Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Should you add pre-workout supplements into your routine?

Pre-workout supplements...should you take them or should you avoid them like the plague.

I'll be honest, I have worked out with pre-workout supplements and I have worked out with them.
Most days, I am motivated and enjoy working out just off of my natural enjoyment for physical fitness. However, there are somedays where your body just doesn't feel "amped" up. Usually a good uptempo song will get you psyched up but sometimes that doesn't work either. On those days, enter the pre-workout supplement! Now, there are literally dozens of different pre-work supplements on the market to choose from but I will tell you about my experiences with the ones I've taken.

What happens when you take it?
Depending on your tolerance and the specific formula for that product, you will take between one to three scoops mixed with water. Any more than that and you will probably be bouncing off the walls for the rest of the day. Activation time varies but usually within 15-25mins your heartbeat speeds up and your blood starts pumping faster. This time usually takes place on your ride to the gym or during your warmup so by the time you are starting your actually workout you are primed and ready to go. Some products give you a more gradual buildup while others make you feel like you can lift a mountain almost immediately.

One thing remains common, they are designed to give your body an extra kick to get you going and help you lift a little longer, and a little harder through your session. I have sampled three different products over the last year: Cellucor's C4, Met rx's AmpedECN NOS Concentrate , and Optimum Platinum Pre and all of them were pretty effective in my book. I've only used Optimum Platinum Pre one time but it did leave a lasting impression on me. C4, I have taken off an on for about a month and overall I think it is pretty decent. Some workouts are better than others but on days where I was feeling pretty flat I would mix up a little C4 for some extra "help"

My review of Amped can be found here if you are interested in that one  http://www.mbarthel2002.blogspot.com/2012/06/met-rx-amped-ecn-nos-concentrate-250.html
 


Out of these three, I will say that Optimum Platinum Pre's seemed to be the most powerful. Whereas Amped gave me a subtle consistent increase in energy, with Pre I felt like I could take on the world almost instantaneously! I enjoy the flavor of C4 the most but like I said, my experiences have been a mixed bag. I always keep my doses down to either a scoop or a scoop in a half so I'm sure that makes a difference as well.I know many people may even go up to 3 to 4 scoops per serving but that isn't recommended and can lead to adverse affects.
Dependency and addition

Recently, I've been seeing more videos and hearing more people talking about become dependent on these supplements. There have been some days where I felt like I couldn't get my mind into without the pre-workout supplements as well. The warm up starts to hurt like hell and your body wants that infusion of hypeness while your trying to get through those initial sets! The best thing I can advise would be to cycle on and off every 3 to 4 weeks. Or to simply not use them every workout. Personally, I have drastically limited my usage to only those days where I am feeling severely lithargic! Sadly, there are some cases where people become so dependent on this stuff that they have to take it before every workout, almost every day! You should never allow your body to become that dependent on foreign substances. I can only imagine the havoc this stuff wreaks on your CNS and your Adrenals! 

DMAA and other secret ingredients lead to health risks!



The other reason I limit my intake of p
re-workout supplements is due to the amount of harmful ingredients contained in them. DMAA was once used in some of the more popular brands (Jacked 3d in particular) and has been tied to several health problems including DEATH!
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/14/business/death-after-use-of-jack3d-shows-gap-in-regulation.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 

Most brands are made up of a mix of sucralose (artificial sweetner linked to cancer), artifical dyes,
and secret propriatary blends which don't disclose what is actually contained within. Therefore you are putting yourself at risk for longterm health problems in order to achieve small shorterm gains.
It's almost common for the labels to include a label warning stating that you should not take the product if you are regularly tested for performance enhancing drugs, are pregnant, have high blood pressure, heart issues, or any other medical conditions.

Alternatives
Many people get a good energy kick by drinking coffee before their workouts. I'm not much of a coffee drinker though. But, I hear organic coffee is a good alternative to taking these supplements. 
I have been searching for some organic pre-workout products though and looks like there are a few on the market. I bought a sample of Vegasport and I will be doing a review on that one in the next few days. If you are interested, here is the link to purchase it. Some of the reviews I've read are promising so we'll see! It is made with all organic healthy ingredients which is the major thing I am looking for. 
I am curious how it will compare to the blends though! 


Conclusion


My initial question was should you use pre-workouts products or avoid them like the plague. If you don't care about the ingredients you put into your body then you will definitely enjoy the benefits pre-workout supplements add to your workout! The increases in strength and motivation make you feel superhuman. They help you perform longer and go harder during your workout sessions!

However, if you are like me and you double check every ingredient and your suspicious about artificial dyes and sweetners than you do want to avoid MOST preworkout products like the plague. After the removal of DMAA most products have become a bit safer however the long term risks of cancer and other health issues still remain due to the artificial ingredients. Hopefully, my trial of the Vega Sport pre-workout brand will yield great results! I will also try to find other brands to review in the future as well.

 I'd love to hear about your experiences! Have you tried any of the natural brands?
As always thanks for reading!
-Mark B Fitness

6 comments:

  1. One should use these supplements are very useful but should be taken only under the guidance of you physique trainer and doctor so that you may take over dose.

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  2. I have also used pre-workout supplement and after using, I feel that my body is full with stamina. I will concentrate more on my workout. I have used Jack3d supplement. If you really want to boost up your energy level, then there is a necessity of using that kind of supplement.
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