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What to Drink Before Working Out: Pre-workout Benefits & Considerations

In the quest for enhanced performance and energy, many fitness enthusiasts turn to pre-workout drinks. These supplements are designed to boost energy, increase endurance, and improve overall exercise performance. When deciding what to drink before working out, it's crucial to understand the ingredients, benefits, and potential risks involved with different products.



Person holding pre-workout drink


Where to Start?


Finding the right pre-workout begins with assessing your personal goals, health status, and tolerance to various ingredients. It's always advisable to start with lower doses to gauge your tolerance. Consulting with a healthcare provider or a fitness professional can also provide valuable guidance tailored to your individual needs.


Common Pre-Workout Ingredients


There are many kinds of ingredients that pre-workout products use to boost performance and recovery. Understanding the function of these ingredients can help you decide which types of drinks are right for you.


Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant found in many pre-workout formulas. It's sought after for its ability to increase alertness while reducing the perception of effort during exercise, allowing for more intense, prolonged workouts. However, caffeine can also lead to side effects like jitteriness, insomnia, and increased heart rate, especially if you are sensitive to caffeine. If you experience these side effects when drinking caffeinated pre-workouts, try an option with lower caffeine content.


Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is known for its role in the production of carnosine, a compound that helps buffer acid in muscles, increasing physical performance in short-duration, high-intensity exercises. A common side effect is a tingling sensation known as paresthesia, though it is generally harmless.


L-Citrulline

L-citrulline is an amino acid that increases nitric oxide production in the body. This leads to improved blood flow, potentially enhancing oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles. This translates into enhanced endurance and reduced fatigue while exercising. While generally safe, be sure to adhere to the recommended dosages.


Glycogen

Glycogen is a critical energy source during prolonged, high-intensity workouts. Some pre-workout supplements contain carbohydrates to help replenish glycogen stores, ensuring sustained energy levels.


Creatine

Creatine enhances energy production in muscles and improves overall strength and power. At Fit Societe, we recommend creatine to a lot of our clients. To learn more about this supplement, check out our blog post on the Pros and Cons of Creatine.


BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)

BCAAs aid in muscle recovery and reduce exercise-induced muscle soreness. Studies show that BCAAs may help to prevent muscle breakdown during exercise. It's important to stick to the recommended dosage, as excessive consumption of BCAAs can have adverse side effects.


Beetroot Juice

Beetroot juice is a great option for those looking to keep it natural. Naturally high in nitrates, it improves blood flow and endurance.


Risks & Considerations


While pre-workout supplements can offer tangible benefits, they aren't without risks. Over-reliance can lead to tolerance, dependency, and in some cases, adverse cardiac events, especially with products containing excessive stimulants. It's crucial to consider individual health conditions, such as heart problems or sensitivity to stimulants, before starting any pre-workout regimen. For those who are sensitive to stimulants or just want a milder effect, we recommend trying creatine, BCAAs, or beetroot juice before going to other, more intense options.


Fit Societe & Driven Nutrition


Fit Societe's partnership with Driven Nutrition ensures that our gym members have access to high-quality, well-researched pre-workout supplements at an affordable price. This collaboration aims to provide products that are safe, effective, and aligned with the fitness goals of our members.


Picking Your Pre-Workout Drink


Pre-workout drinks can be a valuable addition to a fitness regimen, offering enhanced performance and endurance. However, it's crucial to approach them with an understanding of their ingredients, benefits, and potential risks. Opting for non-stimulant alternatives or seeking advice from professionals, like the personal trainers at Fit Societe, can further ensure a safe and effective pre-workout experience.





 

Scott Ryan, CSCS, *RSCC, CF-L1, CF-W, BFRC, Director- Fit Societe

A professional coach who specializes in Applied Functional Science, Strength and Conditioning, CrossFit L1, and Olympic Lifting. He attended New England College in New Hampshire obtaining a bachelor's degree in Kinesiology with an emphasis on Biomechanics. He has a passion for injury prevention and coaching, as he was a collegiate athlete who suffered sports injuries. His goal is to get athletes back to optimal shape as well as prevent future injuries.


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