You’ve been working out for a while, hearing more and more information about pre and post workout supplements? A good shake is a great start and for a long time that’s all I did.. but wait… there’s more!! Here’s some research to get a better understanding what these workout supplements are for and how to use them.

Why Use Pre and Post Workout Supplements?

If you are working out not to just stay healthy but want to see some visible results, then pre and post workout supplements will be useful for your goal. What these products do, is not only make the workouts more effective for your body, they also lead to visible results, such as, enhanced muscles and increased energy.

However, it is essential to remember that these supplements will not make a Schwarzenegger out of you in a matter of days. The word itself will help you understand it better than any “how to” guide. Supplements SUPPLEMENT your workout. They will not do the job for you! Accordingly, if you are not getting the results you want in a workout, a “magic pill” does not exist and any claims to that end are false. In the best case, it will be absolutely useless but in the worst case, these “magic pills” can harm your health since many have dangerous chemicals and additives.

The Role of HealthySupplements

What a healthy supplement WILL do is help you achieve a good and healthy balance in your body. Today, many people suffer from lack of proper nutrition. All the “new and improved” additives we get in our food often do more harm than good. Let’s face it; food planning is challenging! Most of us are so busy with studying, working and spending time with our friends and families, that proper nutrition balance is quite hard to achieve.
Vitamin complexes are very useful if your diet is not completely balanced and in my twenty years in this field, I’ve met very few who balance their diet daily! Things like protein powder shakes are excellent as a protein source but ONLY if you choose a good one. (Here’s my favorite!)  But besides giving us the nutrition we lack, certain vitamins help produce prominent and well-sculpted muscles giving us that extra energy that usually lasts through the workout and the rest of the day.

Natural vs. Artificial

There is such a great variety of workout supplements out there that you can easily get lost. In fact, telling one apart from the other is already complicated. If you look at the detailed list on the back of the supplement box, you might be shocked. All those unknown words should strike a warning message. No matter how popular chemicals and additives might be, their impact on our health is not thoroughly studied. Most of them were discovered just a short while ago, and there are no long-term studies about their usefulness. That’s why right now it is necessary to opt for more natural ingredients.
Hundreds of years ago people weren’t faced with the chemical additives we find in our food every day, and they didn’t suffer from obesity and other diseases we have today. Possibly, there are other factors, but the proper diet is often the key! Here is a quick glance at a list of natural ingredients that will help you choose the right workout supplement.

1. Fish oil – an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. Helps your heart to work properly and improves the strength of your joints.
2. Vitamin D – (this applies to those who live in a cold climate without much sunlight) fights joint pain, osteoporosis and prevents obesity. Calculate proper vitamin D dosage with the help of your physician. Beware of the supplements that have too much of it.
3. Protein powder – will help you build up muscles. It’s beneficial to take after a workout, since protein amino acids are lost during physical exercises and which need to be recovered.

4 Best Pre Workout Supplements

Let’s take a look at the list of the ingredients best pre workout supplements should contain:

1. Caffeine.
Caffeine does a good job boosting your energy resources and making a long workout session easier. There have been studies done to prove that a small amount of caffeine taken before the workout increases endurance. It is very important to take the right dosage of caffeine; otherwise, the result will be unpleasant. The maximum daily caffeine dosage is 600mg.
2. Beta – Alanine
Is a natural amino acid that helps fight the feeling of fatigue and improve the anaerobic output. It also protects muscular tissue and is considered necessary for athletes who face anaerobic stresses, including bodybuilders.
3. Alpha GPC
Is a natural neurotransmitter and is responsible for learning, memory, and focus? It also might be a potential treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Alpha GPC is know also to increase focus, boost human growth hormone and help muscle growth.
4. Citrulline Malate
This supplement can be produced naturally by combining the amino acids you consume with food. However, what you have in your body might not be enough for the benefits. This amino acid improves energy levels, enhances muscle volume and initiates growth hormone release.

4 Best Post Workout Supplements

Here is the list of natural supplement ingredients for post workouts.

1. Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates give fuel to your muscles and turn into glycogen. When there is not enough glycogen built up in your body, you feel fatigued.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an excellent way to fight muscle and metabolic stress. It is an antioxidant and also helps you avoid common cold symptoms such as coughing and sneezing.
3. BCAA (leucine, isoleucine, and valine)
These amino acids are especially important for metabolism. Our bodies need to get enough of it with protein food or supplements. These help repair tissues that help digest food and promote growth.
4. Fish Oil
Reduces inflammation, cholesterol levels, and blood pressure and also improves the overall condition of hair, nails, and skin. It reduces the amount of fat in the body which increases muscle mass and helps lung function during workouts.

My Favorite Supplements

If you are serious about working out and want to get the best possible results, try what I use.

The Beachbody performance line both pre and post workout supplements, if taken religiously, these workout supplements will allow you to get the most out of your workouts in the shortest amount of time!

Let’s make sure we do not forget that supplements SUPPLEMENT your workout and diet. They never replace it!!!  It is essential to keep to your workout program and learn how to eat right. If you believe workout supplements are a magic pill, all your efforts will be useless.

Even if you eat right and do a good job setting up the proper exercise routine, never forget your body needs to rest. You are a human and your body can’t handle absolutely anything you throw at it, even if you are using supplements. Giving yourself days off is imperative leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining optimum weight for your body. Whatever your goal, you can reach it by using a responsible approach to dieting and working out. As always, I am here to help!