Pre-workouts are a craze because it’s easy. It takes minimal effort to use and it seems to give you endless energy. Take two scoops of this and feel amazing. Train harder than you ever did before, have complete focus and who can forget the mind blowing and skin tearing pump.
Let me say this, before I go further into this topic. I’m not against pre-workouts. I'm against misusing it. I believe it can work but it has a time, place and a frequency of use. Currently people overuse Pre workouts like drug addicts. When one dose doesn’t work anymore, use more. When one brand doesn’t work, find a stronger one, and the cycle continues.
Let’s stop for a moment and break things down….
What is a pre workout?
Pre-workout supplementation is designed to:
· Improve performance
· Decrease muscle breakdown during training
· Improve energy and focus
· Increase metabolic rate (fat burning)
Some of these are valid and would be a good idea to incorporate into your pre-workout nutrition. The biggest problem lies in your “energy and focus” part of the equation. It boils down to having a drink full of stimulants to get you all jacked up and hyper before training, but are the side effects worth it. More importantly is this the best way to get results.
Why do we need to take pre-workouts? Because we’re tired, can’t focus, we need energy after a long day. These are valid reasons, but are pre-workouts the right answer? Pre workouts are a short term solution. If you have an energy problem, look at your recovery and lifestyle first.
Under Recovered much?
The Truth is most people don’t need pre-workouts they just need better habits. People don’t focus enough on recovery. What is easier take two scoops and go ape shit, crash after your session and repeat the next day OR Train hard, eat enough of the right foods, drink enough water and get enough sleep. A few minutes of work versus a lifestyle change. Most people take the easy choice. The hard choice benefits you in the long run and the results are not immediate.
Training to reach your goals can be simple, but don’t mistake simple for easy. Recovery is simple but hard to do.
Your body regenerates and adapts to the stress from training. When you are at rest. If you don’t give yourself the right resources: food, sleep, relaxation. Your recovery will be incomplete. You’ll still feel tired, drained, and you’ll lack motivation to train. Then what do you do? … Pre workouts.
There might be times where you just can’t get enough sleep. Yes a pre-workout can help, but sorting out your lifestyle to get more sleep is better for you in the long run.
I’m not saying there won’t be times where you feel like crap even though your recovery is on point. Rather tough it out and push through. If you still struggle, use a pre-workout for that one really tough session in the week, not all of them. For the people who are experiencing a busier time due to work. For the student athlete who is studying for exams but still has to keep up a training schedule. For them, for a short period of time using a pre- workout to keep the training going could be an option. Don’t be depend on a stimulant to fuel your training
The key take home is this:
· Look at your lifestyle and recovery first
· Pre-workouts are a short term solution and should be used intermittently
· You don’t need ridiculous doses of stimulants. A cup of coffee also counts as a pre-workout
Use it for your hardest session in the week, not every session.
Note: If you’re under the age of 18 you should not be touching a pre-workout. You should be recovering enough. If you feel tired from training eat better and get more sleep. You do not need to take excessive amounts of stimulants.