Pre-workout supplements are essential to having that extra edge, in terms of both performance and your eventual gains. It's grown into a supplement category that people are paying a lot of attention to, and attempting to integrate into their routines.
Some pre-workouts we might be familiar with are branched chain amino acids, or BCAAs, or specialised pre-workout blends that are extremely common today. While the basis of taking a pre-workout means you take it before you hit the gym, there are definitely avenues for error to consider.
Here are some mistakes you could be making, which you definitely should avoid if you want to get the most out of your pre-workout supplement.
NOT EATING BEFORE A PRE-WORKOUT
Most pre-workouts contain caffeine, or stimulants that can cause nausea if consumed without food. The last thing you want to do when performing that heavy lift is to feel ill, maybe even throw up, so eating before you take your pre-workout definitely helps circumvent that. Ideally, eat half an hour to an hour before. It doesn't have to be a full meal, a substantial snack will do. Also, eating really helps keep the energy up and your blood sugar stable while working out. For this small meal, try to avoid overtly fibrous foods, and opt for quick digesting bites like a banana, or white bread.
YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT GOES INTO YOUR PRE-WORKOUT
People are often susceptible to purchasing something based on marketing claims or packaging, but that is widely discouraged against. With supplements, it's best to be an informed consumer. Know exactly what goes into your pre-workout, and identify how those ingredients can help you. There are key ingredients you can look out for, but make sure they're simple ones. Caffeine is an obvious staple for that extra boost of energy, and so is creatine, for its exemplary ability to help increase strength and muscle mass. Citrulline, in particular citrulline malate is another popular one for delivering an additional dose of oxygen to your muscles as you train, keeping you at your best when you work out. If you want to find out more, we've got a whole page of reviews to keep you informed.
As mentioned earlier, taking your pre-workout before you hit the gym is self-explanatory. It is the timing window of when to take it that really makes the difference. If you have the habit of taking it before you step into the gym, you need to stop. Taking your pre-workout at that time is far too late, as the nutrients won't have time to reach your muscles and/or bloodstream to be effective. On the other hand, taking your pre-workout too early means you've exhausted its potential before you hit the gym. A pre-workout requires about half an hour to 45 mins to reach its optimum, so its best to take it around that time window before you enter the gym.
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