Many of you fitness enthusiasts are likely to be familiar with the term pre-workout. When taken in advance of exercise, these performance-enhancing supplements can boost your athletic performance and help you reach your fitness goals quicker.
But often, we don’t give a second thought to how exactly they improve our performance. We just read a label and like what they promise. Drink up. And get moving.
But for those who would like to know a bit more about pre-workouts and the benefits they provide, keep on reading.
What is a Pre-Workout?
A pre-workout is a supplement you can take that boosts your energy and optimizes your performance during a workout. They often come in a powder that you mix with water and contain a combination of different ingredients, such as caffeine, vitamins, and other performance-enhancing substances. More on this below!
The main aim of a pre-workout supplement is to provide our bodies with extra energy to reduce fatigue and boost endurance so that you can push yourself harder. They also help you recover optimally after exercise, which is crucial for maximizing the effects of a workout.
Exercise puts a great demand on the body's resources, including brain chemicals, energy stores, electrolytes, and oxygen supply. A pre-workout taken 30 minutes before a workout can provide your body with all its essential resources, ensuring you can perform at maximum capacity.
What Are the Benefits of Taking a Pre-Workout?
If you’ve been working out for a while but your progress has plateaued, or you simply want to accelerate your progress and reach your fitness goals faster, taking a pre-workout can provide a number of benefits.
There’s no shame in recruiting a little help from a friend. Taking a pre-workout can help enhance our focus, endurance, strength, and power, and accelerate recovery, overall taking our athletic performance up a notch.
Pre Lab Pro contains the latest powerful ingredients that escalate your performance way beyond your usual capabilities. Find out more below.
Creatine is a chemical compound produced in the body by the liver and kidneys, but can also be consumed in supplements. It is especially popular amongst athletes and bodybuilders, thanks to its ability to help build muscle.
Muscles convert creatine into phosphocreatine, which is used to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a major source of instant energy that fuels our body. Increasing the amount of creatine in your muscles, therefore, increases the amount of energy available to support high-intensity workouts and muscle growth. Let us elaborate further.
Unfortunately, your body cannot store an unlimited supply of ATP. During exercise, our muscles synthesize more ATP to keep up with the demands of the activity we are performing.
High-intensity exercise is highly energy-demanding and requires more ATP than your body can produce, resulting in fatigue. Once that instant energy isn’t available anymore, our bodies switch to alternative energy resources, like fat.
Creatine supplements can increase muscle stores of phosphocreatine, meaning more ATP can be synthesized1. By increasing the amount of energy available during your workout, you can perform high-intensity workouts for longer, maximize muscle growth and improve power and endurance.
Creatine is consistently found to be effective as a pre-workout ingredient. A review of 250 studies that looked at the most popular muscle building supplements found creatine to be the most effective out of all of them2
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that can help prevent the buildup of acid in your muscles3. During exercise, your muscles convert glucose into lactic acid. This causes muscles to become more acidic and results in fatigue. No matter how hard you try, once you have hit this stage, it’s over!
Beta-alanine is not used to synthesize proteins like most amino acids but is converted into a compound called carnosine. This is stored in your muscles and acts as a buffer against lactic acid.
Reducing muscle acidity is key to delaying fatigue, allowing you to work out harder and longer. Taking a supplement with beta-alanine can significantly increase carnosine levels in muscles, helping you ward off the dreaded lactic acid buildup4.
Red Beetroot Powder
During a workout, blood containing essential oxygen and nutrients is pumped to your muscles to fuel their movement. The higher the intensity of your workout, the harder your heart will work to keep up with the demand.
Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that is naturally produced by the body and causes the relaxation of blood vessels and increases blood flow. Red beetroot powder provides a rich source of nitrate, driving up the production of nitric oxide to get your blood pumping.
