Anyone who’s into fitness has probably heard of pre-workout.
The problem though is that very few people actually know what’s in their pre-workout and why those ingredients should (or shouldn’t) be there!
In this article, we will go over what ingredients produce these reactions, why a pre-workout supplement could benefit you, and our most recommended pre-workout brand.
What is Pre-Workout?
Pre-workout is a supplement specially designed to increase focus, energy, muscle pump, and performance during a workout.
Some of the basic benefits of pre-workout include:
- It can help you get one more rep, one more mile, or one more round.
- It can help you get to and through your workout when you feel tired and unmotivated.
- It can help you focus during especially tough workouts.
What’s in Pre-Workout?
Think that pre-workout was just caffeine and some sweetener? Think again. You might find anything from fat burners, endurance prolongers, brain enhancers and everything in between in your pre-workout.
Here are some of the essential ingredients you’ll find in pre-workout supplements:
Caffeine is one of the main ingredients found in most pre-workouts. Caffeine gives you an energy boost by stimulating your central nervous system.
Caffeine, through several complicated chemical processes I won’t bore you with here, signals the release of epinephrine and norepinephrine (aka adrenaline) which produces a mild “fight or flight” response in the body.
This type of response called a sympathetic response, results in increased blood flow to the muscles, increased heart rate, and increase your lung capacity. All of these help you complete a workout whether it’s lifting weights, rock climbing, or running from a bear in the woods.
Green tea is one of the most popular and effective natural fat burners and it may also provide small amounts of caffeine.
Green tea increases fat burning by increasing metabolic energy expenditure and by increasing norepinephrine, the fat burning hormone.
Brain enhancers? Sounds a little sci-fi, but it’s not as creepy as it sounds. In fact, our very own brains create some of these “enhancers” and our diet provides them for us naturally. They simply help us process information and focus during workouts.
Phosphatidylserine is a chemical essential for proper cellular function in the brain. It has also been shown to improve cognitive function for Alzheimer’s patients and those with ADHD.
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid shown to reduce exercise-induced stress, helping you to have a balanced mood. Additionally, evidence suggests L-Tyrosine improves concentration during exercise.
Generally, the B Vitamins improve our endurance by assisting our bodies in converting food into fuel for our muscles, but specific B vitamins play an important role when it comes to exercise.
Here are a few important ones to look for:
- Thiamine (B1) works with the body to create new cells and protect the immune system.
- Pyridoxine (B6) is important for mood and helps regulate important amino acids.
- Vitamin B12 has the lofty responsibility to help create hemoglobin, the proteins that carry oxygen to our muscles and organs.
Muscle pump during a workout isn’t just nice so your muscles look good in the mirror, It’s important for blood, oxygen, and nutrients to get to the muscles to provide them with the energy to be able to perform optimally.
L-Norvaline is one of the best natural ingredients found in pre-workout. An amino acid, L-Norvaline increases muscle pump and how long it lasts, helping you have a better workout.
Why Take Pre-Workout?
Pre-workout is NOT just for the serious athletes pounding out incredibly hard workouts each day.
Life these days isn’t as simple as it used to be.
Back in what 21 Pilots would call “The Good Ol Days”, when we all weren’t “stressed out”, all anyone had to do to get their workout done was to maybe eat an apple and they were set with the energy and focus they needed for their workout.
In today’s world, that might not always work when you wake up at 6, work for 9 plus hours, have a family and other after-work commitments, and other hectic hassles that come with daily life.
Sometimes life wears us out and we just need an extra boost in order to get through a workout (or even get to the gym).
Pre workout provides an energy boost to workout in the early morning hours when the rest of the world is snug in their beds, or after a busy day at work when you’d rather plop yourself down on the couch for your favorite TV programming.
Pre-workout transforms you from the lazy cat to the energetic dog. The skinny and weak Steve Rogers to the Superhero that can rip a wood log in half with his bare hands.
Ok, pre-workout may not give you superpowers, but realistically pre-workout helps you have the just enough energy, motivation, and focus for a stellar workout. It will help you perform and train better so you can achieve those lofty goals of yours!
Anyone from elite athletes to busy parents can benefit in one way or another from pre-workout.
When Do You Take Pre-Workout?
The best time to take pre-workout is 30-45 minutes before a workout.
It generally takes this amount of time for the caffeine and other ingredients to be absorbed and to start to give you the focus and energy to start your workout.
If you workout in the mornings you don’t really have to worry about pre-workout lasting longer than you want.
However, those of you who prefer to workout later in the day, don’t forget to consider that it takes the body 4-6 hours to completely expel caffeine. If you take pre-workout too close to your bedtime, you might be kept up later than you would like.You
You might also want to consider cycling on and off your pre-workout. Your body does develop small resistances to the effects of caffeine and some amino acids commonly found in pre-workout. Taking a week off every couple of months will ensure you still get the most from your pre-workout.
As with most supplements, only take the suggested amount and not more. You want energy and focus, but not so much that you are bouncing off the walls or worse, running to the bathroom for an emergency!
Our Favorite Pre-Workout:
Let’s be honest. There are some pre-workouts out there that load you up with dangerous amounts of caffeine and other filler ingredients you don’t necessarily need.
What we love most about IdealLean is that their Pre-workout provides just the right amount of clean energy from natural caffeine sources, B vitamins, and green tea.
IdealLean provides an optimal amount of boost so you have needed energy for your workout, but not so much you feel jittery or sick like you would with many other pre workouts. Each serving provides 150mg of caffeine. To put that in perspective that’s just above a cup of morning joe.
What makes IdealLean Pre-workout especially unique is it’s 3 ingredients fat loss blend. Most Pre-workouts hype you up on caffeine, provide some muscle pump, and that’s about it. IdealFit wants to not only help you through your workouts but help you achieve the lean body of your dreams.
- ThermoDiamine provides an increase in the metabolism similar to capsaicin.
- Green Tea has been shown to improve performance and burn fat.
- CLA is found to be an effective fat loss accelerator and improves body composition.
IdealLean Pre-Workout includes key ingredients, like what we mentioned above, scientifically proven to improve focus, endurance, and performance.
- Phosphatidylserine is a natural chemical found in plants like cabbage. It has been used to treat ADHD by improving the ability to focus.
- L-Theanine is an amino acid that helps transmit nerve impulses in the brain for improved performance.
- Choline Bitartrate is molecule naturally found in eggs and after entering the body turns into the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This neurotransmitter plays a vital role in muscle contraction, memory, and mood.
- L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that has been well studied to improve cognition as well as reduce blood pressure and help with stress.
IdealLean Pre-Workout comes in two delicious flavors: watermelon ice and blue raspberry. Each serving provides 150mg of caffeine, 310mg of the fat loss blend and ZERO calories.
Pre-workout may be what you need to take your workouts and your PRs to the next level.
Pre-workout, especially IdealLean provides the optimal ingredients to give you just enough energy to perform your best and the focus to get through even the most grueling workouts.
Hopefully, we’ve given you a better idea of what pre-workout is and what it does and how it can benefit you. Have more questions about pre-workout? Let us know in the comments!