There are just those days when the hardest rep is not the last one in the set; it can actually be the first. It is difficult to bring in the drive and determination to get things going when you don’t feel like it and you have an intense workout regimen ahead.
That is why pre-workout energy supplements have become quite popular among athletes and bodybuilders. By providing the body with the nutrients it needs, pre-workout options can provide people with the fuel and building blocks they need to go longer and harder.
Yet while pre-workout supplements are widely incorporated in many regimens, not everyone in the gym is confident that such enhancements are right for them. Specifically, there are those who have concerns regarding pre-workout supplements for women.
Do pre-workout supplements benefit women? Are they safe for ladies to take? These are the most common questions female exercise enthusiasts debate about often. After all, men and women have different physical attributes and chemical makeup.
It is no secret that the bodybuilding products we have nowadays are mainly targeting male athletes than female. Some people believe that pre-workout supplements could potentially be detrimental to women who wish to consume them and work out.
Well, that is far from the truth. Although the bodies of men and women are different, they can still acquire the benefits offered by pre-workout supplements.
This is because the ladies are not given supplements that contain testosterone or some other masculine hormone. Instead, these pre-workouts provide the nutrients, BCAAs, and energy boosters they need to get more from their workout.
The good news is that the muscles of women operate similarly to men.
Although many people see the benefit of taking pre-workout, many are still unsure about them. Women, in particular, are hesitant in consuming these women supplements.
If you’re not sure about these pre-workout supplements, you may change your mind once you read about the following benefits they have to offer.
The primary benefit of taking a pre-workout supplement is that it can provide users with more energy. For those looking for an extra pep in their step before going to the gym, a pre-workout is an ideal supplement to include in the bag.
Besides improving energy levels, pre-workout supplements can also enhance performance by making people feel more focused. Many individuals notice that they feel sharper and have better reaction times. They also feel like they will not waste time during exercise once they have taken a pre-workout.
Researchers suggest that pre-workout supplements could boost anaerobic power, providing people with more capability to perform exercises like Olympic lifts and sprints.
Numerous pre-workout supplements have ingredients that improve the flow of blood in the body. Experiencing better blood flow allows people to be more active during and after their workout sessions.
Additionally, improved blood flow can lead to more nutrients and oxygen being sent to the muscles. This in turn allows for a speedy recovery.
The supplements known as pre-workouts can definitely provide a lot to physically active individuals. Even women can benefit by adding such a supplement to their daily regimen.
The following types of women are great candidates for using a pre-workout supplement:
No matter the fitness goals, there is a good probability that taking the right pre-workout can help in achieving the objectives faster.
Several types of pre-workout for women are available today. However, they can be divided into two main camps: the non-stimulant and stimulant-containing.
Pre-workout supplements that are considered non-stimulant are those that do not contain caffeine or other types of stimulants. However, they do contain other ingredients that can help increase blood flow, energy, and focus in a more subtle way.
Pre-workouts that are considered stimulant-containing are those that are made with stimulants like caffeine. Many of these products contain other ingredients for energizing to provide balance to the effects of caffeine. They also give users energy that is meant to last longer.
Pre-workout supplements consist of different ingredients that provide individuals with different benefits. Some may contain certain minerals while others can have vitamin B12. However, all of them aim towards accomplishing the same goal: helping users work out longer and harder.
The following are the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements.
Caffeine is a stimulant primarily found in coffee, energy drinks, tea, and soft drinks. It has been shown to improve endurance in some studies. In 2014, researchers found that taking an energy drink containing 2 ½ mg of caffeine per kg of body weight improved the time to exhaustion during a treadmill running test. This means that the subjects of the study were able to run longer compared to the control group.
Concerning shorter, more physically intense activities such as weightlifting, the studies are less known. In one study, researchers learned that a pre-workout drink containing caffeine, beta-alanine, taurine, and other ingredients resulted in higher reps on the barbell bench press and barbell back squat.
When the correct dosage is taken, caffeine is known to enhance performance including endurance.
Creatine is a compound that contains nitrogen and can be synthesized in the kidneys and liver. It is primarily found in foods containing milk and meat. The higher the creatine consumed, the great the amount of it stored in the body for use as energy.
Supplementing with creatine has been found to improve muscle creatine levels and enhance performance for high-intensity exercises. Furthermore, creatine combined with strength training is said to increase muscle size and strength better than resistance training alone.
This amino acid derivative is created by the body from the essential amino acids methionine and lysine. However, it can also be obtained from red meats and fish. The main role of carnitine is to bring long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondria so these elements can be oxidised to produce energy. In other words, carnitine can help the body use up fat for energy needs, helping us work harder without the need for caffeine.
A 2011 study found that athletes who were supplementing with 2 grams of carnitine and 80 grams of carbohydrates twice each day in a 24-week exercise consumed half of the stored glucose in their body during exercise. Rather than burn carbs to get fuel, it instead used up fat.
