Pre-workout supplements are popular among the fitness crowd.Claims that they’ll maximize time in the gym and help users achieve fitness goals more quickly make them a staple in the gym bags of many. But as with any supplement, it’s important to carefully research a pre-workout before adding it to your diet. Understanding the benefits, risks and proper use can maximize the efficiency of a supplement while minimizing health risks.
Types of Pre-Workouts
There are many different types of pre-workout supplements on the market. The ingredients in the supplements you may consider will vary depending on whether your goals are to improve strength, gain muscle, lose weight, increase endurance or enhance energy and performance. The most popular pre-workouts include stimulants, such as caffeine and tyrosine. Muscle-building pre-workouts with ingredients like creatine, protein and simple carbohydrates are common among gym-goers as well.
The Theory Behind Cycling
Many people cycle off supplements for a period of time or rotate the use of different products. The theory behind this is that pre-workout supplements can lose effectiveness as the body adapts to them.According to researchers, there isn’t any clinical proven studies that supports cycling between products,however, it is a good idea to periodically take a break from some pre-workout supplements.This is because prolonged use can cause the downgrade of receptors in the body, which decreases a supplement’s effectiveness over time.
Which Supplements Should Be Cycled?
Creatine and caffeine are the two ingredients in pre-workout supplements that should be regularly cycled. If you don’t cycle creatine, receptors in your body will downregulate and make it difficult to transport the compound to your muscles. Similarly, constant use of caffeine causes the body’s sensitivity to the stimulant to decrease over time. To maintain sensitivity to the ingredients in pre-workouts, most products can be taken for six to eight weeks, followed by a two to three-week break from use.
Always talk with your doctor before adding any type of supplement to your diet. Nutritional supplements can interact with prescription drugs and exacerbate certain health conditions. If you’re pregnant or nursing, pre-workouts are not advisable. If you do decide to supplement with a pre-workout, pay attention to how your body feels. If you experience nervousness, jitters or nausea, it’s a good idea to re-evaluate use or consider switching supplements.