‘What’s a pre-workout?’ ‘You’re a gym go-er and you don’t know what a pre-workout is?’ I remember the conversation well. Then the research. Then the first ever pre-workout. Man alive this stuff is good! Nowadays I rarely ever go to the gym without having first taken a pre-workout, unless its a cardio session later in the evening, I do want to sleep at some point!
So what are they? Basically powders you mix with water and they give you a boost, a bit of a feel good before you workout. There are LOADS and LOADS of different types but most have a high amount of caffeine, creatine, beta alanine, tyrosine, guarana etc etc. Some are also in pill form, but for some reason I feel funny about taking a pill, absolutely no reason for it, I just do.
Anyway, I like to take pre-workouts for my lifting sessions first thing in the morning, I just need a bit of helping pushing through a workout when my body would much rather be still warm and cosy in bed. Which one to take depends on trial and error and your own personal preferences and what you want to achieve from one. For example, I like to take ones with high caffeine contents, I need that push to get my mind alert and ‘in the zone’. I’m not keen on ones with high beta alanine in them, they make me itch something awful and looking like I’m tearing my face off whilst attempting to workout is never a good thing! Some are designed to give you a good pump, not something I’m overly interested in.
Flavour is also something to take into account. The first pre work out I ever took was Dorian Yates NOX Pump, it nearly made me sick every time but as I was a newbie to this I just assumed that’s how it was!! It’s still the best one I’ve tried in terms of increasing drive and ability but having tasted others I’m not sure I could go back to it. I’d recommend anyone trying pre-workouts for the first time to buy single sachets and try a few until you get one you like.
Over the next couple of weeks I’ll write reviews on the pre-workouts I’m currently using, I like to have a few to hand, variety is the spice of life and all that!
Please note that I am not recommending anyone to take pre-workouts and should always check with your own doctor it is safe to do so.