Are Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Supplements Necessary?
While you might not have given much thought to how supplements affect your wellness before, if you’ve started to get interested in athletics and working out, the chances are you’re thinking about it now. How do you know which supplements – if any – benefit your wellbeing and your performance, and which ones give you the best value for money? As an athlete or fitness fan, you’ve probably spent some time looking into both pre- and post-workout supplements. While the results with these products tend to vary by the individual taking them, the actual truth is that neither is absolutely crucial. That is not to say that supplements can’t help you, but no one is urging you to stock up on pills and powders here.
With pre-workout supplements, manufacturers tend to use a lot of stimulants in their products in order to give you a little extra pump before you hit the gym. Some pre-workout pills focus on certain types of proteins or amino acids, but the vast majority will focus on a few ingredients; including 1 3 dimethylamylamine, caffeine, nitric oxide, beta alanine, creatine, and various other well-known stimulant enhancers. Again, different ingredients will work better for different people, but the most universally effective and safe performance-enhancing ingredients to consume are caffeine and beta alanine.
The debate with pre-workout supplements lies is in nitric oxide, which is an ingredient that pops up in almost every product like this. Some wellness experts, writers and enthusiasts will swear blind that nitric oxide is essential to your performance, but others will say that it’s all a placebo or muscle-memory hype. No pre-workout supplements are absolutely necessary, but if you do choose one, the best thing to do is try and test out what works for you. Read reviews, try sample sizes and pick a supplement that will benefit you long-term. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- 1 3 dimethylamylamine: This ingredient tend to enhance short-term performance, but can force you to wear down at a much faster rate.
- Beta-Alanine: This ingredient gives you less of a pump, but increases your sweat rate and helps you work harder or for longer, which is good for cardio days.
- Jack3d: This is good for major, powerlifting, muscle building days and supersets with very few breaks.
Post-workout supplements work differently to the pre-workout varieties, in that they are used to help you recover from hard workouts. Some may decrease your delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) while others can help you get ready for your next workout in as short a time as possible. There are so many products out there to really go into detail. That said; a good-quality whey protein is your most advisable option. Unless you have more specific goals, don’t use isolate or mass builder protein. Whey protein provides whole protein and branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and the higher quality ones contain beneficial ingredients for decreasing muscle soreness. These include glutamate, creatine monohydrate, and several other ingredients.
Still, you cannot neglect other, more natural sources of lean protein. Grilled, boneless, skinless chicken breast is a healthy option, while tuna provides a great source of protein that will help in muscle building and recovery, as well as giving you some all-necessary omega-3 fatty oils. You can also get your caffeine stimulants from more affordable and natural sources; green tea and coffee, bolstered with some complex carbs. An hour before a workout, try having a baked potato, and then follow that up 20 minutes before the workout with a black coffee.