What is pre‑workout?
A pre‑workout, or kicker, is a complex dietary supplement designed to promote physical performance and concentration. This is achieved by the synergistic effect of several active ingredients that act through different mechanisms. The most commonly used substances include:
- L‑citrulline malate promotes the production of nitric oxide, which dilates blood vessels, increasing blood flow and making muscles better supplied. It also helps with the breakdown of lactate;
- BCAA provide muscle mass protection and promote muscle protein synthesis;
- beta alanine enables the synthesis of the substance carnosine, which reduces the accumulation of lactate in the muscles, so that physical activity can be performed for longer;
- creatine helps to increase muscle strength and delays muscle fatigue;
- taurine, like citrulline, helps to increase blood flow;
- caffeine is one of the most popular stimulants that supports the central nervous and cardiac systems.
The caffeine content of pre‑workouts should be watched out for, as taking such a kicker late in the day could disrupt sleep. During evening workouts, it is advisable to take decaffeinated pre‑workoutwhich contains active ingredients on a different basis. People who take caffeine from other sources - coffee, sweetened drinks, etc. - should also beware of the caffeine content.
How to use the kicker?
The ideal time to take your favourite pre‑workout is 30‑60 minutes before physical exercise. The kicker can be taken both before a workout in the gym, as well as before a run or other aerobic workout. The onset of effects depends on the interval since the last meal and the specific composition of the pre‑workout.
However, pre‑workouts should not be overdone, it is not advisable or necessary to include them before every physical activity. As with other substances, a decrease in efficacy may occur with prolonged and regular use. Days when you don't feel like it or the vision of a hard workout scares you are the ideal moments to reach for a kicker.