Supplements can be a tricky business. There is a wide variety of ingredients and formulas available on the market, all of which can take a long time to wade through and understand.
Choosing the right supplement for your health, wellness and fitness needs becomes even more confusing and challenging when you take a look at all of the unsubstantiated claims made by manufacturers.
Still, a carefully-chosen supplement has the potential to be one of the most powerful tools in your training arsenal.
How so? An effective supplement gives you a unique edge by helping you power through intense workouts and make more rapid progress than you’d likely be able to make otherwise.
This is especially true of energy-boosting pre-workout supplements.
But how can you find the best pre-workout supplements for your unique health needs and fitness goals?
This beginners’ guide to workout supplements will answer this and other questions that you need to know about pre-workouts and other common supplements.
Keep It Clean
For many newbie supplement users, the ingredient list is one of the first (and most challenging) hurdles they’ll need to overcome.
Unfortunately, most pre-workout supplements currently available on the market are loaded up with artificial additives like sweeteners, flavoring, preservatives, anti-caking agents and plain old fillers.
Not only are these added ingredients entirely unnecessary, but they can actually have a negative impact on your health! Adverse effects range from digestive issues to hormonal imbalances. Some researchers are even studying the link between artificial additives in pre-workout supplements and cancer.
Needless to say, all of these are side-effects most health nuts and fitness enthusiasts would prefer to stay far away from!
Regardless of why you’re looking to take a pre-workout supplement (reasons range from weightlifting to cardiovascular endurance to weight loss), you’ll want to make sure your supplement has a squeaky clean label and ingredient list.
That means only clean, effective ingredients with NO additives!
Of course, that begs the question – what qualifies as an “effective ingredient?”
Generally speaking, pre-workout supplements are designed to increase your energy and focus, so that you can train longer, faster, and harder. Other ingredients intended to improve your strength, endurance and overall athletic performance are also commonly used.
So, which specific ingredients should you look for?
Of all the substances frequently touted for their supposed benefits in these areas, few actually hold up to scientific scrutiny. Among those that have been proven effective by researchers are caffeine, beta-alanine and creatine.
At the very least, these three power ingredients should be included in any pre-workout supplement. If you don’t see them on the list, your pre-workout is likely not effective enough to provide a true benefit.
Equally important as “right ingredients” is “right doses.” Even if your supplement contains effective ingredients, if the amount contained per serving is too low, it won’t be able to positively impact your workout.
One serving of Naked Energy contains 200mg of caffeine; roughly as much as you’d consume in two cups of coffee. It also contains 1g of creatine and 2g of beta-alanine.
When to Use a Pre-Workout
Now that you know which ingredients to look for on the label (and which additives to avoid) you can shop smartly to find the perfect supplement for your health and fitness goals.
But once you’ve chosen a supplement, how do you use it effectively?
In the case of pre-workouts, the instructions are clearly in the name: you take them right before you work out.
However, that doesn’t mean immediately before you work out; instead, most pre-workouts are designed to be consumed 15 to 30 minutes before hitting the gym. This short waiting period allows the ingredients to begin taking effect before you start your workout.
Another common question is in regards to individual training styles and workout routines. For instance, is there a best pre-workout supplement specifically formulated for runners, or for women, or for CrossFit?
The answer may surprise you: no! In general, as long as your pre-workout supplement contains the above-mentioned ingredients (caffeine, beta-alanine and creatine) in suitable does, it will be able to optimize your performance…regardless of what that means in your specific situation.
Naked Energy, produced by Naked Nutrition, is a premium workout supplement that offers high-quality, science backed ingredients in effective doses. No sweeteners, colors, flavors, or other artificial additives are used; just 10 vegan, non-GMO ingredients.
Regardless of your training style or workout routine, Naked Energy is guaranteed to impact your workout and enhance your athletic performance.