Tag Archives: creatine

testosterone

What Your Workout Supplements Say About You

You might be the normal person who just takes supplements to give your body an edge or make the most of your workout. You might also be one of the whack-jobs that will take any supplement they can get their hands on no matter how insane it sounds. “Dehydrated deer penis? I’m in!” Either way, the supplements you take say a lot about you as a person. Here are some examples of the claims that people who take the following supplements believe, and the truth about them.

Testosterone Boosters

testosteroneThe Claim: Right now, you are weak. You are small. You are a tiny, pathetic wimp. Here, let me open that jar of sissy sauce for you. You make me sick. If you took Tribulus or ZMA powder or drank a D-Aspartic Acid Slurpee before every workout, you would be pumped to the max!

The Truth: No longer do you have to worry about all that stuff in your house that was unbroken, because now it’s a smashed heap thanks to your uncontrollable rage. Your hormones are all out of whack and your reproductive organs now look like something from a circus sideshow.

Warning: Testosterone may or may not cause head to spontaneously combust. Refer to photo on the left as evidence. 

Iron

The Claim: Dude, Iron is metal that your body needs to crank up your muscle mass. Do you want to be the bionic man or not? The reason you are so pale and flimsy is because you aren’t chewing on enough nails. Get this into your body and you’ll be able to catch a bullet. You’ll be Tony Stark, only way hotter and more yoked out.

The Truth: Unless you are a hard-core, dancing in the moonlight, praise-the-earth mother vegan, then you are getting enough iron from eating meat. Cramming more into your system will probably give you heart disease, which is great for your workouts if you like throwing clots, getting mouth to mouth from some sweaty beast at the gym, or the pick-me-up you’ll get when the EMT’s hit you with the defibrillators.

Creatine

creatine water weightThe Claim: You’re going to get massive! Huge! You’ll be ripped as hell and able to toss a Volkswagen 20 yards. You won’t fit through doors and will have to bust through walls like the Kool-Aid man. Oh Yeah! One day they will try to build a statue to honor your body but will run out of gold because you are too swole.

The Truth: You’ll gain weight all right, but most of it will settle right on your gut, your thighs, your glutes, and everywhere else. You’ll be able to start keeping spare change in your extra chins and injure innocent bystanders with the fat flap under your arm. You won’t bust through a wall, they will have to cut it open for the crane to pull you out of your house.

Glucosamine

The Claim: Your joints will be so damn healthy, they will last long after you are dead. You will have to sign a special form that allows them to harvest your joints to give them to sprinters in Kenya with bad knees. You’ll never again feel the pain of a hard workout and you’ll still be able to run 40 yards in 4.4 seconds when you’re 120.

The Truth: Glucosamine only works on arthritis, not joint pain from exercise. You know what works better? Don’t over train your joints. A picture of you dead lifting a Shetland pony might go viral on Instagram, but no matter how much glucosamine you’ve taken in, your knees are still going to ache.

Bitter Orange

The Claim: You will have to sign up for a 24 hour gym because you will have so much energy that you’ll have to burn it off lifting and sculpting your body to perfection. They’ll start charging you when you wear out all the equipment. When working out 7 days a week isn’t enough for you you’ll petition congress to add Pumpday onto the calendar.

The Truth: The only thing Bitter Orange is really good for is fighting fungal infections. It will help with jock itch and athlete’s foot, but there is no reason to eat it.

Glutamine

The Claim: You’ll be able to recover from a workout so fast that you will actually go back in time to before the workout and be ready to do it all over again! You’ll wake up with muscles in places you didn’t even work. Who are these pansies that have to work different muscle groups on different days? Pop some glutamine and do some squats.

The Truth: It will make your liver and intestines huge. Those organs love Glutamine and suck it up every chance they get. You’ll finally make all your modelling dreams come true when they put you on the cover of both Bloated Liver Monthly and Intestine Fancy.

Pictured above is creatine being measure in a spoon. This is not a recommended way to measure your creatine dosage.

