We all know the importance of post workout fuel – but have you considered what you should be doing prior to sweating it out?
Jonathan has always begun his workouts by drinking creatine – it’s not something that I thought I should be doing because “I am a girl”. It’s such a weird mentality to have – just because I am female, doesn’t mean I can’t gain the same pre-workout benefits.
I recently wrote an article on Substance about healthy food you should be eating for training – yes the right food will provide most of the raw energy you need to lift, train, run etc – but this food won’t prime your central nervous system, increase nitric oxide, or help muscle fibers contract harder. That’s where a pre-workout fuel comes into play – a supplement that contains caffeine, nitrates and amino acids can do these things, and also help you sustain high intensity levels.
Caffeine is the best for increasing energy and strength.
Jonathan and I recently switched to the Isowhey Sports “pre-workout fuel” supplement. So far it has been great. It doesn’t contain any nasties like: artificial colours, flavours or sweeteners.
I thought I would run through the main ingredients and what they actually do, so you can make sense of why you should be drinking this too!
Beetroot: A rich source of nitrates, which acts as a vasodilator in functioning skeletal muscle, increasing the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen flow.
Caffeine: A stimulant we all know and love too well. Within this supplement there is caffeine from green coffee. Caffeine is the best for increasing energy and strength. Taking caffeine helps reduce the perceived pain of lifting weights.
Amino acids creatine, Beta-alanine, L-arginine: Boosting strength in the short term is possible with these three supplements. You can buy these three by themselves, but it’s always going to be better for you if you can buy a product which contains them all. But what do all three do?
1. Creatine drives fluid into your muscle cells, blunting soreness and allowing you to lift heavier for longer.
2. Beta-alanine (amino acid) boosts muscular strength and endurance.
3. L-alanine is necessary for the body to make proteins.
Beetroot is a rich source of nitrates
Sometimes it is hard to know or feel a difference when you’re taking supplements like this and it wasn’t until recently that I actually believed that you really should be taking something like this to help maximise result.
So before you pick up some dumbells, kettlebells to do my top three workout, be sure to add 1 heaped spoon of pre-workout fuel to 200mls of water, 20 mins before working out!
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