Regardless of whether you are training for a competition or working out to improve your health or lose weight, you will be able to benefit from taking pre, intra and post workout supplements.
Many people do not take the time to learn some fundamental differences between these supplements, but there are specific benefits to each supplement that can help you reach your goals.
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How and When to Take Pre-Workout Supplements
Pre-workout supplements help prepare your body for the physical strain of your workout by increasing your blood circulation and available energy.
They also grow the potential of your muscles, allowing you to lift heavier weights which help you to build muscle faster.
For the best results, you should take a pre-workout supplement 30 to 45 minutes before you work out. This gives your body time to absorb the supplements and convert into energy.
Common ingredients in pre-workout supplements are caffeine, beta-alanine, citrulline malate, nitric oxide, creatine, and isolated amino acids.
Pre-workout supplements are available in the form of pills and powders. Make sure you research each supplement before purchasing and using, based off what that supplement is specifically designed for.
Some supplements are made with higher huperzine and choline, which are good for your brain, while supplements with citrulline, pycnogenol, and aginine can help give energy to your muscles for a good workout.
How much you should take depends on your workout goals. If you have never taken a pre-workout supplement before, you should start with a smaller amount (usually about half the recommended dosage) and work your way up from there.
You should also be careful if you are not used to consuming caffeine. Supplements generally use caffeine to give you a boost which is good for exercising but can give you a “crash” if your body is not used to it.
Finding supplements with natural ingredients would be better but can be hard to find and are often expensive. Make sure that you read the ingredients and follow all the instructions before you opt to take the supplement.
How and When to Take Intra-Workout Supplements
Intra-workout supplements vary in several ways from pre-workout supplements and should be taken while you are working out. They are designed to help you increase muscle gains and endurance.
They can also be used to help you lose fat while exercising. The effects that the supplement has on your body depends on the type of brand that you are using.
However, all intra-workout supplements make it possible for you to nourish your body while you work out and continue to replenish what is lost.
Intra supplements do not cause digestive issues or other physical issues that make it difficult for you to build muscle.
They help you bulk up muscle tissue with nourishment because while you are working out, your muscles are continually burning nutrients that need to be replenished.
Taking these supplements while working out will get the necessary nutrients to your muscles faster and without affecting your routine. Mechanical digestion is the process of digesting food.
Other pros of intra-workout supplements are that as your body is being constantly replenished, you can actually minimize soreness.
After a hard workout, if you wake up sore, this could lead to a much lighter workout the following day or no workout at all, as you want to let your muscles have time to rest.
Intra-workout supplements minimize your recovery time.
Too much working out can also increase exhaustion and fatigue, and intra-workout supplements help to decrease fatigue in your body so you not only have more energy during the workout, but you also have more the following day after you rest.
There are a variety of excellent intra-workout supplements, but all of them are a combination of essential amino acids and electrolytes that help revive the depletion in your muscles.
How and When to Take Post-Workout Supplements
A great workout is not the only ingredient to a fit body. You also need to supply your body with the right nutrients.
The best bodybuilders take the right post-workout supplements, and they will produce the best results in your own workouts. Post workout supplements have the following benefits.
Keep in mind that you can cause damage in two ways if you do not take a post-workout supplement.
You will not only lose the muscle that you have built, but it will be harder for your muscles to grow.
Post-workout supplements can also reduce soreness. It aids the body in recovery and keeps you from sacrificing a workout due to soreness.
You will need to take a post-workout supplement that is filled with carbohydrates, protein, and amino acids. You will be providing your body with everything that it needs to build muscle.
You will also be able to get more out of your workouts. Additionally, post-workout supplements will help your muscles replenish and grow more quickly after your workout.
You will not be able to get the body you want if your body is lacking the nutrients it needs. Your nutrition is just as important as your training regimen.
However, as stated before, how much you should take depends on your goals, and if you have never taken supplements before you may want to start slow instead of starting with the recommended amount right away.
You will need to include a pre-workout supplement, intra-workout supplement and post-workout supplement in your training regimen to see the most significant results and make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts.
About the Author:
Austin Winder is a Public Relations Specialist and contributing author for Orangetheory Fitness.
He lives in Memphis, TN and graduated with a business and marketing degree from the University of Memphis.
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