Constantly training hard doesn’t make you automatically stronger. Even the most seasoned athletes can experience a setback and fatigue from time to time if they overtrain. In order to build strength and endurance, alternating workouts with recovery is extremely important. But then again, many athletes struggle with recovery, triggering a decline in their performance.
If you experience the same thing, you might benefit from taking pre-workout supplements. They contain ingredients that were found helpful to improve the performance of athletes. But contrary to how others perceive it, these pre-workouts are not some magic pills that can instantly enhance training efforts and results.
Read on below to discover how you can boost athletic performance with pre-workout supplements.
Identify Your Specific Training Goals
A pre-workout supplement is generally designed to increase the intensity and length of your training. But if you want to get optimal results, you should think about what you want to achieve precisely.
Note that these supplements are not created equally. Their specific ingredients will only boost certain aspects of athletic performance. For example, some pre-workouts will aid in increasing strength or power, while others will help with your endurance.
High performance in any sport requires a mix of certain dimensions, such as strength, endurance, and recovery. Identifying the ones you need to boost up would give you a better idea of choosing the best pre-workout.
Look For The Right Ingredients
You can find several pre-workout supplements on the market, and each contains a blend of ingredients. It can be challenging to select what formula will work best. But once you’ve established what exactly you want to improve on your performance, the easier it is to look for the right ingredients.
Here’s a rundown of some top ingredients that were found beneficial to boost the performance of many athletes.
- Caffeine: The primary purpose of caffeine is to increase alertness and energy. The extra power it gives you can decrease the rate of fatigue and lower your perception of effort. As a result, you can do more training workloads and enhance your athletic performance.
- Creatine: Derived from amino acids, creatine helps fill the muscles with the necessary energy to produce a fast, big energy pump for your physical activity. It’s most suitable for sports that require sudden bursts of activity, such as sprinting or weightlifting.
- Beta-Alanine: Acids build up in your muscles during intense training, leading to muscle soreness and affecting your capacity to train harder and longer. But beta-alanine buffers the hydrogen ions that cause acid accumulation. In the aftermath, you can keep your intensity up for more extended periods and improve overall training volume.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs): Your body converts its essential amino acids into energy during hard training. It decreases the production of muscle protein, resulting in muscle fatigue and diminished physical performance. But BCAA supplements help regulate protein metabolism, which boosts muscle recovery and performance.
- Nitrates: High-intensity training decreases the body’s oxygen level. But nitrates sustain your muscles with the necessary nutrients to perform. It helps regulate the flow of blood in your body and increases tolerance to high-intensity training, which, in turn, improves physical performance.
Time Your Pre-Workout Intake
Proper timing of intake is a vital factor in any pre-workout supplementation. If you take the supplement too soon before your workout, it will metabolize without any effect on your body. But taking it too late won’t give you the boost you need for your training. So, it’s best to find the sweet spot to take your pre-workouts.
For most athletes, the ideal time to take pre-workout supplements is around 30-60 minutes before your training. Doing it this way will allow the pre-workout ingredients to enter the bloodstream and reach their peak efficacy.
Limit Usage of Pre-Workouts
Pre-workouts are helpful additions to your training. But your body can build up a tolerance to the effects of pre-workout if you use them on a regular basis. Try taking it on a cycle to give your body time to rest. Have at least six to eight weeks without taking a supplement while you’re training, or consider using different supplements at different times.
If you’re planning to use a pre-workout every day, make sure to take it in proper doses. Generally, it’s safe to consume about 400 mg of pre-workouts per day. But make sure to check the recommended dosage on the label. Note that taking the supplements incorrectly can result in a multitude of side effects, such as vomiting, jitters, and, in rare cases, cardiac arrest.
Level Up Your Performance With The Best Pre-Workout
The best pre-workout should support you on your training goals and must be safe to consume. When selecting your supplement, make sure it has clinically validated ingredients with proper dosages. Additionally, it’s important to remember that discipline and hard work are still the main ingredients to level up your performance as an athlete.