Pre-workout is a great endurance booster for many types of exercises, but how does it fare when used to enhance cardio training or running? I tried it and I’ve reviewed my findings below. So if you want to know:
Then keep on reading…
Keeping fit is important.
Whether it’s because you want to look good, feel good, lose weight, gain muscle – keeping your body in great, healthy, working condition and training often is vital.
for some, that means going to the gym, swim, heading out for a run, while for others, it’s taking part in a home DVD workout.
However, sometimes that standard routine can take it’s toll. What if you just don’t have the energy to make that 10k? lift that 100kg barbell? that’s where pre-workout comes in.
Progressing with running has always been hard for me.
I’ve never been athletically gifted and no matter how hard I tried – I just couldn’t stay focused on a run.
Do you find it tiring and boring?
Whether it’s running at 7kmph or 11kmph, I can still only manage to consistently run for 5 minutes or less. Wanting it just isn’t always enough. Sometimes we all just need a little gentle nudging.
That’s why I decided to give pre-workout a go.
If it’s helping you with your motivation and energy while weight training, what’s the harm in using it for running? right?
What Is Pre-Workout?
Pre Workout is a sports nutrition supplement used for intense workouts. They help your body with focus, motivation, energy and endurance. It’s packed full of caffeine, creatine, BCAA’s and Beta-Alanine – which basically sounds like a whole load of scientific babble, but it all has a purpose:
- Caffeine – Is probably the most well known as it’s in our coffee’s and cans of pop. It’s a powerful stimulant that increases alertness and energy. It can help boost your physical performance when working out and partaking in sport, it can even boost mental performance.
- Creatine – This supplement I had heard of before but had no idea what it was. Turns out this stuff is there to build your strength, it basically pumps up your muscles and helps you lift heavier weights. When you hear guys talking about “the pump” in their biceps, if they’ve used creatine, a lot of it will be helped out by the addition of water which is drawn into the muscles, but will inevitably help build more gains.
- BCAA’s – Stands for Branch Chain Amino Acids. It includes amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine (again, scientific babble). They are basically there to help your body metabolise protein properly and suppress the breakdown of it. It also helps prevent DOMS, you know that annoying post leg day pain which stops you being able to walk for 3 days.
- Beta-Alanine – I’d definitely never heard of this before. This is added to help increase your endurance and help keep your intensity higher for longer.
Basically, pre workout is exactly what it sounds like – something you take before your workout to benefit and energise you.
Should You Take Pre-Workout Before Cardio
Known to many as a weight lifting supplement, pre-workout isn’t so familiar in the cardio zones.
Maybe you associate pre-workout with the big buff guys, grunting and sweating? Don’t!
Taking pre-workout before cardio is GREAT! Of course it can be used before running, or cardio training. It’s there to help your muscle endurance. Not just by helping your gains, it can be especially good for HIIT workouts too.
By taking it at the right time you needn’t worry about a mid-run caffeine crash and thanks to the BCAA’s, it can even help with your recovery.
My First Time Taking Pre Workout
I wouldn’t say, drinking pre-workout is the most pleasurable of experiences. The pre-workout I’ve been using, MyPre Blue Raspberry flavour tastes kinda like an un-slushed slush puppy. Not the greatest tasting drink, but definitely bearable. in fact, It’s not half as bad as I thought it would be.
I did my research and learnt that taking it 20 – 40 minutes before working out is the ideal timing for it to kick in just when you need it. So at 17:25 I decided to drink my Blue Raspberry flavoured pre-workout powder with 400ml of water. As a novice I find it only takes 1 scoop to get the desired effects, but regular users may require more.
I felt on top form. Normally I set the pace at 7.5kmph and then fight boredom for around 10 minutes. But this time, something kept driving me to do more, after a minute on 7.5kmph I upped it to 8.5kmph. I’d never continually run at this pace, not for a long period of time. I did it for longer than I have ever ran before. I honestly have never felt so focused, motivated and alive during a workout.
I even jogged uphill as part of my cool down.
The after effects
Once I stepped off the treadmill I felt all that energy I’d just use completely vanish, honestly, I felt crap. Be it from the workout, the after effects or just plain old dehydration I’ll never know. However, it won’t stop me using it again to enhance my cardio workouts.
Will It Help You?
Now that you’ve learnt what Pre-workout is, what it tastes like and my experience of it, it’s time to make your decision. The only way to really figure out if Pre-workout is beneficial to you and your goals, is to try it for yourself. I’ve been using MyProtein’s MyPre and I think it’s a great value Pre workout to start with. You can buy it over @ Myprotein by following this link 🙂
Have you ever taken pre-workout or any other supplements as part of your fitness routine? I’d love to know more, let me know in the comments below…