Research suggests supplements that boost nitric oxide and blood flow provide numerous benefits to athletic performance5. Some of these benefits include:
- Increased availability of oxygen and nutrients
- Faster removal of lactic acid buildup in the muscles
- Delivery of essential proteins and antioxidants to support muscle building and repair
- Better focus, drive, and brain function
Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that benefits your workout by enhancing blood flow and providing more energy and better focus. As such, it is no surprise it is one of the most common pre-workout ingredients.
But often, doses of caffeine are far too high and can contribute to several unwanted side effects, such as energy crashes, anxiety, and jitters.
However, when used correctly, caffeine can significantly increase your athletic performance and just might be the secret ingredient to unlocking your full potential6. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, it is safe to consume up to 400mg of caffeine a day.
Pre Lab Pro uses low-dose, natural caffeine (only 80mg) to energize your workout, without posing risks to your health. When combined with L-Tyrosine and L-theanine, listed below, this pre-workout allows you to take advantage of all of the benefits of caffeine without the unwanted side effects.
Whilst caffeine provides significant short-term benefits during a workout, it depletes the body of important brain chemicals. This results in what’s known as a caffeine crash, which is characterized by a lack of energy and low mood.
Low energy and mood are hardly a great combination for a good workout. Or even a good day for that matter.
L-theanine is an amino acid that works synergistically with caffeine, meaning it enhances its beneficial effects. When taken alongside caffeine, it can help improve mental focus and improve cognitive ability7.
Caffeine acts as a nervous system stimulant that raises energy, blood pressure, and heart rate. It also increases the release of brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which promotes feelings of pleasure. When dopamine becomes depleted, our mood suffers.
Unlike caffeine, L-theanine works as a relaxant and counteracts the negative effects of caffeine, through the replenishment of depleted neurotransmitters. Combining both of these in a pre-workout provides calmer and clearer mental energy, with fewer unwanted side effects.
L-Tyrosine is also another powerful ingredient that works to counteract any negative side effects from caffeine. No more jitters, anxiety, or crashes!
L-Tyrosine is an amino acid that acts as a precursor to neurotransmitters that are depleted by caffeine, such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and epinephrine. These brain chemicals are necessary to help your brain function under stressful circumstances, like during intense exercise.
If levels of these important neurotransmitters become depleted, brain function, mood, and mental motivation will drop. And if your head’s not in the game, your performance will suffer. Research suggests that taking L-tyrosine pre-workout can help the brain cope with stressful situations and prolong exercise under difficult conditions, such as extreme heat8.
No matter how many supplements you take, nothing will magically make you buff overnight - if only it was that easy! You still have to put the work in.
But by taking a pre-workout like Pre Lab Pro, you can help accelerate the process.
Through the provision of specially formulated ingredients, it provides your body with essential resources that enable you to push yourself to the limit - enhancing your strength, power, mental focus, endurance, and ability to bounce back faster. All of which help take you one step closer to your fitness goals.
- Casey, Anna, and Paul L. Greenhaff. "Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance?." The American journal of clinical nutrition 72.2 (2000): 607S-617S.
- Nissen, Steven L., and Rick L. Sharp. "Effect of dietary supplements on lean mass and strength gains with resistance exercise: a meta-analysis." Journal of Applied Physiology(2003).
- Saunders, Bryan, et al. "β-alanine supplementation to improve exercise capacity and performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis." British journal of sports medicine 51.8 (2017): 658-669.
- Derave, Wim, et al. "β-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters." Journal of applied physiology 103.5 (2007): 1736-1743.
- Oral, O. N. U. R. "Nitric oxide and its role in exercise physiology." The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness(2021).
- Pickering, Craig, and Jozo Grgic. "Caffeine and exercise: what next?." Sports Medicine 49.7 (2019): 1007-1030.
- Haskell, Crystal F., et al. "The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood." Biological psychology 77.2 (2008): 113-122.
- Tumilty, Les, et al. "Oral tyrosine supplementation improves exercise capacity in the heat." European journal of applied physiology 111.12 (2011): 2941-2950.