I got asked this question last week, so here’s my thoughts…
What is preworkout? 🤔
It’s a supplement that aims to gives you a boost in energy, makes you feel ready to train, stronger and more enduring.
What’s in it? 🕵️♂️
Normally an almighty dose of caffeine (amongst a concoction of other stuff to make it palatable and make you feel invincible). There might also be stuff like beta alanine, that’s the gear that’ll make your whole body itchy and tingle if you take enough of it. Maybe give you a fast pass to the nearest toilet too. There’s often some creatine and other ingredients such as citrulline and arginine in there for to help you feel pumped up due to vasodilation of your blood vessels.
What does the research say?📖
Highly mixed. There’s substantial evidence to suggest caffeine boosts performance across the board, thus so might preworkout. However, it’s quite possible that this is due to a placebo effect. You can be the judge, if you take something that makes you think you’re stronger (even if physiologically it doesn’t actually), does it do the job? Basically, yes.
Preworkout supplements have been shown to be beneficial in some people in regards performance gains, but not in everyone. Some people respond better to caffeine/stimulation than others. In literature, these are called responders and non responders. For example, my good friend Stuart darn’t drink coffee after 3pm or he’d be lying in bed staring at the roof, for as another friend Luke could happily drink a cup of coffee at supper time and sleep like a log.
In conclusion, there’s no harm in using preworkout the odd time. Best not use it all the time though, as your body will likely get accustomed to it and consequently need more and more to get the same buzz. Alternatively, you could get the same buzz from a strong cup of coffee or getting some caffeine on board 15-30 minutes before your workout. If you’ve any experience, questions or thoughts about preworkout, comment below and we’ll get back to you!