Creatine as a Nootropic Supplement

The odds are that you have heard of creatine and its association with athletic performance. Creatine is a popular choice for athletes thanks to its effect on lean muscle mass and its energy-boosting properties.

But did you know that creatine also has nootropic properties? The benefits of creatine are myriad: increased memory, reduced fatigue, improved mood, and even reduced brain fog. Let’s take a closer look at the mental benefits you’ll receive from taking creatine supplement.

Memory Benefits of Creatine

Creatine can be used a nootropic to boost brain power.

Creatine is a proven brain-booster!

Creatine is  known to increase your short-term memory and this increase is one of the most well-documented benefits of the compound. Supporting studies abound: improvements in memory span[1], improvements in working memory[2], and prevention of memory decline [3]. Scientifically, the results are in: creatine is great for improving memory.

So how exactly does a supplement known for its physical benefits do so much for the brain? Creatine primarily works by increasing your synthesis of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP [4]. ATP is a nucleotide that functions as the primary source of energy for cells.

In other words, the more ATP that you’re synthesizing, the more fully and efficiently your cells can transmit information. Think of ATP as the “fuel” for the neurological vehicles taxiing information around your brain. Higher levels of ATP make calling to mind that elusive word or thought that much easier.

Creatine for Fatigue

Creatine’s ability to enhance your production of ATP also ties directly into another one of its main benefits: fatigue reduction. Studies have found that creatine’s abilities to reduce fatigue and boost energy are apparent even at low doses [5]. Since increased ATP boosts cellular performance, creatine is at least partially responsible for this energy boost, but there is more to the picture than that.

After a successful study on creatine’s mental-fatigue-reducing effects, a team of researchers measured an increase of cerebral-oxygenated hemoglobin in the brains of the test subjects. This increase was evidence of increased oxygen use by the brain. In other words, creatine primes your brain for improved performance.

Creatine for Mood

Creatine's nootropic side effects include increased mood.

Creatine can boost your mood.

Studies have found that taking a creatine supplement has mood boosting properties both on its own and synergistically with prescription anti-depressants [6]. This synergy too ties into creatine’s boosted production of ATP. Beyond that, creatine has also been shown to reduce some of the side effects of sleep deprivation, such as irritability [7].

Additionally, boosted energy levels means reduced stress making it much easier for your better moods to shine through. While the exact benefits of creatine for mood are not fully understood, what we know so far seems promising.

Creatine for Brain Fog

One of the bottom lines of nootropics is that, one way or another, you are probably going to deal with brain fog. Some people might be looking to alleviate existing brain fog, while for others brain fog may be caused by a nootropic.

Either way, the verdict is clear: having a gummed-up haze hampering your mental performance is no fun. The great news is that here too a creatine supplement will benefit you. Here is the impressive part: even this benefit is tied to creatine’s ATP production, albeit from a slightly different way. Increased ATP improves your brain’s ability to block negative effects by allowing the brain to more quickly deal with any deficiencies.  A study found that creatine supplementation improved the subject’s fluid intelligence, or their ability to solve problems and derive meaning from abstract knowledge [8]. Or in other words, directly counteract the effects of brain fog.

Bottom Line: Creatine as a Nootropic

Creatine is a harmless amino acid with many benefits for the keen-eyed nootropic user looking for something to top off their stack. As long as you keep your dosing at safe levels, creatine has tremendous potential for improving your mental performance. Not only that, but thanks to the ways a creatine supplement will benefit your mood and fatigue, creatine is an almost sure-fire way to improve your all-around quality of life.

SOURCES:

  1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561278
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21118604
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17828627
  4. http://www.researchgate.net/publication/44694983_Dietary_supplementation_of_creatine_monohydrate_reduces_the_human_fMRI_BOLD_signal
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11985880
  6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22864465
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16416332
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1691485/
caffeine is found in coffee

Pre-Workout Supplements: Do I need anything more than caffeine or am I wasting money?

With the flashy marketing and high-pressure sales tactics favored by supplement companies, pre-workout supplements may come off as snake oil. And to be honest, some pre-workout supplements are ineffective, overpriced, and full of nasty filler that will do more harm than good (see: belly fat).

