigue, as well as substances that provide the muscles with energy and means to get the most out of your body without injury. Because of this, the benefits of pre-workouts are that they increase the athlete's strength and improve performance. Below are discussed ingredients that are usually part of a pre-workout supplement.
This substance is well known to most, and is consumed by a large proportion of people, even if they do not take pre-workouts. It is in energy drinks, tea and of course coffee. It is the most common ingredient in pre-workouts, and therefore has a scientifically proven effect. In addition to reducing fatigue, it also improves muscle strength and endurance. Caffeine widens blood vessels, increasing blood flow to the muscles. In addition, it can help improve brain capacity (cognition), so that you are more focused on the muscle groups you are currently training.
This substance is important in the energy supply of muscles during explosive workouts with peak moments. Creatine acts as a transporter for the actual substance that the muscles use as fuel, namely ATP. The more creatine in your muscles, the more usable energy can be transported to the muscles. As a result, you will notice that you can just do an extra repetition, or put on an extra kilo during a leg press, bench press or other strength exercises.
BCAAs are branched chain amino acids (Branched Chain Amino Acids) that are also often taken as a separate supplement. They consist of the amino acids L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine and act as building blocks of muscle tissue. This combination of amino acids aids in muscle recovery and reduces muscle damage. The result is improved muscle building and more muscle mass.
Beta-alanine is also an amino acid that actually delays the acidification of the muscles, making it easier for you to do an extra set. It has been scientifically shown to increase energy in conditioning (endurance) exercise.
Another group of nutrients often found in the ingredient list are B vitamins. These have an equally important role in energy supply and metabolism. Niacin (B3) and Cobalamin (B12) in particular fulfill a key function when it comes to energy management in the human body. Thanks to an adequate amount of such vitamins, it is possible to increase the intensity of training, so that the growth of muscle mass takes place at an even faster pace.