Pre-workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are becoming increasingly popular. They're formulated with ingredients that work together to ramp up energy and endurance, increase strength, promote muscle growth, and burn off body fat.  The trick is finding the one that is right for you and works best with your system.  I steer away from any that have caffeine or sugar.  I personally like those with Beta-Alanine, L-Citrulline, L-Arginine and creatine monohydrate.  I even recommend purchasing these individually to stack.  I always mix with complex carb - (complex) carbs are the bottom line when it comes to clean, highly sustainable, long lasting energy.  There's no way around this.  Most companies use either maltodextrine or dextrose as their carb source.  Vitargo is scientifically proven to BLOW these carb sources out of the water.   Regardless of your carb source, its the carb that will lift your workout and sustain your energy level. Nothing does that faster and more effective than Vitargo.  So, look for large amounts. 

Sugars and caffeine will lift your workout yet, throw it back down just as fast. Most companies stack their pre-workout mixes with caffeine and sugar.  A little caffeine wont hurt.  A little sugar wont hurt.  They both actually have their benefits but, be cautious as sugar is highly addictive and caffeine, your body can quickly become tolerant of.   You may down a serving of, for instance, USPlabs' Jack3D and after a short intense rush where you may feel like you can throw 4 plates on each side of the barbell and throw it up 20 times, your workout is then met with this ensuing "crash".  Why?  In many pre-workouts the case is either one or both of: a) simple carb (sugar) and b) caffeine has thrown your body into an adrenalin exhaustion.  So, when looking for a pre-workout, look for one with little to no sugar and/or caffeine to avoid this. 

Avoiding sugar -  Its helpful to watch this general video on the effects sugar can have on your brain.  Video is by Nicole Avena via TedEd.  She explains how sugar is an addictive substance and augments dopamine levels leaving your body craving more and more.  Sugar should be avoided in exercise as it is a simple carbohydrate and burns quickly - that leads to the above mentioned "crash".  You want complex carbohydrate to elevate and sustain energy levels.  So, again, avoid pre-workouts with sugars and caffeine. Want more reasons to cut sugar from your supplements?  Read this entry by Kris Gunnars of Authority Nutrition. Simply put sugar is bad for you teeth, your liver, causes insulin resistance which can lead to diseases like diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and/or cancer; causes weight gain which can lead to obesity, and sugar raises cholesterol and can lead to heart disease. 

Blow the caffeine - What about caffeine... you say. Too much caffeine can lead to insomnia, muscle tremors, irritability and a fast heartbeat. Stimulants like caffeine will also cause you to become dehydrated faster than you should, again, accelerate heart rate, decrease oxygen utilization and thus hamper performance. The Mayo Clinic notes that 400+ milligrams for an average adult in a day is too much.   Read the article.   N.O.-Xplode, for instance has a "thermo energy" compilation as follows: 


 

Thermic Energy*745mg**
N-Acetyl Tyrosine, Caffeine Anhydrous, Grapefruit Bioflavonoids, Pterostilbene:Caffeine Cocrystal (PURENERGY™)

745 mg!  How much of that is caffeine?  Yet, hit your "crash" and you'll want to take down another serving in your shaker... this is what you're putting back into your system. Label does go on to APPROXIMATE caffeine levels to be 200mg.  Nothing on the label is FDA approved.  And, yes, caffeine is a drug.  Will this product kill you?  No.  Will it make your session a success.  It may. I've tried it before.  I keep coming back to one thing... a product that sustains my energy levels.  Nothing is better than Vitargo in that regard.  Want a stimulant?  You don't need sugar and or caffeine.  Again, beta-alanine, l-citrulline, l-arginine and creatine monohydrate are your best pre-workout ingredients. 

So

What is Beta-Alanine 1) Delays muscle fatigue 2) Promotes muscle endurance 3) Improves overall workout performance

What is L-Citruline:  1) Derived from watermelon. 2) A precursor to nitric oxide production production

What is L-Arginine: 1) Promotes muscle pump 2) Supports muscle recovery

What is Creatine Monohydrate:  1) Improves muscle size and strength 2) Promote's muscle endurance 3) promotes recovery

What is Vitargo:  1) Clean energy 2) Longer lasting than other additives 3) promotes recovery

What are some other pre-workout supplements?  Check these out

Suggested Pre-Workout

Prolab Beta Alanine Extreme fuels your body's ability to increase muscle carnosine synthesis! What is carnosine? Carnosine is composed of beta alanine and L-histidine and your body simply cannot synthesize carnosine without beta-alanine. Supplementing with beta alanine has shown to significantly delay muscle fatigue to help you squeeze out the last growth stimulating reps.  

 

 

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