Gone are the days of just a banana and a piece of toast before a workout. Now it’s all about finding a perfectly balance supplement to optimize your performance in the gym. But what does pre-workout do? We’ve got all the answers.
Of course, there’s still a place for the humble banana and toast, but if you really want to take your workout to the next level, adding a quality pre-workout into the mix could be a game-changer.
You may have heard product names bandied around in the locker rooms. But the question is, what does pre-workout do?
Before you start your search for the perfect pre-workout, we’ve got everything you need to know what it does, and what you should be looking for in a product. Luckily, we’re well-seasoned pre-workout pros. Read on to find out more.
What is pre-workout?
A pre-workout supplement is usually a formula designed to help you reach optimum levels of success in your workout. It’s usually available in powder form and can be mixed with water to enjoy as a shake before you head to the gym.
In an ideal world, a good pre-workout can help you push harder in the gym. It can improve your ability to focus on what you’re doing, and should increase your ability to make gains. All of this combines to help you get the most out of every workout and push you right to the upper limits of your potential.
That’s the dream girls.
The reality of the situation is this market is extremely saturated. It appears that just about every fitness brand out there has their own tub of pre-workout.
There’s no set formula you should be looking out for. In fact, there are so many ingredients out there a lot of the formulas don’t even look similar.
The one thing they have in common is they’re all claiming to boost your physical performance in the gym. But what does that mean?
What does pre-workout do?
Girl, there are tons of pre-workout supplements on the market. It’s so easy to get lost in a world of promises, false guarantees and half-assed products. Don’t worry though, we’re here to look out for you.
To help you stay on the right track and filter the real deal out from the crap, we’re going to talk about what you should expect from a high-quality pre-workout and what “boost your performance” really means.
A good pre-workout should be able to do the following:
Improve energy levels.
They should contain ingredients that boost your energy levels for your workout. However, this shouldn’t be a quick increase and a sudden crash. A good pre-workout should give you explosive power and improve your endurance without jitters or headaches. Aka don’t go for something that’s just a big hit of caffeine.
Make you feel stronger.
To really push your strength to the limits, a smart pre-workout will contain creatine. This is one of the most highly researched ingredients in the world of supplements and it can make you feel stronger and your muscles feel bigger.
It boosts your ATP production, which is your bodies main source of energy. On top of that your body can use creatine as a fuel, so by supplementing it, you’re dramatically increasing your sources.
If that wasn’t good enough, this handy ingredient also improves muscle cell hydration. This can improve protein synthesis for a more efficient repair process, and it makes your muscles look bigger too. Bonus.
The more focused you are on your workout, the more likely you are to reap results. No more giving up half way through a set or feeling unmotivated – a pre-workout should give you the support you need.
Now, a lot of pre-workouts out there say they achieve this, by pumping their formula with a hell-uv-a-lot of caffeine. Although caffeine will increase your energy levels and ability to focus, if you’re sensitive to it, you can experience some pretty intense crashes and even jitters if you’ve had too much. Caffeine should be carefully dosed, not maxed out.
An intelligent pre-workout formula should only use ingredients that work in harmony together to bring you a clean, yet powerful lift. We’ve said it before, but if it’s just pumped full of caffeine you probably won’t be benefiting from a smart formula that gives you a well-rounded experience. You might just get a migraine.
What makes a good pre-workout?
We’re pretty familiar with the pre-workout market and we’ve reviewed countless products. To help filter out the good from the bad, we’ve created a criterion of what we should expect from a product as the bear minimum. Check it out.
Every pre-workout should be:
If you’ve started researching pre-workouts, you’ll start to see the ‘proprietary blends’ on a lot of labels. This is an immediate red flag for us, as a proprietary blend is an undisclosed mix of ingredients. It’s something manufacturers can use to cover up fillers in their product and we are not on board with it. We like to know exactly what we’re putting in to our bodies and unknown blends are an unnecessary risk.
At Spot Me Girl, we’re all about nourishing our bodies. We spend a lot of time planning what we’re going to eat and when, to ensure we get the maximum benefit from it. We’re also pretty clued up on why our body needs these foods too. When it comes to a supplement we take the same approach.
Needless to say, we ain’t no scientists. But we do want to see extensive research surrounding each ingredient to justify its place within the formula. The more of that we can see, the more confident we are that this is a legit pre-workout.
This is a big deal for us. There are so many ingredient labels packed with unknown, unpronounceable, factory-made nutrients. We’re not about that. Your body is designed and optimized to process all-natural ingredients, not synthetic chemicals. Plus, with a chemical you don’t know what side effects you might experience. Overall, we’re not sold on factory manufactured “nutrients”.
Summary: The final scoop on pre-workout
A quality pre-workout will help you smash every workout, but it always helps to get educated on what will work and what you should avoid. Now you know what it does and what you should expect from a product, you can head out into the supplement market with a clear idea of where you should be spending your cash.
For more Spot Me Girl top tips on supplements, check out our product reviews: