Pre-exercise supplementation is a popular way to kick your workout into gear. From beginners to fitness professionals, pre-exercise supplements have become a staple for most routines. According to a study from Grand View Research, experts expect that the demand for pre-exercise supplements will grow 8.3% annually through 2027. As individuals become more creative in their approach to fitness, more individuals have turned to pre-workout support to boost their athletic performance.
Activities that may need help from pre-exercise supplements can involve gym workouts but may also include outdoor hiking, jogging, swimming, cycling, or Pilates. A look at some of the most important elements of these supplements can help you make the right choice for your fitness regimen.
A pre-exercise supplement is a blend of fuel-like ingredients taken before a workout in order to enhance energy, improve focus, and foster a competitive edge. Some pre-exercise ingredients can also promote muscle protein synthesis, thereby ensuring the workout’s effectiveness. Pre-workout ingredients often contain a combination of micronutrients, macronutrients, vitamins, minerals, or other ergogenic substances that can yield fitness results.
According to a study from the International Society of Sports Nutrition, combining this ingredient blend with high-intensity workouts may significantly increase lean muscle mass while improving the rate at which an individual can lose body fat. Other reasons for taking a pre-exercise supplement include the following:
- Increase strength and endurance
- Reduce muscular wear and tear
- Increase protein synthesis
- Encourage nutrient delivery and assimilation
- Boost internal metabolic rate
- Increase blood flood
- Stimulate nitric oxide production
- Create a balanced hormonal environment
Two main types of pre-exercise supplementation include pre-exercise powders and pre-exercise snacks or foods. Many fitness enthusiasts prefer powders because they are easy to digest and convenient to use. Instead of waiting extended periods for the body to digest and adapt to pre-workout meals, you can mix a few scoops of pre-workout powder into water and quickly reap the results.
Pre-exercise powders are the most popular type of supplement. Because the powders are dry and non-perishable, you can store them easily or transport them to your gym or sports location. The powders mix easily into water, juice, or smoothies. Some powders, like the Outwork Nutrition pre-workout supplement, can help with both anaerobic and aerobic activities. You can also use it in conjunction with post-workout supplements or performance boosters like whey isolate protein powder.
Traditional pre-exercise foods include protein bars, bananas, almonds, or Greek yogurt. While these healthy foods can boost energy, they may not include the natural stimulants that improve performance or focus. Another issue is that digesting a meal takes longer than a quick powder. Experts often recommend waiting up to two or three hours to begin exercising after having a meal. If that time frame is not possible, using a pre-exercise powder instead is best.
Popular ingredients in pre-exercise supplements include beta-alanine, caffeine, and citrulline, along with added vitamins or minerals. These ingredients in supplements help prepare the body to engage in intensive workouts.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid proven to delay muscle fatigue by preventing lactic acid buildup. According to the National Institutes of Health, lactic acid is an organic chemical the body produces when breaking down carbohydrates for energy.
Lactic acid production causes the “aching” or “burning” sensation that people begin to feel during workouts. While you can try to “push through” the burn, beta-alanine can help you manage this occurrence instead.
Caffeine rapidly absorbs in the gastrointestinal tract and moves through cellular membranes to stimulate the body and brain. In fact, people who need a “coffee fix” in the morning are usually referring to the caffeine content’s ability to signal or trigger pathways in the central nervous system (CNS).
Caffeine can reduce the body’s reliance on glycogen during workouts and prompt cells to mobilize fatty acids instead. It is one of pre-workout supplements’ most recommended energy and endurance enhancers.
Pre-exercise supplements can help you get the most out of your time and workout endeavors. This step, like warmups or stretching, helps prepare the body for intensive routines. Incorporating these supplements into your workout can help you achieve your top fitness goals.