That being said, there are a few supplements that I highly suggest including in your pre-workout blend in addition to caffeine. We all know that caffeine supplements can boost your energy levels, but what other supplements can have an impact on your workout? Let’s take a look at my three favorite pre-workout supplements other than caffeine: L-arginine, creatine, and beta-alanine.

L-arginine

 

Muscle growth

L-arginine can help with muscle growth

L-arginine is an amino acid that shows significant promise in increasing natural production of growth hormone, boosting testosterone levels, and reducing fatigue. L-arginine is the precursor to nitric oxide, and increased nitric oxide production is a great thing for exercise.Why? Nitric oxide is responsible for vasodilation.

When vasodilation occurs, blood vessels widen. Wider blood vessels equal better blood flow. Better blood flow equals more effective oxygen transportation. More oxygen equals more intense workouts. It is as simple as that! Also, for you men out there, I can report that l-arginine is a big boost in the bedroom!

Creatine

Creatine can be added to protein shakes

Creatine can be added to protein shakes

If you’ve spent any time in the workout community, you’ve heard about creatine. Creatine is an organic acid found in many foods, especially fish. Creatine powder’s main function is to supply energy to the cells, in particularly to muscle.

If you eat meat on a regular basis, your body probably has a standard supply of creatine. If you don’t… well, I hate to tell you, but you’re probably deficient. That being said, even meat eaters can benefit from a creatine supplement regimen because the more creatine your body has, the more energy is supplied to your cells. More energy translates into more intense and productive workouts. Great deal, right?

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is another amino acid, and if you’ve ever taken a pre-workout blend before, then you know EXACTLY what beta-alanine does. You know that tingly, powerful, stimulant feeling you get after taking your pre-workout? That’s beta-alanine doing its job.

 

Beta-alanine can help increase muscular endurance

Beta-alanine can help increase muscular endurance

Beta-alanine is all-around my favorite supplement other than caffeine because it helps with weight-loss, stamina, and muscle recovery. It is an all-in-one miracle supplement, and I say that with 100 percent sincerity.

Conclusion

So, knowing that these three supplements (plus caffeine) are decent is one thing, but how do you go about introducing them to your workouts? You can do what I do, which is buy the bulk supplement powders and cap my own pre-workout pills, but I recognize that the capping process is labor intensive and some of you may have busy schedules. So what do you do? Simple, check out the nutrition labels on pre-workout blends and keep an eye out for these supplements. Speaking from experience, both MusclePharm Assault and Cellucor C4 are good choices.

Supplements to Increase Vascularity

There are many powerful vascularity supplements

It seems like every bodybuilder and weightlifter wants to have a more vascular appearance. In other words, they want the added impressiveness of bulging veins on a massive and ripped body. This vascularity certainly shows to the world that you are a beast.

Of course, a lot about how much veins can be shown is determined by genetics. Even still, everyone can work hard at building larger veins and making them stand out. Plus there are some supplements that can aid in this task. Some are vasodilators, some improve blood flow, and others increase pumps.

Citrulline Malate:

Supplements and Vascularity Benefits
Citrulline Malate

  • Vasodilator
  • Maintains energy levels in muscles
  • Promotes release of nitric acid to increase pumps

CoQ10

  • Poweful antioxidant
  • Removes free radicals, improving blood flow

Nitric Oxide

  • Enhances blood flow and opens up veins

Creatine

  • Boosts energy and muscle pumps
  • Improves blood flow

One of the best vascular aids currently on the market is Citrulline Malate supplement. This supplement operates as a key intermediary in the urea cycle and helps to rid the body of both ammonia and lactic acid, which helps to maintain energy levels in working muscle cells. It is also known for promoting the release of nitric acid, which is thought to be responsible for increasing the intensity of pumps. It also acts as a vasodilator, helping blood vessels to open and expand.

The best way to take this supplement is right before your workout (about 30 minutes before training). The generally accepted dosage range is between 5 and 8 grams.

