Have you ever wanted to try Pre workout in order to enhance your cardio/running training? 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 – you need to keep your body in great, healthy, working condition.
Usually that means going to the gym, swim, heading out for a run, or taking part in a home DVD workout.
I like going to the gym and running.
However, attending the gym between 5-10 times a week can be really boring, tiring and repetitive, so it’s vital you find a way to enjoy it.
That’s where pre-workout comes in.
Progressing with running has always been hard for me. If you’re anything like me, you can probably remember the disappointment in your parents eyes after they watched you fail yet another sports day. You name it – I sucked at it.
- Cross country – sucked
- Sprints – Sucked
- Hurdles – Sucked
- Don’t even get me started on the egg and spoon race…
But seriously, having a dad who enters triathlons and park runs regularly – I’ve got a lot to live up to.
Do you find it tiring and boring?
Whether it’s running at 7kmph or 11kmph, you still only manage to consistently run for 5 minutes or less. Wanting it just isn’t always enough. Sometimes you 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?
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!
A lot of these Johnny Bravo Pigeon Chesters… you know… the ones who just stare in the mirror all day? Will take pre-workout, for sure, but it’s not solely for them.
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
Drinking Pre-workout is not exactly the nicest of experiences. I’ve been trying MyPre Blue Raspberry flavour. At first, it tastes like an un-slushed slush puppy, which is kinda nice. Not great, but it’s bearable. It’s certainly not as bad as one of my friends described it to be.
Reading up a lot before hand, I decided that taking it 20 – 40 minutes before working out is the ideal timing for it to kick in. So at 17:25 I decided to drink my Blue Raspberry flavoured pre-workout powder with 400ml of water. Only having one scoop though, because as a novice, I had no idea how I’d react.
Annoyingly, my husband picked THAT day to be late home from work. Walking in the door, he was greeted by an overly hyper and chatty wife. It had definitely kicked in. Now wide awake and extremely motivated I couldn’t wait to get going. The feeling of invincibility coupled with weird itchy tingles made me…well..literally itching to get to the gym and smash those cardio goals! I was so wired I started getting concerned the gym would question what drugs I was taking. Evening gym sessions are pretty hectic. So, after fighting my way through the crowds I made it to the treadmill and got started.
Was amazing. And 100% my best workout. 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 4km. FOUR WHOLE KILOMETERS! That was a pretty big achievement to me. I did have to drop it down after 4 back to 7.5 as I got wind pain (pretty inconvenient time to be holding in trumps tbh!). So after jogging on 7.5 for a little while, I still had tonnes of energy and decided to spend the last km completing intervals between 7.5kmph and 11.5kmph. I even jogged uphill as part of my cool down. I honestly have never felt so focused, motivated and alive during a workout.
I even jogged uphill as part of my cool down. I honestly have never felt so focused, motivated and alive during a workout.
The after effects
Once I stepped off the treadmill I felt all that energy I’d just use completely vanish, but I think the endorphins from my achievement kept me going. I walked home and drank a shit tonne of water as I sweated more than I have ever sweated before. Admittedly I did get a bit of a headache, I’m not sure if it’s from the Pre-Workout, dehydration or just physical stress.
Even still, I will 100% take this again to help assist me with running. I haven’t yet tried it with weights, but I will be doing so over the weekend when we have more time to spend at the gym.
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…