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Pre-workout nutrition is not such a new concept anymore, and I think after whey protein it’s probably the second most popular product individuals look at when purchasing their monthly supplies. At CHROME, we also get the common question: “What pre-workout can I use to improve my energy, focus, size, stamina, physique or to burn fat?” That’s why we came up with this short guide to help educate and guide you through your pre-workout nutrition. What to look for, why and how it can benefit you.
Don’t be fooled by bold company claims promising you 8 kilograms of muscle in 8 weeks or phrases like lose 10kilogram in 2 weeks etc. The truth it that nutrition accounts for 80% of your results, and without it, the chances of you achieving your dream physique are next to nothing. So before walking into a supplement store, make sure that your nutrition plan is up to par and that you know what pre-workout drinks are all about.
Pre-workout drinks are designed to help you perform better for longer. They are also designed to jack up your energy levels, while assisting in muscle blood flow, recovery, protein synthesis and more, but the main function usually is increased blood flow to the working muscles.
Remember, blood carries a lot of essential nutrients like amino acids, hormones, water and glucose. You should know by now that glucose is the primary source of energy used when you are smashing the gym. More glucose to muscle means more energy to train harder. See, this is not rocket science. This also counts for all the other nutrients like BCAAs for instance. BCAAs are anti-catabolic, which is exactly why you want them in the muscles while training.
Think about it, more blood + more energy = harder sessions. More blood + more nutrients + better recovery & muscle building.
If you look at the above benefits, it means that anyone can benefit from taking pre-workouts. Whether you are a strength, endurance, fitness physique athlete or just an individual trying to get in shape!
Pre-workout drinks are designed to help you perform better for longer. They are also designed to hack up your energy levels, while assisting in muscle blood flow, recovery, protein synthesis and more.
BCAAS (Muscle Protection)
BCAAs, as mentioned in the BCAA 101 guide, have numerous benefits.
They help to prevent muscle break down, increase growth hormone, insulin, testosterone (all hormones essential to muscle building) and protein synthesis within the muscle cells.
Creatine (Strength Increase)
Another critical ingredient.
As mentioned in the Creatine 101 guide, creatine can help replenish ATP (energy) levels between sets and rest periods, while increasing strength and endurance.
Beta-Alanine (Blood Flow & Endurance)
Beta-alanine serves as a lactic acid buffer!
This means that you will be able train harder for longer without feeling that burning sensation.
It also assists in blood flow.
Citrulline Malate (Energy)
This is basically a combination of citrulline and malic acid.
The main function is that it removes ammonia from the body meaning that it can help delay fatigue.
It can also assist in recovery time, and is able to boost energy levels.
Arginine (Blood Flow)
Arginine is nothing new.
It basically assists in nitro-oxide production, which leads to increased blood flow to and from muscle tissue.
Taurine (Endurance & Strength)
Taurine in a nutshell can help to increase muscle endurance and strength.
Caffeine (Energy, Focus & Fat Loss)
Caffeine can assist in energy production as well as mental focus.
It also assists in freeing up fat from fat cells to be used as energy!
Betaine (Strength & Power)
Numerous studies confirm that betaine can boost strength and power.
Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ANTI-OXIDANT, HORMONE REGULATOR)
ALA serves as an anti-oxidant, it has also been shown to increase glucose uptake in muscle cells.
It also helps to prevent muscle cells from storing fat by decreasing glucose uptake by fat cells.
When you walk into a store, you should at least already have an idea of what you are looking for, you need to know more than just building muscle or losing fat. Are you looking to achieve a better muscle pump? Maybe you are looking for more energy and endurance? Maybe you are looking to increase strength or focus?
At the end of the day each pre-workouts is different due to the fact that they all specialise in these different categories. Now that you know the ingredients and their functions, you will be able to tell the difference between certain products.
Yes we do suggest that you cycle your pre-workout supplements to prevent your body from adapting to them. But it’s not always the ingredients you need cycling from; it’s mostly the stimulants like caffeine. These stimulants can cause fatigue to the adrenal glands which lowers your tolerance levels. Have you ever felt on top of the world after 1 or 2 days on a new product and then after week 1, you realise that you don’t experience nearly the same effects?
This is an indication that your body is starting to adapt to the stimulants and product. You need to take a break every now and then to allow your body to sensitise. I can guarantee that they will be much more effective once intake is resumed.
With regards to the ingredients like BCAA’s, they will still help protect, recover and rebuild the muscles after training but you might not experience the intense energy and focus as before. The best way to way to cycle pre-workout products is to use consistently for 6-8 weeks followed by 2-3 weeks off.
Then simply repeat. You will find that when you come back to the supplements they will feel like they have been supercharged.
SSA’s ultimate pre-workout cocktail, Hellfire, is a mind-blowing energy stimulator that will give even experienced lifters the most focused and intense workouts.
MHP’s Reckless™ goes far beyond your basic high stimulant pre-workout. Reckless is a fully loaded, university tested pre-workout engineered to improve your physical and mental performance.
For those who prefer taking capsules over powders, SSA Pre-Load is an extremely potent pre-workout formula that is formulated to ensure that your workouts achieve maximum results and insane pumps.