CoQ10:

Co-Enzyme Q10 is also thought to be a very effective vascular enhancing agent. This enhancement is especially true when it is taken as part of your pre-workout supplementation routine. Additionally, it is a powerful antioxidant and can help to rid the body of numerous poisons and toxins. An even more potent form of this powerful enzyme is Ubiquinol. These supplements are both thought to work by their removal of free radicals in the body, making blood flow much more efficient.

Nitric Oxide:

Another very popular method for increasing vascularity with vascularity supplements is the use of Nitric Oxide or NO enhancers. There are a number of these which have, in recent years, been touted as some powerful pre-workout drinks or energy supplements. Probably the most effective of these has been BSN NO Xplode. The Nitric Oxide has the capability of enhancing blood flow and opening up the veins.

Creatine:

This supplement is well known for the ability to increase energy. Since it is also a nitrogenous substance, the thought is that this partly explains its positive effects on muscle pumps and improved blood flow. Athletes in all sports, from strength to skill and speed events, have taken notice of a number of benefits of Creatine including the ability to produce a more vascular look.

How to Increase Vascularity

All of the above presupposes hard training and an effective nutritional routine. Obviously, in order to achieve a goal like added vascularity you really need to support the body. In addition to training and nutrition, make sure to get enough rest and sleep; rest time is when recovery and muscle/vein building actually occurs.

supplements for muscle building and weight loss

Pre-Workout Supplements for Weight Loss vs. Muscle Building

Pre-workout supplements are a popular choice among weight lifters and among those who are trying to lose weight. The purpose of these supplements is to improve workouts and help attain the best results. There are two main kinds of pre-workout supplements: weight-loss supplements and muscle-building supplements.

The following are some of the benefits from using such supplements:

  • Increased strength and endurance;
  • Faster metabolic rate;
  • Enhanced energy and focus;
  • Overall better performance.

Before one decides to use any pre-workout supplements, pre-workout nutrition ought to be considered. Carbohydrates are essential as they are your body’s fuel source. It is recommended that you eat your carbs before your workout so that they can be utilized as fuel in your body. Protein is another must-have food.

Supplements for Weight Loss

Creatine for Weight Loss

Supplementing with creatine increases the body’s creatine stores which results in an increased level of phosphocreatine that in turn helps regenerate muscles’ energy source, ATP. According to a study conducted on 17 subjects, a dosage of 5g of creatine produced an increase in the total creatine content of the muscles. Recommended dosage is 3g per day.

Caffeine for Weight Loss

Caffeine is one of the most popular pre-workout supplements for weight loss. Caffeine can be obtained from coffee, tea, chocolate, or through energy drinks. This very popular supplement works by inhibiting the enzyme that blocks degradation of cAMP therefore allowing energy levels to remain high for extended periods of time. A study on the efficacy of caffeine in increased exercise performance showed increased performance after an intake of caffeine before workout. Typical dosage rages from 100-200 mg.

Glutamine:

As you work-out, the levels of glutamine in the body falls and using this as a pre-workout supplement can help delay fatigue during workout by producing more energy and reducing muscle fatigue.

Supplements for Muscle Building

Arginine:

This is a very popular pre-workout supplement for weight lifters because it allows more blood to flow to the muscles by dilating vessels and thereby allowing more nutrients to be absorbed. Results of a study on the effect arginine as a supplement 10 minutes before work-outs showed enhanced performance during workouts. Recommended dosage before a workout is 2-3g.

Citrulline Malate:

Supplementation with Citrulline Malate can increase the levels of arginine which is necessary after an intense workout. Breakdown of amino acids and increased levels of ammonia cause a reduction in arginine levels. Studies show that aerobic energy production is also promoted because of the muscle metabolism promoted by citrulline malate.

Tyrosine:

This supplement helps improve perceived level of fatigue and cognitive and physical performance during stressful conditions. It increases mental alertness and the ability to concentrate which can help one perform more strenuous workouts. Doses of 500 to 1000mg per day before workouts are recommended.

