| Fitness

When And Why To Take Pre-workout

By Sara Novak

So you did not get such a great night of sleep and you are feeling groggy when your alarm clock goes off in the morning. Maybe you had a long day at the office and the idea of working out does not seem as appealing as sitting in front of the television or scrolling through Instagram. You might need a little extra boost to get you through and that is where pre-workouts come in.

Pre-workout supplements, often called pre-workouts, are substances designed to help you get the most out of your workout. They often come in the form of powder that you mix with water and take before you hit the gym. Are they safe? Are they effective? Here is everything you need to know before diving into the world of pre-workouts. 

Table Of Contents:

When To Take Pre-Workout?:

when to take pre-workout

Pre-workout supplements should be taken around 30-60 minutes before your workout to give you the extra boost that you are looking for. If you are struggling with your athletic performance or your workout routine is plateauing, then it might be worth trying a pre-workout supplement. They can improve your energy going into your workout, amping you up so that you are ready to push a little harder and go the extra mile. As we inch towards bathing suit season and you are ready for some more definition, consider a pre-workout to help get you going. Maybe you are feeling “skinny fat” and you cannot seem to get rid of that pesky pooch or get the arm and leg definition that you are looking for in your workout.

Why Take A Pre-Workout Supplement?:

why to take pre-workout

If you do not feel like working out or that you are just going through the motions and not really making any progress, it is worth trying a pre-workout supplement. Or maybe you have an athletic event coming up and you want to perform your best. Or you have a big social event on the calendar and you want to look your best. Either way, it is worth adding a little amp to your daily routine. If you are feeling tired and you cannot seem to find the energy to workout, a pre-workout supplement may be just what you need to dive right in. 

A review published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition found that pre-workout supplements may be beneficial to workouts, though it is important to read labels and look at the ingredients. The authors write “it appears that multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements have promise as an ergogenic aid for active individuals, though further information is required regarding long-term efficacy and safety in a wider variety of populations.” Another study published in the same journal found “ingestion of pre-workout dietary supplements led to significant improvements in anaerobic peak and mean power values in comparison to the placebo and baseline treatments. No improvements were observed in upper and lower body power or upper body strength.” 

Read More: 12 Ways To Skyrocket Energy Levels

When Should You Not Take Pre-Workout?:

why not to take pre-workout

If pre-workout supplements make you jittery, you probably should not have them on an empty stomach. Consider a healthy snack to go along with your pre-workout beverage. Also if you have a heart condition or high blood pressure, you should talk to your doctor before taking a pre-workout supplement. Additionally, you should not take a pre-workout late in the evening before bed, especially if you tend to have trouble sleeping. Many of these supplements contain caffeine or other stimulants which can impact your sleep.

What To Look For In A Pre-Workout Supplement:

Many pre-workout supplements contain a host of stimulants that can leave you feeling jittery, nervous, and not your best. You will also want to avoid some of the no so great additives, like artificial sweeteners. Choose a pre-workout that contains clean, sustainable ingredients sourced naturally. Here are some ingredients that are worth looking for in your favorite products: 

B1

vitamin B

B1, also known as thiamine, is essential for the proper functioning of the body. It is a water soluble nutrient found in many foods and in nutritional supplements. It is important for the optimal functioning of the nervous system, brain, and heart. Thiamine deficiencies are common in those with alcohol dependence, Crohn’s disease, and anorexia. These crucial B-vitamins help to ensure a stable mood and nervous system so that you can start your day and your workout in the best of moods. B1 is found in the following foods:

  • Pork
  • Poultry
  • Rice
  • Yeast

B7

B7, also known as biotin, is an important B vitamin. It is actually produced by bacteria in the body and is also found in many of the foods we eat. It is a water soluble nutrient that helps the body absorb and synthesize carbohydrates and proteins found in the foods that the body needs for its workout. Deficiencies can cause hair loss and skin problems. It is most important to have ample B vitamins in order to ensure that your hair, skin, and nails look their best. Foods that contain B7 include:

  • Meat
  • Eggs

Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium

calcium potassium sodium in pre-workout

Calcium, sodium, and potassium are all important electrolytes which keep you at peak athletic performance throughout your workout. Electrolytes are really helpful for boosting your muscular performance by keeping your muscles hydrated during your workout. Sodium is the main mineral lost in your sweat when you are working out. Sodium levels can get so low during your workout that it can cause muscle cramping and fatigue. Research published in the journal Muscle & Nerve found that electrolytes can help keep you properly hydrated during your workout. The authors write, “electrolyte consumption independent of hydration can influence cramp susceptibility in young people.” Electrolytes are also important for optimal nervous system function which can help to ensure that you do not feel jittery while taking your pre-workout supplement.

