What Are Common Pre-Workout Supplement Ingredients?

What Are Common Pre-Workout Supplement Ingredients?

While pre-workout supplements may seem like a magic mixture of scientifically derived ingredients, are there any that really do a body good?

It seems like everyone in the gym is talking about a pre-workout supplement—colloquially referred to as “pre-workout.”

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates, caffeine, beetroot juice, and creatine monohydrate (a popular muscle-building supplement) are all common pre-workout supplement ingredients that have been shown to improve exercise performance.

Carbs are pretty obvious—they’re your body’s go-to source of energy and what experts recommend eating before a workout.

After all, when exercising—especially at high intensity, cycling classes, and lifting—your body uses blood glucose and glycogen (stored carbs) as its main energy source. So boosting your levels before you start can help increase energy reserves and performance.

Caffeine

Caffeine is obviously a stimulant known for boosting energy and alertness. Research shows it can help improve physical performance too, although many of the studies have been done on small sample sizes.

Still, there’s a lot of research supporting caffeine’s ability to increase energy while simultaneously reducing workout pressure. The theory is that caffeine helps muscles burn more fat upfront and preserve glycogen, thereby letting you work harder, and longer, before you use up all your energy stores.

Other studies suggest caffeine simply helps improve a muscle’s ability to generate power.

Beetroot Juice

With beetroot juice, a 2017 study found that it’s been shown to consistently increase levels of nitric oxide and improve cardiovascular performance. Beetroot juice actually contains inorganic nitrates, which convert in the body to nitric oxide.

A natural vasodilator, nitric oxide expands blood vessels, increasing blood flow and decreasing how hard your heart has to work under strain. It’s important to note that beet research is still young, but so far even small results are promising.

Creatine

Creatine monohydrate is also often included in pre-workout formulas. Creatine is a derivative of three amino acids that are naturally produced in the body and stored as a source of quick energy in the muscles.

Some research even indicates that creatine monohydrate is likely more effective at boosting performance if you take it after each workout – as opposed to before, when your body may be more apt to absorb and store it when your natural stores are at their lowest.

Creatine is actually one of the most well-researched sports supplements over the past few decades. Studies consistently show that in normal doses—2 to 5 grams per day over the long term—it’s very safe for healthy adults.

The most common side effect is weight gained from water retention; when your muscles store creatine, they also store water. This can make your muscles look a bit larger and weigh a bit more.

A Smidgen of Common Sense

As a precaution, be careful if you have diabetes, kidney problems, or any other major health condition. It’s always best to talk with your doctor before regularly supplementing with creatine (or anything, really).

 

 

10 Amazing Powdered Food Products You Never Knew Existed

10 Amazing Powdered Food Products You Never Knew Existed

“Cue the Crickets” Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Silence Anymore – It May Mean Dinner’s On!

What’s more straightforward than adding a scoop of powder to your morning smoothie to enjoy on the go? Keep some of the following powdered food products in your drawer at the office. They offer a healthy and convenient alternative to unhealthy vending machine snacks.

We’re willing to bet that you’ll be surprised about the variety of powdered food products available on the market today.

Powdered food products:

  • Are more convenient
  • Take up less storage space
  • Last longer than their fresh counterparts. They’re perfect for the busy person on the go.

Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is high in healthy fats, low in carbs, and high in protein. Now it’s become even more versatile. Use it in smoothies or to add flavour to your yogurt or oatmeal. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not try some in your coffee?

Cocoa Powder

If you’re a chocoholic, we don’t need to convince you of the health benefits of chocolate. If you want the nutrient boost without the extra fat and sugar of a chocolate bar, use cocoa powder instead. Use it to liven up your chia seed porridge in the morning, add to coffee, or add to your smoothie.

Cocoa powder is one cheat that you can enjoy without the guilt.

Yogurt

Yogurt is a staple in most refrigerators. Plain yogurt is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It also has a relatively short shelf-life. The big tubs are more economical, but they’re also more likely to end up going sour before you’re finished with them.

Powdered yogurt might be the best thing since sliced bread. It’s perfect for taking on a camping trip – all you need to do is to add water, and it’s ready. It’s also a great way to add extra flavour to sauces, dressings and dips.

Kale

Let’s take a quick poll here. Who likes the taste of kale? It gives new meaning to the word superfood. It’s packed with nutrients and is an excellent source of Vitamin K. If you battle to choke it down, though, get the powdered version.

Add it to smoothies to disguise the flavour and get the full benefit.

Honey

We love the sticky stuff, but it’s messy. The powdered version is simple to dispense and provides a range of possibilities for popcorn and nuts.

Fruit and Veggies

Green powders offer an easy way for you to supplement your five a day. No peeling or prep required.

Milk

Milk – you either love it or hate it. There’s no denying that it provides a quick boost of energy, though. Powdered milk is making a comeback. (If you’re old enough, you’ll remember hating it as a child.) For adults, it’s quite convenient, especially if you like hiking or camping.

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds offer protein and tons of fibre. That is if you can put up with the slimy texture. If you can’t don’t miss out – choose the powdered variety instead.

Brazil nuts

When you don’t have the time to crack open a few brazil nuts, get the benefits by adding them in powder form instead.

Crickets

Bugs are showing promise as one of the top protein sources. There are even those who suggest them as a more environmentally friendly substitute for beef. Now, what they’d be like on the barbecue we can’t say. But adding them to a morning smoothie makes them more palatable.