June 6, 2019

What do Pre- and Post-Workout Powders Actually Do? The Essential Facts

What do pre- and post-workout powders really do

Want to enhance your performance in the gym? That’s what pre and post-workout powders are for! While it’s still important that you follow a healthy diet and gym routine, these supplements can really add a little something extra to get the most out of your workout.

Let’s take a closer look into what these supplements are and what they can do.

Pre-Workout Powder

What is pre-workout?

Pre-workout is designed to give you an energy boost so you can perform your best during training.

While the ingredient list differs slightly from brand to brand, here are some common ingredients that are found in most pre-workouts.

The first: caffeine. It’ll give you that kick you need to get through your training, just as it helps you power through your work day.

Creatine is another common ingredient. While your body naturally produces this substance, it’s used up fairly quickly during a workout. Drinking a pre-workout with creatine means that your reserves will be completely full, so you’ll get a steady flow of energy delivered straight to your cells, and specifically your muscles.

BCAAs, also known as branched-chain amino acids, can reduce the fatigue you feel in the middle of a workout. The three BCAAs are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Unlike creatine, your body doesn’t naturally produce BCAAs, so a pre-workout that includes these compounds will give you a serious boost.

What are the benefits of taking pre-workout supplements?

People take pre-workouts as a way to enhance their gym performance. It’ll help increase strength, energy, and endurance. A good pre-workout means that your training can last longer because you won’t tire as quickly.

One study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine illustrated the effect of a pre-workout energy supplement. It concluded that “…acute ingestion of a high-energy supplement 10 minutes prior to the onset of a multi-joint resistance training session can augment training volume and increase power performance during the workout.” So if you’re wondering whether a pre-workout supplement can help you, the evidence points to yes.

When and how to take it

Take your pre-workout 30 minutes to an hour before your workout. This will give it enough time to kick in and give you a boost right when you need it most.

Typically, pre-workouts come in a powder that you mix with liquid (like water). Alternatively, you can also take a pre-workout in pill or capsule form.

Post-Workout Powder

What is post-workout powder?

While you may think the hard work is finished after your workout, it’s actually not. What you do after your training session can dictate how fast and how well you recover.

While a pre-workout supplement gives you that boost of energy to train hard, a post-workout powder aids in repair and recovery while also encouraging muscle growth (protein synthesis). It replenishes your energy stores and reduces DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness).

There are different post-workout formulas that you can choose according to your goals. However, most post-workout powders will contain similar ingredients. Glutamine, one of the most common ingredients, is a building block for protein that reduces muscle soreness after exercise. Whey protein also aids in recovery and ensures that your muscles rebuild quickly. And of course, creatine and BCAAs assist in stimulating muscle growth.

What are the benefits of taking post-workout supplements?

Taking a post-workout supplement means that you don’t have to feel the effects of your training session for long. It’ll prevent you from having to sacrifice your next session because you’re still too sore from your previous workout.

Immediately after a good workout is the optimal time to stimulate muscle recovery and growth, and post-workout supplements allow you to capitalize on that window.

When and how to take it

Take your post-workout supplement within 45 minutes of finishing your training. Again, it typically comes in powder form so you can mix it with a liquid of your choice.

Pre and post-workout powders can’t replace a nutritious diet and consistent training regime. But they are a great addition to your daily routine if you’re looking for a much-needed energy boost in your training sessions or a way to speed up your recovery.

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