L-Citrulline

l-citrulline

L-Citrulline is an amino acid that, unlike other amino acids, is not used to make protein. It is found most prominently in watermelon and used to improve athletic performance. It is a great ingredient to look for in your pre-workout supplement. A study published in the The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that L-Citrulline helped to improve athletic performance. According to the study authors, “Citrulline might be useful to increase athletic performance in high-intensity anaerobic exercises with short rest times and to relieve post exercise muscle soreness. Thus, athletes undergoing intensive preparation involving a high level of training or in competitive events might profit from Citrulline.” Another study also published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found "overall, this study is the first to demonstrate that L-Citrulline supplementation may provide a modest improvement to endurance cycling performance in trained athletes” when taken daily a week before an athletic cycling event. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology found that “citrulline supplementation may be useful for improving the exercise performance of athletes.” 

Natural Caffeine

natural caffeine

Caffeine has been shown to boost your athletic performance. A review published in the journal Sports Nutrition found that caffeine helps to improve athletic performance because it provides a “favorable intracellular ionic environment” for the muscles and improves the muscles’ “force production.” Coffee has also been shown to improve athletic performance. A study published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism confirms “the ergogenic effects of caffeine, particularly for endurance testing.” Another study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports found that coffee reduced the “perceived exertion” during a workout which subsequently improved workout performance. Just make sure your caffeine comes from clean sources.

Need another morning boost?

miracle morning by umzu

UMZU’s Miracle Morning is another great way to get your morning started right. It is all about getting up and going with the cleanest sources of energy available. Feel better all day long, get more done, be more productive, and improve your mood using all-natural ingredients backed by clinical research. With Miracle Morning, you get: All-natural caffeine from two potent sources L-Theanine and Theacrine. It is organically-sourced from both pure caffeine and guarana seed extract, so that you will enjoy a clean rush of energy. It contains L-Theanine which has been shown to improve mood. Research has shown that symptoms of depression, anxiety, and sleep issues decreased with the use of L-Theanine, while cognitive function increased. Theacrine is also shown in clinical studies to enhance your mood. Research has shown that it clears brain fog and makes you feel balanced. The bottom line is that it is an ideal way to start your day, especially when you need a boost.

L-Theanine

l-theanine

L-Theanine has been shown to improve and provide an overall calming effect, which is really important to balance out the natural caffeine in your pre-workout supplement. A study published the journal Appetite found that the combination of L-theanine and caffeine seemed to improve cognition and attention. Another study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that “combining L-theanine with caffeine, at levels and ratios equivalent to one to two cups of tea, eliminated the vasoconstrictive effect and behavioral effects of caffeine.” This means that the combination reduced the jittery and negative mood impacts of caffeine. Another study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that “L-theanine not only reduces anxiety but also attenuates the blood-pressure increase in high-stress-response adults.”

Astragin®

astragin

Astragin® is known as the “Absorption King”. It has been shown to improve the absorption of 

L-Citrulline by 50 percent. This is important because what is the point of taking a supplement if your body does not properly absorb the ingredients? 

Stimulants leave you feeling overly amped and jittery, not to mention the crash that happens once it wears off. You are left feeling exhausted and moody. The key is to find a natural caffeine source that gives you clean energy balanced with a mood enhancer. This leaves you feeling good without the crash and burn, especially if you are prone to anxiety. Look for a pre-workout that is more focused on increasing muscular strength, endurance, and increasing blood flow to your muscles to help you build muscle strength and definition. Your muscles need oxygen and blood flow to be at their best. 

Wanna try the cleanest pre-workout on the planet?

umzu zuum pre-workout

The ingredients in ZUUM boost energy and power, increase blood flow and muscle pump, and extend stamina and workout capacity. ZUUM does all of this naturally, with no harmful chemicals, additives, or fillers. The result? Smooth energy, focus, power, and results with no crash. With a combination of electrolytes for nervous system function and muscular hydration, L-Citrulline for athletic performance, natural caffeine for a powerful boost, and Astragin for nutrient absorption, you are getting the cleanest, most powerful pre-workout boost on the market.

Are you sick of feeling jittery? Or are you on the other end of the spectrum, completely exhausted? If your workout is not where you want it to be or you have trouble gathering the motivation to hit the gym in the first place, try ZUUM. Maybe you want to build muscle mass and definition in time for the summer months. If so, that is another great reason to give it a try. Or maybe you need a little extra pump to reach the next level of your workout. Whatever the reason, this is the best pre-workout supplement out there. Try UMZU’s ZUUM best pre-workout formula to take your workout to the next level.