Additionally, the participants who took carnitine were seen to improve their work output by up to 35%.
Once the athletes cycled to 80% of the VO2max, they were found to produce significantly lower lactate, which is a marker for fatigue. The results of the study suggest that carnitine may improve endurance performance.
The amino acid citrulline is a substance produced by the body that enhances lower body strength in women, according to one study from the European Journal of Nutrition. In another study, citrulline was found to improve the upper body strength in males.
Meanwhile, citrulline is also believed to reduce arterial stiffness. Since arteries lose elasticity as we age, the result leads to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, dementia, and even death.
That is why many fitness enthusiasts consume citrulline as part of their pre-workout supplement for improved circulation and getting that “pumped” feel when weightlifting.
The amino sulfonic acid taurine can be obtained from meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish. It can also be made by the body as it plays a crucial role in electrolyte balance and hydration. Some researchers suggest that it could improve workout performance by increasing fat burn during exercise.
Several minor studies have found that taurine may have benefits to performance. Researchers from Brazil learned that taurine improved strength while reducing muscle soreness after weight training and supplementation for 14 days.
Today, pre-workout supplements rarely contain taurine alone as the substance is usually paired with stimulants and caffeine. However, more research is needed to confirm if taurine works better by itself or when combined with others.
Taurine is considered by experts to be safe for use within recommended doses, so long as the user gauge their consumption.
For those who are familiar with pre-workouts for women, have you experienced that tingling feeling in the face or extremities after taking one? This harmless sensation is from the natural chemical known as beta-alanine.
It is a non-essential amino acid that can commonly be obtained from poultry, fish, and meat. It works by reducing the acidity generated in the muscles when working out, helping reduce fatigue.
Beta-alanine improves the levels of muscle carnosine, a chemical naturally produced by the body for high-intensity exercises and heavy weightlifting. There is also an increase in hydrogen ion levels along with a reduction in muscle pH during intense exercises.
Some supplements and training cycles could increase the ability of the body to regulate high levels of these substances during intense workouts. One of these supplements is beta-alanine.
According to theory, increasing carnosine levels in skeletal muscle by way of chronic training and beta-alanine supplementation could enhance muscle buffering capability. Experts even believe that it could most likely enhance anaerobic performance as well.
Beetroot extract is an increasingly popular supplement for endurance often found in the form of liquid, powder, or pills. It is often included in pre-workout supplements but some athletes take beetroot by itself.
Beets are healthy vegetables that have a reddish colour due to the pigments known as betalains. Although they consist of fibre and potassium, beets are known for having high nitrate. Consuming nitrate leads to nitrite, which is then released into the bloodstream as nitric oxide. Nitric oxide has been found to enhance cardiorespiratory performance while showing that it could also improve blood circulation.
One recent review concerning beets was that chronic supplementation with its extract can allow athletes to last longer in endurance sports.
A new wave of pre-workout ingredients are being introduced by many companies. These are supposedly chemicals that boost brain function. Also known as “nootropics”, ingredients like Lion’s Mane are said to be beneficial when added to a pre-workout supplement.
The Lion’s Mane is a mushroom that looks similar to a standard reishi or shiitake mushroom. It is made of several strands instead of just a stem and smooth cap. Several studies have been performed on Lion’s Mane showing that it could improve cognitive function.
Its mechanism is believed to help regenerate and repair neurons in the brain. Researchers believe that Lion’s Mane is capable of stimulating nerve growth factors (NGF) which are proteins that protect neurons while encouraging new growth.
Although there is a lack of research to confirm the benefits of this ingredient, the concept behind it is that it can help people focus more when it is consumed for workouts.
A lot of people notice better results when they cycle and stack their pre-workout supplements.
Cycling when it comes to pre-workouts is the act of using various supplements at different times. For instance, you may consume a non-stimulant pre-workout for some time and then move to another that contains stimulants.
The act of cycling supplements can help you avoid adapting to a product, which could cause diminishing returns while requiring higher doses to experience the same effects when you first started using them.
Stacking in pre-workout supplements can be beneficial as well. It involves mixing two or more supplements, often a non-stimulant and a stimulant-containing product.
Doing so can help users experience greater benefits while avoiding the possible pitfalls of specific products. Mixing a non-stimulant and stimulant-containing supplement, for instance, can let users enjoy the enhanced pump from the non-stimulant while getting more energy from the product that contains stimulants.
Finding the right pre-workout supplement for women can be a lengthy process to take. There are many things to keep in mind as you shop, particularly if you are serious about finding a supplement that can provide for your needs.
If you are looking for a pre-workout for your exercises, it is always best to go with a third-party tested product that contains the best natural ingredients. Users should also consult a doctor before deciding to use any pre-workout supplement.
Likewise, seeking advice from a physician is recommended if you experience any side effects.