If you want to find the most success in a workout session to lose weight, gain muscle, or improve your overall health, we highly recommend using a pre-workout. These supplements or ingredients can help you gain much-needed energy while working out. So, what are the best ingredients you can choose?
You can use many pre-workout ingredients, such as caffeine, protein, and vitamin B12. However, deciding which is best for you might be challenging as we all have different body types. Still, you can easily find some ingredients at the grocery store and make a supplement.
In this article, we will discuss the best pre-workout ingredients to help you choose what is good and bad to put in your recipe (if you are making your own). Setting yourself up for success is vital, especially when it comes to working out. In that case, we encourage you to keep reading for more information.
What is a Pre-workout?
When you think about “pre-workout,” you might think you are working out before going hard, but the opposite is true. A pre-workout is a supplement to help your athletic performance during your exercise session.
These pre-workouts can come in the form of capsules, powders or gummies. They typically contain ingredients like creatine, amino acids, and caffeine, which can increase your exercise and help prevent any signs of fatigue.
You typically take this roughly 20 minutes before exercising. However, the timing only makes a difference if you take a green tea extract or caffeine. In a pre-workout supplement, other ingredients like beta-alanine, creatine, etc., can be taken any time out of the day if taking it a few minutes beforehand is not convenient for you.
What Are the Best Pre-workout Ingredients?
Here, we have the best pre-workout ingredients that are natural. Alternatively, you can use other ingredients mentioned below. However, we will get to that later.
1. Watermelon Juice
Watermelon contains a chemical called the amino acid citrulline. Citrulline, in particular, elevates your body’s nitric oxide, which helps to relax your blood vessels. As you work out, it lowers blood pressure while increasing blood flow. It might be wise to have some watermelon juice before working out despite citrulline being a non-essential amino acid.
Betaine is found in sweet potatoes, spinach, quinoa, and beets. Although it is a non-essential nutrient, your workout can be helpful, especially when doing plyometrics hardcore. Adding this ingredient to your pre-workout increases your power, muscle size, and work capacity.
3. Beetroot Juice
Beetroot juice is an excellent pre-workout ingredient because it comes directly from beets, which helps improve your blood pressure, boosts oxygen uptake, and increases your endurance while walking or running. In that case, any beet can get you to where you want to be physically!
4. Green Tea Extract
For those tea lovers, green tea extract is an excellent choice. It does not contain caffeine but has many benefits, like increasing speed, power, endurance, and strength. Green tea is a stimulant, so make sure you consider that beforehand. Also, green tea extract boasts L-theanine and amino, which improves focus. Overall, it has a calming effect, which can help with any caffeine jitters you might be experiencing.
Tumeric is healthy for many reasons and can be used in more than just teas, soups, and curries. This spice contains curcumin, which helps increase your nitric oxide levels (increasing your overall blow flow to your muscles during a workout.)
In return, your body will also gain anti-inflammatory properties. However, we recommend using black pepper with turmeric, as it helps activate the beneficial properties.
6. Black Pepper
Speaking of black pepper, it is also on the list to use as a pre-workout ingredient. It will add a little spice to your pre-workout and help you get ready to lift with its piperine component, which helps boost your overall immune system.
7. Cocoa Extract
A cocoa extract will do just the trick if you love chocolate! Cocoa extract has a high quantity of antioxidant epicatechin, which helps increase nitric oxide in your bloodstream. In return, it stimulates hormone release, which regulates and signals neurotransmissions. You can also find epicatechin in apples and tea as well.
Aside from natural ingredients, there are others you can choose from. We recommend searching for these ingredients if you purchase a pre-workout from the store or online.
Caffeine is a great way to provide energy while you are working out. However, use it in moderation, as too much will cause your energy levels to spike faster than if you use it sparingly.
Beta-alanine helps you build muscle endurance and is a naturally occurring amino acid. This ingredient will help you get that extra rep in.
Taurine will help reduce brain cell inflammation and oxidative stress, making it an excellent pre-workout ingredient choice. Not only this, but it is an excellent brain booster.
What Should Not Be in a Pre-workout?
Many things should not be used as a pre-workout ingredient. For example, if you drink high levels of caffeine, then it can give you jiggers, sleep disturbances, and anxiety. However, drinking supplements with lower levels of caffeine, like green tea or yerba mate, is perfectly acceptable.
On the other hand, there are other supplements you should not take with a pre-workout. Let us discuss them below.
- Excessive sugars: Sugar may give you an initial energy boost for a minute, but it will cause your energy levels to crash after a while. In that case, if you are craving something sweet, we recommend using honey or stevia.
- Artificial sweeteners: If you are using a store-bought pre-workout, make sure it does not contain artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin. Although they do not have a lot of calories, there are many adverse side effects, and avoiding them would be wise.
- Synthetic additives: Some pre-workout supplements have synthetic additives like food coloring, preservatives, and flavors. In that case, it is not wise to invest in these products as it will harm your health in the long run.
- Artificial fillers: Many artificial fillers are there to improve the texture and appearance of the products. Some of these fillers may be cellulose, titanium dioxide or silicon dioxide. However, they also have adverse health effects.
- Synthetic stimulants: DMAA, DMBA, or AMP citrate are all synthetic stimulants that should be avoided in favor of natural pre-workouts due to the negative side effects they cause.
Keep Things Natural
It is imperative to continue keeping things natural for your body’s sake. Do not beat yourself up if it is not within your budget to have an all-natural diet. Instead, we recommend doing the best you can.
Many things mentioned above are incredibly affordable and can be doable if you set your mind to it. Overall, we hope this article has helped you out. If you have more questions, check out our other articles for more information.