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Home > Research Department  > Supplement Articles > Pre-Workout
    Supplement Articles  
PRE-WORKOUT SUPPLEMENTS
Articles by a Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.)
Last Updated: July 29th, 2015

HIT THE GYM, HARD!

By using a pre-workout supplement you can increase your results by putting forth the same effort.

Alright, you've done it. You made it to the gym and you're working out on a regular basis. Admit it, you're feeling pretty good – and you should be it takes a lot of time and dedication in ones busy lifestyle to make this happen. Now the question is: how do you optimize your exercise regime to get the most out of the time you spend at the gym? There is a healthy balance between food and pre-workout supplements that we think will give you just the ticket. And luckily for you, we have straight up answers – we know you've got little time to waste before you hit up the gym.

Here are a list of pre-workouts we recommend, for all fitness levels, no matter what your goals are!

Caffeine [for energy]

Caffeine is a stimulant, which provides energy for short periods of time, lasting no longer than 1-2 hours. Ideally, the average workout lasts about 1-2 hours, which makes caffeine the most popular ingredient across all pre-workout supplements; boosting energy exactly when you need it most. The average pre-workout supplement contains between 100mg and 300mg of caffeine, just remember it is not recommended to exceed 500mg-600mg daily.
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Beta-Alanine [for maximizing results]

Beta-Alanine is an amino acid, whose main effects result in reducing lactic acid build-up, thus reducing muscle soreness. Another benefit of reducing lactic-acid build up is that it allows you to push more weight, for longer periods of time, essentially maximizing results in exchange for your time in the gym. It is recommended to consume 2-4g of Beta-Alanine before your workout for best results, and do not be alarmed if it makes your skin itchy!
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L-Arginine [for a better pump!]

L-Arginine is another amino acid, however, its principal action is improving blood flow to your muscles, (or improving your pump, an expression commonly used in the world of weight lifting). Other than looking more 'ripped' (aka: swole), a benefit to more blood in the muscle is more effective strengthening, faster repair, and more growth. For best results, consume 1-3g before your workout, and you will see pumps like never before. We mean it.
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Creatine [for fast stronger muscles]

Creatine is an acid, which provides increased energy and strength to your workout, by drawing water to your muscles. Besides giving you a fuller look as a result of this, it also allows your muscles to heal faster, and essentially, grow faster and get you stronger faster, too. There are many kinds of Creatine, Creatine Monohydrate being the most common, however, they all work in a similar fashion. It is recommended when supplementing with Creatine Monohydrate that you incorporate an initial loading phase of one week, at 20g per day, followed by 10g per day for the following three weeks.
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Niacin (B3) [for improving blood flow]

Yes, Niacin, the vitamin referred to as B3 is found in the majority of pre-workout supplements, and for good reason. Niacin helps to dilate your blood vessels, improving blood flow, thus resulting in improved pump, as well as flushing out lactic acid and reducing pain. It is recommended to take between 100mg-200mg before your workout for optimal results.
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D-Ribose [for boosting muscle energy]

The simple five carbon sugar that forms the backbone of RNA Ribose occurs naturally in all living cells. It is a simple sugar that begins the metabolic process for ATP production. D-Ribose Powder is used to improve athletic performance and the ability to exercise by boosting muscle energy. D-Ribose has been used to prevent symptoms such as cramping, pain, and stiffness after exercise while with speeding up recovery time. Take 1/5 to 1 tsp (1 to 5g) before or after exercise. Use 5g up to three times a day
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Other things to consider...

Diet and Lifestyle

Pre-workout supplements, although they serve a purpose, can not and should not be substituted for a HEALTHY DIET, and should always be consumed in moderation. Read the ingredient list and be cautious of products with a bunch of names/words you don't recognize as English. In other words, find the cleanest product you can. Avoid artificial flavourings and colourings. Be cognizant of your own sensitivities, as well, as things like corn, dairy (whey), soy can be an inflammatory for some. Caffeine may be a quick energy, but is not a 'good' energy for everyone. Avoid caffeine rich supplements if you know you are sensitive to its effects. Think about how and where you can utilize food as medicine, to enhance your performance, as well. Water (and a lot of it), is another incredibly important aspect of pre workout prep. You want to go into your workout well hydrated and stay hydrated throughout. While these supplements help you make the most out of your workout, consuming certain foods (like a medium banana or a cup of oats) an hour prior to your workout can also give you the fuel your body needs during a workout. Make sure you are staying hydrated. Drink lots of filtered water or electrolyte drinks. Being dehydrated is never good. Lastly, don't underestimate the importance of sleep, as a form or pre-workout prep. Your body needs adequate sleep to repair itself after today's beating, and replenish itself for tomorrow's routine.
Have a healthy workout!

Looking for a Post-Workout Supplement to take - we've got just the thing! Click here to find out more.
 

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For informational purposes only.  Please consult your health care practitioner before taking natural health care products. Click here for full disclaimer.


All articles copyright National Nutrition 2001 - 2015.  For educational purposes only.  Please note that while National Nutrition supports your right to use natural health care products for any therapeutic purpose that you see fit, that the information on this website should not be considered as a claim or as a substitute for medical advice.

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