Pre-workout supplements are highly popular among gym goers in order to give them that extra boost to bring their workout to the next level – but contrary to popular belief many pre-workout supplements are ineffective.
Pre-workout formulas are known to vary greatly between manufacturers and can be also be contaminated with other ingredients.
Here are the key ingredients to look for in a pre-workout:
- Magnesium: Magnesium contains many properties that help improve performance during a workout. Unfortunately, Magnesium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies in America, making it an even more important pre-workout supplement. Magnesium improves hemoglobin activity. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to body tissue, including muscle cells. Magnesium also improves glucose availability to both the peripheral and central nervous systems, improving lactate clearance, and increasing endurance.
- Tyrosine: Tyrosine improves dopamine pools. Dopamine is the organic chemical responsible for drive, focus and competitiveness. It plays a major role in supporting prolonged exercise.
- Electrolytes: Electrolytes regulate pH balance within the body, help keep the body hydrated, and decrease cramps. The “off day” that you experience in the gym, is often actually caused by dehydration. Taking electrolytes prior to working out is critical to improving gym performance. A loss of 1.5% of your body’s hydration can cause a decrease of up to 10% of maximal strength output.
- Creatine: Creatine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements, and rightfully so. Creatine decreases oxidative stress, which helps delay the onset of fatigue. Creatine Phosphate is also the anaerobic source of energy during high-intensity exercise, meaning during bursts of high intensity exercise, the body breaks down Creatine Phosphate as a quick source of energy.
- Carnitine: Carnitine regulates the metabolism of fats. It helps facilitate the transport of fat cells over cell walls into the mitochondria so it can be burned for fuel during a workout.
- Caffeine: Caffeine is the world’s most popular stimulant. It is very popular as a pre-workout because it helps sharpen focus and increase alertness.
Find a pre-workout supplement with all of these key ingredients in order to maximize performance during your workout. You can also create your own pre-workout with variations on these ingredients to create the optimal pre-workout supplement for your own personal needs. Sometimes it’s better and even safer to just DIY!
Here is the recipe that has worked best for me:
- Magnesium: 100mg
- Tyrosine: 3g
- Creatine: Monohydrate: 5g
- L-Carnitine: 500mg
- Caffeine: 250mg
Try it out and let me know what you think!