Feeling pumped for your training session, both physically and mentally, encourages you to push yourself and gain the most from your workouts. This is why pre-workout supplements are so popular and why there is such a wide range to choose from. The different ingredients in them work together to provide you with increased energy levels as well as enhanced focus and concentration so that you not only have the energy needed to really push yourself, but so you also have the willingness and determination to match it.
This doesn’t necessarily mean however that you need to take pre-workout supplements to have a great workout, or even that you should!
Pre-workouts contain a number of different ingredients and not all of them are appropriate for everyone to use. Like with all supplements, it is really important that you research the different options and know what you are taking before you start popping pills, or guzzling the drinks.
Even though generally speaking most pre-workout supplements contain slightly different ingredients and all at different ratios, there are some general pros and cons that apply to all of them and should be taken into consideration.
- Enhanced physical performance
- Enhanced mental clarity
- Many pre-workouts also contain other valuable nutrients such as vitamins and electrolytes
- They are often full of highly processed or artificial ingredients.
- The are not appropriate for everyone and can be dangerous for people with certain health conditions such as high blood pressure or other heart conditions.
- Overstimulation from excessive stimulants can cause jitters, shakes and even alter your mood.
- They often work as diuretics which means you are more likely to become dehydrated, especially when exercising causes you to sweat a lot.
- You may develop a mental dependency on them and feel as though you cannot workout without them.
The good news is that if using supplements isn’t really your thing, there are some healthy and safe alternatives you can use that will also help provide you with a little more energy and focus for your workout. Most of these include fuelling your body with the nutrients needed so that you can naturally create the energy and focus needed.
Some of these include:
- Green tea - Any caffeinated hot beverage will give you that extra energy kick you might need in a healthy and safe dose.
- Banana - Basically any fruit will provide a quick energy supply.
- Oatmeal - Fuelling up with a healthy carb choice 60-90 minutes before working out will help provide you with the energy you need, naturally!
- Water - Being hydrated enough can mean the difference between enjoying your workout and not, so make sure you drink plenty of water before working out and have a bottle handy for little sips during, should you need it.