Pre-workout: How to choose the best in 2021
Do you train a lot and don’t notice results? The mistake may be in the absence of pre-workout supplementation.
Maintaining a good diet and adequate supplementation before and after training is essential for those who exercise regularly, whether bodybuilding or aerobic training.
Pre-training helps with performance, facilitates increased load and repetitions and prevents injuries. But to make the most of these benefits, you must choose the right supplement, that’s what we’re going to talk about throughout this article
First, the most important
- Pre-workout provides the energy needed for a workout with more focus, intensity, strength and performance.
- This type of supplement has several stimulating compounds that aim to increase performance in various sports such as weight training and aerobic exercises.
- Pre-training can be found in powder, capsule or tablet versions. The supplement should be taken 20 to 40 minutes before training, as it is quickly absorbed.
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Regardless of what physical activity you practice, it is important to have high energy levels, to increase performance, strength, endurance, prevent fatigue and possible injuries.
Pre-training can be a meal or a food supplement, consumed before or during training. In this Buying Guide we will talk about supplements in the pre-workout category. Enjoy reading and increase your performance.
What is a food supplement?
Having a balanced diet is essential to achieve a healthy body on the inside and beautiful on the outside. But with the rush of everyday life, meals are skipped, processed foods are consumed in excess and you stop ingesting the necessary nutrients.
Food and sports supplements have been developed to provide the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates and proteins that your body needs in a concentrated way.
For those who practice physical activities, the supplement is even more important, as it provides the necessary energy to perform the exercises.
The secret is to use it as a complement to a balanced diet and choose a product suitable to the type of exercise practiced and the desired goal (gain mass, lose weight, define, etc.).
The ideal is to look for a nutritionist so that the professional indicates the ideal supplement for your needs. It is also important to consume the recommended daily dose, because in excess, supplements can overload the kidneys and liver.
What is a pre-workout?
Pre-workout nutrition or supplementation provides the energy needed to exercise. It consists mainly of carbohydrates, which, when synthesized by the body, increase blood glucose levels and provide energy.
Did you know that the lack of carbohydrate is very harmful for those who practice high calorie expenditure activities, as it can affect the quality of training and harm health?
With a lack of carbohydrates, the body uses other sources of energy, such as protein, causing you to lose lean mass.
The food sources of energy are oats, bananas, sweet potatoes, bread, rice and pasta (these last three must be consumed in the full version). If you prefer, opt for a supplement, you will find powder versions, capsules or tablets.
Regardless of whether you want to lose weight or gain muscle, pre-workout foods and supplements will help you through this process. But it is important to align food and supplementation with your physical profile, needs and goals.
- Complements feeding
- Supplement available in capsules, powder or tablets
- Various effects: weight loss, performance or hypertrophy
- Various flavor options
- Does not replace meals
- The product must be purchased frequently
- For the product to give the expected result, it is necessary to do the treatment for a few months
- Some people are bothered by the taste
What is the correct way to take a pre-workout supplement?
The way you will consume the pre-workout supplement will make all the differences in the effects it will provide, because each product has different characteristics that influence the way of using it.
An hour or two after a meal, you should consume the pre-workout supplement and wait 20 to 40 minutes before starting training. Check the recommended usage on the back of the package.
It is important to follow the dosage recommended by the manufacturer. If you consume less than the recommended serving, you may not notice any effects. The opposite is also true, too high dosages can be bad for your health.
If you are consuming a pre-workout with caffeine it is important to avoid taking the supplement at night, as it can compromise your sleep.
Despite the name, the use of the pre-workout supplement is not restricted to just that moment, you can also consume the product during training to ensure energy, or after training, to replace glycogen.
What are the types of pre-workout supplements?
There are some types of pre-workout supplements, aimed at those who want to lose weight, gain muscle or improve performance during sport. We will talk about the main ones throughout this section.
Creatine is a nutrient that acts on muscle contraction, acting as fuel to complete physical exercises. This supplement is ideal for those who want to gain strength and muscle mass.
Regarding lean mass gain, creatine retains water in muscle cells, increasing cell volume and stimulating protein synthesis. As an amino acid, it helps in building muscle mass.
The supplement is also recommended for those who want to improve performance in high intensity and short duration exercises. With creatine you will be able to shorten the recovery time and increase the load.
It just should not be consumed by those who have kidney problems. If ingested before physical activity, it helps to increase energy, improve physical performance, prevent the loss of lean mass and collaborates with hypertrophy.
The BCAA is an amino acid supplement (isoleucine, leucine and valine). This pre-workout is absorbed quickly by the body, providing energy during exercise.
You can consume it before, during and after physical activities. The product also helps in muscle recovery, preventing possible injuries. Other pre-workout benefits are:
- Helps prevent catabolism
- Operates in protein synthesis
- Contributes to hypertrophy.
Caffeine is the basic ingredient in supplements used to give you the strength, energy and energy to optimize your performance during training. It also acts in the mobilization of muscle calcium, favoring the contraction of muscles in high intensity and short duration exercises.
And it is not only for those who practice physical activities at the gym that caffeine is indicated, the supplement is also recommended for triathletes and athletes from other sports.
The caffeine supplement acts as follows: after consumption, the substance is absorbed and metabolized in the liver, then travels throughout the body and acts on all systems for about six hours.
