What does a pre workout do?
Are pre workouts safe?
What are the best pre workouts for women?
These are just some of the Qs I’ve been getting lately. And being a Fitness Nutritionist and recently accepting a job part time in a supplement store, I’ve learned a lot of the past few weeks about Pre Workouts.
Are they just hype?
Are they a waste of money?
Do they really DO something?
Will a pre workout help women lose weight?
Can’t I just drink a cuppa coffee before my workout?
What are the best pre workouts for women??
I’ve got the answers to all these Qs and more! Let’s get to it!!
Do you really need a pre workout?
First of all, let’s look at what a pre workout is designed to do:
- provide energy
- enhance muscle endurance
- boost your “pump” aka strength
1. Energy Boost
The first important component of a pre workout is that is it used to boost your energy. Usually this is done with some sort of caffeine, but you can get stimulant free pre workouts too if you are extremely sensitive to caffeine.
Most pre workouts use caffeine anhydrous, which is caffeine devoid of water; only around 0.05 water%.
Caffeine anhydrous is much more potent than regular caffeine and therefore starts working a lot quicker than a cup of coffee. Coffee usually takes 30-60 minutes to get into your system, whereas caffeine anhydrous only takes 10-20 minutes.
Why is this important? You want your energy levels to be boosted quickly before a workout, to keep up your workout motivation. Also, you need to account for time…who wants to be waiting an hour for a pre workout to become effective when you can get into the gym quicker?
Caffeine anhydrous is extracted from coffee beans and tea leaves, so no need to ask if pre workout supplements are healthy — it is all natural and completely safe to consume.
2. Muscle Endurance
If you find yourself constantly hitting a wall during a tough workout (or any workout for than matter), a top rated pre workout supplement will contain beta alanine. The addition of this non-essential amino acid in your pre workout will provide you with short-to-medium high intensity muscle performance meaning your muscles won’t “burn out” quite as quickly during an intense lift session or long, steady state cardio.
Beta alanine enhances muscle endurance by preventing lactic acid buildup in your muscles. You know that burn you get when you are down to your last 1-3 reps? That’s lactic acid in your muscles and while it is not harmful, it can lead to increased muscle soreness and decreased muscle performance.
If for nothing else than to push out 1-3 more reps, increased muscle endurance allows you to make huge advancements in your workout.
3. Muscle Pump
What’s a “muscle pump”? The “pump” is the tight, swelled look of a muscle after it has been intensely trained. It’s caused by a rapid influx of blood into your muscles to remove fatigue toxins and replace it with a fresh supply of oxygen and fuel.
Why would a woman want this?
It allows you to go longer and be stronger in your workouts! Plus, a good muscle pump indicates you have worked the area well. I know for me, when I am busting my hump in the gym, I want to see some results!
Muscle pump aka vasodilators get converted into Nitric Oxide in the body to open up the blood vessels. This allows the blood to flow faster and easier, which is what is increasing your “muscle pump”.
Common ingredients to look for to enhance your pump is l-arginine and citrulline aka l-citrulline. A good pre workout for women to help with muscle pump is Vega Sport’s Energizer and Rivalus’s Powder Burn.
Some of the Best Pre Workouts for Women are:
The best pre workouts for women?
The one you will take!
How do you know if you will benefit from a pre workout? You’ve got to try one. While I do highly suggest a pre workout for every one of my clients, it’s not mandatory for a good workout, and it really depends on your energy levels and goals.
If you need a boost to get into the gym, look for a good mid-line stimulant like A-cuts (above).
If you need to bust out of your seams and are lifting heavy and aren’t sensitive to caffeine try Mutant Madness. It’s a whopping 500g of caffeine and may lead to a crash afterwards (as it did for me big time) but if you are a big coffee drinker and can handle that much caffeine, it might be an option for you.
Need to focus more on your mind-muscle connection? Look for a pre workout that contains at least 500G of taurine.
Want a little fat-burning action? Again, Acuts is amazing for fighting tummy fat with the CLA in it (plus, all flavours taste GREAT!).
The sky is the limit when it comes to pre workout options and I’ve only listed but a few. The bottom line is a pre workout will help you get into the gym (energy boost), get into your workout (beta alanine and citrulline) and help you get the most out of your sweat sesh.
You don’t need to take a break from pre workouts, or cycle off them, but personally I like to switch up flavours within a brand and then after 1-2 months I switch brands altogether. Just keeps me motivated and enjoying what I am drinking before every workout.
Now it’s your turn to chime in.
Do you use a pre workout? Why or why not?
What is your FAVE brand/flavour?
Post your comment/questions below and let’s keep the conversation going.
I’ve gotta run and drink my pre workout as my booty/ab workout awaits 😉
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