Key Pre-Workout Supplements & Debunking Workout Nutrition Myths
Disclaimer: you should always consult a doctor before starting any new diet, workout nutrition, or supplementation plan
Men and women are built differently, sure, but we also need different types of nutrients and supplements to keep us performing at our prime. So while some supplements may be good for men, they may not be so good for women. The same goes between you and your girlfriends. Something that works wonders for them, may not interact so nicely with your body. Here are some pre-workout supplements to keep you going without feeling like you’re swimming upstream with one paddle.
Creatine helps supply energy to all cells in the body. Men who are really interested in getting Magic Mike XXL abs will swear by creatine. It’s mostly a guy’s thing because it allows them to pump higher weights harder. The sole purpose of creatine before a workout is that it helps your muscles get the nutrients they need to perform, recover and grow. It helps with your workout nutrition and nutrition know-how.
The reason men favor creatine over us ladies is that creatine, for some odd reason, tends to make women feel bloated. You will carry the water weight in your muscles, so the more muscle you have the more you will notice the water weight.
You can use caffeine to power through your workout because it gets your heart rate going and helps you burn more calories during your workout. You don’t necessarily have to drink 8 oz. of coffee. Try green tea, which has about 35 mg of caffeine per 8oz. cup as opposed to coffee, which has about 100 to 200 mg of caffeine.
Whatever you choose to consume, caffeine can help increase your blood circulation, which means a better workout since more oxygen is being sent to those hard-working muscles.
Also, use this to impress your friends when they question your trip to Starbucks before a workout: Scientists at the University of Illinois found that consuming the caffeine equivalent of two to three cups of coffee one hour before a 30-minute bout of high-intensity exercise reduced perceived muscle pain. This means, caffeine may help you push just a little bit harder during strength-training workouts, resulting in better improvements in muscle strength and/or endurance. So while they’re struggling to get in that last pull-up, you’ll be pulling away.
It’s easy to get sucked into the coffee house wormhole though, so don’t overdo it. Consume up to 6 mg per kg body weight, which is about 400 mg per day (or about 16 ounces of coffee) for a 150-pound woman.
Amino acids can help build muscle, because if you think about it, they are literally the building blocks of life (really). Remember ATGC? Those are the amino acids that make up our DNA. Our DNA! The body can naturally produce 11 aminos by itself, but the other nine the body needs must come from the food you eat. You need to eat enough protein to fulfill your amino acid need or else your muscle tissue begins to break down. Just be sure to take precautions with any supplements, especially amino acids, so you’re only getting what you need.
Speaking of protein, amino acids are the building blocks of protein, which brings us to why it’s such an important part of your everyday diet. You should consume 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. When it comes to maintaining and gaining muscle, the protein rule is the same no matter your gender.
If you feel like you’re not getting enough protein throughout the day, consider adding a rich and creamy protein shake to your diet. You can even have some protein bars if you’re always on the go. Aside from helping build your muscle tissue, protein stabilizes your energy levels and appetite because it fills you up; it takes longer to break down and digest. It also help you burn calories more effectively because it has a high thermic effect (the amount of calories it takes your body to burn or absorb nutrients in food). #science.
What you put into your body (workout nutrition) is not just important before your workout but through our everyday lives. I mean, do you ever doze off during class or hit that afternoon slump at work? We all say, “I’m just tired, I probably just need some caffeine,” but always leaning on something as a crutch is a vicious cycle, like JLO and Marc Anthony (on or off guys? Come on). If we gave our bodies the right supplements and nutrients to live off of, we might not feel so tired all the time. What kind of PowerB!tch goes into a meeting or takes a test half-awake? I mean really. So get your shit together and take care of your body after it’s worked so hard. Don’t freak out by giving it something it doesn’t need for quick results that don’t last long. Aim for long-term care and maintenance of a body you love.