Whether or not to take pre-workout supplements will be totally up to you and will greatly depend on how you feel during your workout when you are taking these supplements.

Creatine magnesium chelate provides for energy pre workout

Magnesium Creatine Chelate: Energy, Benefits, and Dosage

Magnesium Creatine Chelate is one of the most common and effective supplements used by body-builders and health enthusiasts on the market today. This is a unique combination because users will get benefits of both Creatine and Magnesium.

Magnesium Creatine Chelate Defined

This is actually a combination of two compounds-Magnesium and Creatine. Magnesium is a mineral that is found in large amounts in our bodies and is extremely important for the body to function properly. Supplementation for Magnesium can be found in foods like vegetables, whole grains and dairy products. Magnesium is also used by athletes to increase energy and endurance. [2]

Creatine on the other hand is found in the muscles in the body in particular that is produced by the body and can also be derived from food like fish and meat.  Commonly used for improving performance during exercise and increasing muscle mass, creatine supplement is generally used to improve athletic performance during high intensity activity. [3]

Magnesium Creatine chelate is different from the traditional creatine because it is bonded to Magnesium instead of water. This makes the supplement more easily absorbed by the body and less converted into a waste product. [1] This creatine supplement provides protection from breakdown in the digestive tract which will allow creatine to be more available in the muscles.

According to a study that compared a dosage of 2.5g daily of magnesium creatine chelate found that supplementing with magnesium gave better creatine loading effects in the muscle due to the multiple pathways that creatine was absorbed more readily by the body. [4]

Magnesium Creatine Chelate Benefits

Some of the typical benefits of Magnesium creatine chelate include:

  • Improved Endurance & Reduction of Muscular Fatigue: On a study performed on thirty one weight trained men who were assigned a specific supplement (either magnesium creatine chelate or Creatine), it was observed that after ten days, the group that took Magnesium creatine chelate had larger increases in work when compared with the other group. This suggests that the creatine supplement can indeed improve endurance during work out.[5]
  • Increased energy: By incorporating magnesium, this creatine supplement is able to hydrolyze ATP (Adenosine triphosphate, coenzyme used as an energy carrier in the cells of all known organisms) to ADP (Adenosine diphosphate an important organic compound in metabolism and a requirement to the flow of energy in living cells)   which contributes to the sufficient release of energy.

Although Creatine has been shown to be effective alone, by creating a creatine-magnesium chelate supplement, creatine can be protected by the acid in the stomach while chelate can help prevent its breakdown. This also helps increase the rate of absorption of creatine and decreases the stomach discomfort that users commonly experience according to creatine reviews.  [6]

Magnesium Creatine Chelate Dosage

This supplement is solely for adults and is not recommended for use. As a dietary supplement, the dosages is 3 capsules twice a day and on work-out days, take the servings 45 minutes prior to working out and the second serving between eight to twelve hours apart.  This dosage will depend on the body weight of the user and the ratio is 1g of the supplement per 40lbs of bodyweight per day.[7]

The use of magnesium creatine chelate for energy during workouts is backed up by scientific studies as well as consumer reviews. There has been no significant negative feedback about the supplement.

Sources

  1. www.mindandmuscle.net/articles/magnesium-creatine-chelate/
  2. www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-998-MAGNESIUM.aspx?activeIngredientId=998&activeIngredientName=MAGNESIUM
  3. www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-873-CREATINE.aspx?activeIngredientId=873&activeIngredientName=CREATINE
  4. www.mindandmuscle.net/articles/magnesium-creatine-chelate/
  5. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15142029
  6. www.muscleandstrength.com
  7. www.priceplow.com
pre workout supplements for beginners

Pre-Workout Supplements for Beginners

If you’re not using pre workout supplements, you’re cheating yourself in the gym. The addition of pre workout supplements can make your time in the gym more efficient and more effective, meaning you will build more muscle and lose more fat in a shorter amount of time. Just like you make sure your car has all the proper fluids and fuel it needs before going on a road trip, there are pre workout supplements that will help your body run at its optimal levels while you exercise. Basically, pre workout supplements will give you the boost you need and get the right nutrients into your muscles so you can get bigger and stronger. There are a variety of pre workout supplements available, but for the beginner, there are a few basics you should keep on hand.

