By all accounts taking pre-workout and post-workout supplements is a good idea. In fact, there are several benefits associated with training supplements. Many types of pre and post-workout supplements can help to improve physique and well-being in addition to improving exercise performance to achieve fitness goals. While supplements can help boost muscle growth and increase stamina, it is important to understand your limits when working out.
Is It Good to Take Pre-workout and Post-workout Supplements?
Pre-workout supplements are engineered to increase energy levels during workouts and to improve overall fitness. They work by supplying amino acids and other nutrients to the muscles which help them work for longer periods, thereby helping you achieve your maximum potential. The two most popular types of pre-workout supplements are those that contain caffeine and creatine.
Caffeine supplements taken 30 minutes to an hour before your workout boost energy, increase focus and help you perform for longer. In addition, caffeine can increase your metabolism which helps you see the results of your efforts.
Creatine is a natural chemical compound in our muscle cells. This natural compound primarily helps produce energy and strengthen muscles. Creatine supplements are particularly useful when doing high-intensity exercise or resistance training such as lifting weights. Creatine is effective because it boosts muscle mass and speeds up recovery times while training.
Post-workout supplements perform a different role than pre-workout supplements. The main function of post-workout supplements is to aid muscular recovery. They reduce aches and pains by boosting muscle synthesis. As a result, post-workout supplements help the body repair itself while you continue exercising. Post-workout supplement options include protein powders and branched-chain amino acids (BCAA).
Protein Powder Supplements
Studies suggest post-workout protein powders are safe and effective. In fact, research shows protein supplements are essential for growing muscles and is effective in helping damaged tissues and muscles repair. Protein powders are very popular due to the above benefits and also because they are reasonably affordable and come in a variety of flavors.
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are taken for their muscle-building properties. BCAAs are great for runners as they boost endurance and increase speed. BCAAs also help to reduce fatigue after exercising, especially extensive fatigue of the muscles.
It can be worthwhile to try out different brands and combinations of supplements to see which work best for your body type and the exercise aspirations you have. For example, lifting weights is somewhat different from running. Gym veterans will be working to achieve very specific goals and will adjust their supplement intake accordingly. Experienced gym-goers will be watching their muscle build, recovery time, nutrition, metabolism, and calorie intake.
A good tip is to keep a written record of what is being taken and journal their impact. Record food intake each day as well in order to distinguish whether the supplements work better with or without food. Consult with your general practitioner first if you have any concerns about taking supplements.
Additional Reading: What You Need to Know About Dietary Supplements – U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
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