Pre-Workout Supplements: Why These 5 Most Common Ingredients Aren't Helping You

A pre-workout supplement is usually consumed 30 to 40 minutes before a workout. 

Ishaan Arora
Written by: Ishaan AroraUpdated at: Feb 16, 2023 15:51 IST
Pre-Workout Supplements: Why These 5 Most Common Ingredients Aren't Helping You

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Your fitness results are determined by how hard you push yourself in the gym. The more muscle fibres you activate, the better your muscle and strength gains will be. However, to push hard in the gym, you need to start preparing a day before with  eating meals on time, sleeping well and most importantly, having a pre-workout supplement.

A pre-workout supplement has the potential to boost the intensity of your workout. Its ingredients are marketed as having the ability to improve your workout by increasing energy, providing a nasty pump, and increasing muscle growth. They're typically taken as a tablet or in powder form 30-45 minutes before a workout. But despite taking a pre-workout supplement, the majority of people still feel drained in the gym and are unable to train hard. So, if you're new to using pre-workout supplements, here's why its ingredients are not helping you.

1) Caffeine

Caffeine is the primary ingredient in all pre-workout supplements on the market. Caffeine accounts for the majority of the ingredient due to its ability to reduce fatigue and increase alertness. Caffeine before exercise alerts your mind to the impending shock, and when consumed just before your workout, it even gives you the energy to last longer in the gym. However, if you are unable to perform despite having caffeine, it is because your pre-workout contains either too much or too little caffeine. Having both high and low levels is harmful to your body; if you have an upset stomach and poor sleep, you are probably consuming too much caffeine. Whereas, if you consume less caffeine, you will hardly notice any difference. Caffeine would help you only when consumed in proportion to your body weight, no less, no more.

Pre workout helps boost performance

2) Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is the ingredient which is known for giving you a tingling sensation, so even if you don't feel like going to the gym, the tingling will make you go. According to science, beta-alanine is an amino acid used in pre-workout supplements to reduce fatigue. However, due to its tingling effect, a very little dose is added to the supplement, and for beta-alanine to function, you must either take it empty stomach. However, that is not recommended because taking pre-workout supplements empty stomach can raise your heart rate and increase your chances of having a heart attack in the gym.

Also Read: Protein Supplements: Debunking The Top Myths

3) Branched-Chain Amino Acids

Branched-chain amino acids (also known as BCAAs) are another common ingredient in the pre-workout supplement. Just like protein is muscle's building block, BCAA is protein's building block. They are included in pre-workout supplements to aid in muscle growth. However, it will only work if your protein intake is adequate, and if you consume less protein, it will have little effect.

Pre workout helps boost performance

4) Creatine

When you exercise, your muscles break down and form ATP, which aids in muscle growth. When you begin supplementing with creatine, your ATP production increases, doubling your muscle gain. However, our bodies naturally produce creatine, and pre-workout supplements contain very little creatine. For creatine to function, you must first load it in your body by taking 20 grams for a week, followed by a moderate amount, like 5 grams, for at least 40 days, to see visible results.

Also Read: 5 Supplements You Should Never Spend Your Money On

5) Green Tea Extracts

Green tea extracts are added to pre-workout drinks to aid in fat loss. Green tea, on the other hand, has no physical effect, which is why you are unaware that you have consumed it. Additionally, to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit; green tea extracts can only speed up the process but not promote weight loss.

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