Not all pre-workouts are created equal. To get the most out of an energizing solution, it should complement your fitness goals and your body’s ability to stomach stimulating nutrients.
What’s your goal?
Purely energize: Gulping down an energy drink with green tea and yerba mate or taking a pure caffeine supplement are sure to give you that extra jolt before a sweat session. Yerba mate, particularly in a concentrated capsule, can also provide weight-loss benefits.* I recommend eating a small meal before consuming caffeine to help prevent nausea or discomfort during your workout.
Burn fat: You can go with a stimulant-free formula, which blends herbal extracts like green tea, raspberry ketones and green coffee bean extract for optimal burning benefits without any jittery feeling. This is the perfect pre-workout for newbies. For the more seasoned supplement user, a super-thermogenic formula can support your weight-loss efforts. Just be sure to use exactly as directed, since these boosters are meant to raise body temp and provide extreme energy — fast!
Build muscle: Think about adding key muscle-supporting ingredients to your supplement shopping. Beta-alanine should be at the top of the list, because this dipeptide helps muscles contract with more force. This creates a better pump to promote strength and endurance.
Creatine is another great option since it supplies energy to your muscle cells by increasing ATP (adenosine triphosphate) production. You’ll often find the more powerful pre-workout powders have a blend of creatine, beta-alanine, B vitamins and amino acids L-tyrosine and taurine. Tyrosine helps produce adrenaline, while taurine helps the heart pump more blood to your muscles so you can keep going for longer.*
Nausea is not normal
You’re only 15 minutes into your workout and feel like you’re going to lose it. This is not the pre-workout for you. It may be too high in stimulants for your stomach to digest. It’s also important to note that liquids can absorb faster than a capsule, so choose whichever form suits your body. More sensitive tummies may not be able to take a liquid, especially on the first go-around.
Amy Wilson is the @fittrainermama on Twitter who loves motivating and inspiring others to become the best they can be. She became an ACE CPT to teach others that fitness gives more than physical strength; it gives mental strength, too.