There’s always that group of bodybuilders claiming their area of the weight room and guzzling their pre-workout shakes.
But, for someone someone looking to improve cardio endurance, a pre-workout may seem out of place.
Are there benefits to taking these supplements if you are a runner, swimmer, or cylclust?
The answer may surprise you.
Are Pre-Workouts Only for Bodybuilders?
Many endurance athletes don’t think they will find any benefit in a pre-workout supplement, or maybe they’ve never conisdered one before.
A high-quality, clean pre-workout supplement can be incredibly beneficial for getting the most out of your workout, even if you aren’t lifting a tremendous amount of weight.
Supplements such as these are often overlooked because they appear intimidating, much like the clientele many people associate with them, the bodybuilders.
But don’t let that discourage you. The right type of pre-workout supplement is not just for the bodybuilder or extreme athlete.
But they are for anyone looking to improve their increase cardio endurance and improve exercise perfomrnace, in or out of the gym.
Who Else Can Benefit from a Pre-Workout?
Pre-workout supplements can help boost exercise performance and support high-intensity exercise to get the most out of your workout.
Although there is no exact definition of a pre-workout and many formulas differ, they all have the same goal.
Anyone looking to increase their energy, focus, performance, and recovery during and after their workout can benefit from this type of supplement.
Different pre-workout supplements can help with different things. For example, some pre-workout supplements are aimed at those looking to improve strength and recovery post-workout, while others better support boosting endurance.
This increases the range of consumers from cyclists and runners to weightlifters, CrossFit enthusiasts, and anyone in between.
Are Pre-Workouts Safe?
Most pre-workout supplements are completely safe. However, it’s important to be mindful if you are sensitive to caffeine.
Many pre-workout supplements include caffeine to help boost energy, which can cause uncomfortable side effects to those who are sensitive.
Many pre-workout supplements also include B vitamins which are considered safe but some might experience uncomfortable flushing symptoms when taking them, specifically formulas that include high amounts of niacin.
Always discuss with your doctor or health care provider before adding in a pre-workout supplement if you are taking any medications for a health condition to avoid any interactions.
What is a Clean Pre-Workout?
Wondering what is considered a ‘clean’ pre-workout?
A clean product is free of artificial additives, added sugars, and additional “fluff” that doesn’t provide any actual benefits and is not needed in the product.
A clean product contains high-quality, research-backed ingredients that will provide a steady and clean boost in mental and physical energy so you can bust out that extra set at the gym.
Finding a clean pre-workout can be a challenge because there is such a wide variety of products.
To ensure you are getting everything you are looking for, always check the ingredients list and supplement information on the back of the label.
This will give you more insight into what has been added to the product and help you better determine if it contains clean ingredients or extra unnecessary fluff.
What Ingredients to Avoid in a Pre-Workout?
Avoid pre-workout supplements that contain high amounts of added sugars or unrecognizable ingredients.
Avoid supplements that include excessively high amounts of caffeine as these may cause unpleasant side effects in those who are not used to it. Although it may go without saying, avoid any ingredients you are allergic to.
What Ingredients to Look For in a Clean Pre Workout for Cardio?
A high-quality pre-workout supplement will include high-quality, well-researched ingredients, such as creatine monohydrate.
Extensively tested for many different uses in athletic performance, creatine has been found to help increase energy production and improve strength, enhance muscle growth, and boost post-workout recovery [1, 2].
Another ingredient to look for in a pre-workout supplement is B vitamins. This is a common ingredient added to pre-workout supplements because B vitamins help produce energy in the body.
The more energy, the better the workout. In fact, some research suggests that those who exercise regularly need more B vitamins, specifically vitamin B6 and Riboflavin .
Lastly, beta-alanine can be beneficial in a pre-workout supplement. Many athletes may supplement with beta-alanine alone due to its performance-enhancing effects. Studies have found beta-alanine to help increase exercise periods and increase muscle endurance [4, 5].
How Can a Pre-Workout Benefit Your Training?
Common benefits from taking a pre-workout supplement regularly include increased energy and focus, improved athletic performance, and faster recovery.
This means maximizing your workouts to get the most out of your time spent in the gym while also improving your recovery time in between workouts. What’s not to like?
Remember the tips above if you are new to the gym or considering starting a pre-workout supplement. Once you find a good product, you’ll notice the difference. So why not take the leap?