In the nervous system, caffeine binds to cells, stimulating concentration, improving mood and decreasing the feeling of mental fatigue. The substance also stimulates the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system.
For those who want to lose weight, caffeine is also an excellent option, as it speeds up the rhythm of metabolism (facilitating the burning of fat), gives disposition during training and helps to inhibit appetite.
But be careful with excessive stimulation, as adrenaline in large amounts in the body can be dangerous. Excessive use of caffeine can cause nervousness, insomnia, an increase in heart rate, palpitations and gastritis.
Another side effect of the caffeine supplement is the diuretic effect, which can impair hydration during prolonged physical activities.
Taurine is an amino acid that helps to increase energy and disposition, improving physical performance. With this supplement, the person can train with more willingness, focus and concentration.
This supplement reduces muscle fatigue, prevents cramps, muscle pain and accelerates muscle recovery.
The substance also helps in the process of muscle contraction and vasodilation, increasing the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the muscles and organs.
The L-carnitine is formed in the liver and kidneys from amino acids and remains stored in various tissues, including muscle. This substance assists in the transport of fatty acids to the mitochondria, where fat is metabolized to become energy.
Without enough carnitine, the fat molecules return to the blood and increase the number of triglycerides.
That is, in addition to promoting energy, L-carnitine also helps in burning fat, losing weight and reducing measures. This supplement also increases endurance, decreases fatigue, increases physical performance and assists in post-workout recovery.
Beta-Alanine is a compound that acts on muscles and has the following effects: it increases muscle strength and endurance, optimizes performance and offers even more disposition in long and heavy workouts.
The supplement also reduces the acidity in the muscles to prevent fatigue and muscle cramps. Another interesting effect is the “pump”, that is, the swelling after training, which stimulates muscle irrigation and increases the absorption of nutrients.
Beta-Alanine is ideal for athletes from different sports who require strength, power and muscular endurance. You will be able to do extra repetitions in weight training and optimize time in other activities like running and cycling.
But it is important to consume a dosage of a maximum of 1 gram, because above that dose, you may feel a tingling or itching sensation.
Are there any contraindications to pre-training?
Who has sensitivity or allergy to any of the components of the formula, should avoid pre-training. People with heart problems, high blood pressure, pregnant women, lactating women, who suffer from depression and / or anxiety should consult a doctor before starting to take pre-training.
How much does a pre-workout supplement cost?
A pot with 300 grams of creatine costs around R $ 55. The average price of a pot with 120 caffeine capsules is R $ 50. Beta-Alanine is a little more expensive and costs around R $ 80 (pot with 400 grams).
BCAA costs about R $ 75 (jar with 120 capsules) and L-Carnitine costs about R $ 110 (jar with 120 capsules). Prices vary by manufacturer.
Where to buy the pre-workout supplement?
You can find pre-training in supplement stores such as Now Sports Nutrition, King Supplements.
If you prefer, you can buy online. Several virtual stores sell these products: Amazon, among others.
Purchase Criteria: Factors to compare the different types of pre-workout
Practicing physical exercises regularly, having a balanced diet, including adequate supplementation and resting bring benefits to health, to the body, increase quality of life and performance in training.
And the supplement is important for muscle stimulation, preservation and recovery. With that in mind, we have prepared some tips for you to choose the ideal pre-workout supplement, check out:
- Product quality
We will explain each of the items throughout this section.
To choose the ideal pre-workout supplement, it is necessary to take into consideration your biotype, your nutritional needs and your goal with the training: weight loss, performance or hypertrophy.
Thermogenic pre-training helps in burning fat.
If you want to lose weight look for a thermogenic pre-workout. The product contains substances that increase body temperature by stimulating the respiratory, cardiovascular and nervous systems. Thermogenic pre-training helps in burning fat.
If you want to improve performance , choose a stimulating pre-workout with ingredients like caffeine and / or taurine. A supplement with these components increases the mood and gives you the gas you need to train for longer.
If you are looking for hypertrophy , give preference to creatine or BCAA, these supplements have carbohydrates, proteins and amino acids that stimulate muscle development.
You can also combine more than one supplement. For example, for those looking for hypertrophy, in addition to BCAA and Creatine, it is important to invest in a pre-workout that gives energy, that is, with caffeine and / or taurine in the composition.
You can also find supplements that combine carbohydrates with energetic substances. That way you have more energy and disposition during training and you have high glucose levels.
But before combining supplements, you need to do some tests to check your health. If there is no contraindication, you can take full advantage of the benefits of combining pre-workout supplements.
For those who are in a hurry to get results or want to recover more quickly from extremely tiring exercises, we suggest buying a pre-workout with vasodilator effect.
This product causes the veins to dilate. With the vasodilator, oxygen and nutrients arrive even faster and more effectively in the muscles.
The pre-workout supplement can be found in powder, capsule or tablet versions, depending on the formula.
Capsule or tablet versions generally have few ingredients and are more concentrated in an active ingredient, such as caffeine. In the powder version, you notice an increase in ingredients, such as carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
When buying a supplement, whether pre, intra or post-training, look for recognized brands, registered and with sale authorized by health surveillance (Anvisa), this means that the product has passed all quality and safety tests.
And be careful, never buy a supplement for the price. The most expensive or imported product is not always the best option. Evaluate the product and brand at the time of purchase. If you can, ask for help from a physical education or nutrition professional.
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