Pre-workouts are the latest fad for all gym-goers. In this insightful article, we cover what pre-workouts are all about, why they are required and how they should be consumed so that you can have a powerful workout. The key here is to start your workout once the pre-workout has kicked in.
On average, it takes around 30 to 45 minutes for this to happen if you have consumed the pre-workout prescribed by your fitness coach or nutritionist. Just ensure that you have the right pre-workout recommended as per your body weight. Read on to know more.
What Is a Pre-Workout Supplement?
Pre-workout are performance-enhancing supplements, which most commonly come in powdered form.
They typically are a mixture of ingredients like caffeine, vitamins, and amino acids, which, when combined, tend to maximize both endurance and power during the workout.
This helps fitness junkies get more out of their exercise time by enabling them to work out more intensely.
The caffeine in the pre-workout causes something called ‘vasodilation’, which is basically the widening of your blood vessels. This leads to greater and faster blood and oxygen flow to the working muscles.
Caffeine also helps in better alertness, which contributes to the cognitive effects of pre-workout.
What Are The Benefits of taking a Pre-Workout?
Pre-workouts are a great way to maximize your workouts and give them that much needed extra boost for better results. Pre-workouts do something more than what warmups do, to get your body ready for exercise.
They help you increase your physical activity output. They differ from energy drinks or plain coffee, which apart from being addictive, tend to have only a short-lived effect. Pre-workouts can keep us alert for way longer.
The main purpose of pre-workouts is to delay fatigue. By taking a pre-workout you can end up working out longer and harder. As a result, you can have more intense workouts and end up becoming stronger, losing weight faster, gaining lean muscle mass, and becoming more agile.
Should You Be Taking a Pre-Workout?
First things first, let’s understand whether you should take a pre-workout at all. If you answer in the affirmative to the questions below, then yes, pre-workouts are for you.
- You are eager to lose more weight
- You want to gain lean muscle
- You want to take your current workout plan a notch higher in terms of intensity
- You want to train for a particular sport or contest
- You want to be more mentally focused when you hit the gym
Common Mistakes Made With a Pre-Workout Supplement
- Firstly, pre-workouts are not about being an overachiever in the gym. You must take them in the right amount, for the prescribed purpose. There is a danger in overdoing it.
- Secondly, you mustn’t gulp down the pre-workout too fast. That’s not going to help you, in fact it may turn out to be harmful instead.
- Thirdly, another thing to keep in mind before taking the magic potion is never to do so on an empty stomach. Make sure you have had your meal much before that or a light bite just before it, else you may end up having slight heart palpitations, nausea, or lightheadedness.
So, make sure you get a recommendation on what to take as an enhancer, how & when to consume it. The market is full of all sorts of inferior quality products masquerading as pre-workouts. Moreover, ensure you take it only in standard doses for the purpose of working out more productively.
How Long Does Pre-Workout Take to Kick In?
The time that a pre-workout takes to kick in is subjective and it all varies from person to person. It all depends on your sensitivity to its ingredients.
However, it can be said that on average it would take at least 30 to 45 minutes for it to kick in. It is safe to say that one should consume the pre-workout at least 30 if not 60 minutes before starting the training session.
How Will You Know That the Pre-Workout Has Kicked In?
Watch out for these signs to know that the pre-workout has kicked in
- An energized feeling: You will notice a surge in your energy levels and a highly motivated feeling as the effect kicks in
- Increased mental focus: You will become more alert and be able to concentrate better once the effect of the enhancer kicks in.
- A slight tingling sensation on the skin: When the pre-workout kicks in, you may have a slight tingling sensation on your skin. This is perfectly normal and there is no reason to get alarmed when this happens. Pre-workouts tend to overstimulate the small nerve endings on the top layer of your skin. This leads to a tingling sensation which is absolutely normal after consuming a pre-workout.
How Long Does the Effect Last?
Most pre-workouts are stimulants which naturally means that the main ingredient for every pre-workout is caffeine. The effect of caffeine typically lasts for a good 3 to 4 hours. Adding the effect of other ingredients to this, we can say that the overall effect of the pre-workout should last for 5 to 6 hours.
What Are the Factors That Add to This Effect or Take Away From It?
- Your personal statistics like your age, height, weight, and other physical indicators.
- The quality of ingredients in your pre-workout
- The dosage of the enhancer
- Your general diet and water intake. A balanced diet and adequate water intake make the pre-workout more effective
- Your sensitivity to stimulants matters a lot. Some people have a higher caffeine sensitivity than others.
To Sum Up
Pre-workout supplements can give your workout regime the boost you’ve been looking for by making you perform better in terms of speed, strength, and stamina. This is bound to lead you to achieve your workout goals faster.
For best results, take the pre-workout recommended by your trainer or nutritionist consistently, in the specified dosage, around 30 to 60 minutes before your training session, and let the results unfold!