Why Use Pre Workout Supplements?

Anyone can benefit from proper pre workout nutrition. Whether you’re a weekend warrior trying to lose some belly fat or a professional athlete, the advantages of proper pre workout supplementation are solid.

  • • Energy and focus: When you enter the gym with pep in your step and laser focus on the workout ahead of you, you’re much more likely to give it your all and enjoy your time there. Having the same levels of energy for the last exercise as you did for your first will be crucial in a well balanced physique and training regimen.
  • • Build more strength: Pre workout supplements can help you move more volume while training, which results in more muscle fiber growth and stronger muscles. Even if your initial goal isn’t to build strength, being stronger definitely won’t hurt.
  • • Get bigger, faster: Between getting the right nutrients in your muscles, getting the right pump and having the energy to move more weight, pre workout supplements will help increase hypertrophy.
  • • Lose fat: The right pre workout supplementation will increase lipolysis, or fatty acid mobilization, and your body will burn more fat for fuel. There’s a common misconception that having supplements before a workout may decrease fat loss, but if done right, it can only help. A lot.
  • • Faster recovery: Soreness after a hard workout can be annoying and can get in the way of your next training session. Correct supplementation can speed up the recovery process and get you ready for your next workout faster.

Recommended Pre Workout Supplements for Beginners

If you’re a newcomer to pre workout nutrition, here are some good pre workout supplements that will serve as a solid foundation to your regimen.

Caffeine Benefits: Taking caffeine in your pre workout stack can serve multiple purposes. First, as you’re well aware, it will give you energy and focus. Second, it will help ramp up your metabolism and increase fat loss. Dosage can vary based on caffeine tolerance, so start low if you’re not used to caffeine. A good starting dose is 100mg (about the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

Creatine Benefits: Overall work capacity is crucial in the gym. Creatine increases ATP energy, giving your muscles more fuel for the extra reps or the extra lap. And when you’re done working out, creatine will help you recover faster and prevent soreness.

Arginine Benefits: By boosting nitric oxide levels, arginine helps improve blood flow into the muscles so more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to your muscles during your workout. This is a great synergistic addition since it works well on its own to reduce fatigue, but helps other supplements become more effective.

creatine-supplements-for-strength

Creatine and Caffeine for Strength and Energy

During a workout session, many of us begin to feel sapped of energy and experience feelings of fatigue and exhaustion. This can lead to less productive time in the gym, less muscle gains, and, ultimately, can hinder our ability to reach our goals. A healthy diet can be fortified with beneficial supplements to help our body adapt to increased intensity during training when working towards a set of goals. Two different compounds, Creatine and Caffeine, when included as part of a workout stack or as daily supplements, can help the body combat fatigue and increase the overall performance of our bodies.

What is Creatine Supplement? What is Caffeine Supplement?

Creatine [1,2] is an amino acid that occurs naturally in humans and is found in different organs in the body- the liver, kidneys, and pancreas. Creatine supplement is used as an energy source by skeletal muscles during intensive exercise and is transported easily and efficiently through the bloodstream. Since its discovery in the early 1800s, Creatine is known to be significant in the proper functioning of the skeletal muscles as roughly 95% of the body’s supply is stored in these muscles. Additional supplementation of Creatine has not been shown to have high chances of toxicity in the body.

caffeine powder for energyCaffeine [3,4] is a natural alkaloid that is widely used for its stimulant effects on the central nervous system which help alleviate symptoms of sleepiness and fatigue. Caffeine supplements are derived from a number of sources including the coffee bean, leaves of different types of teas, guarana berries, and numerous others. While intensive amounts of Caffeine supplements are not recommended, moderate levels have been shown to improve different aspects of our body’s performance and concentration.

How can these supplements help?

Creatine and Caffeine supplements can be taken at varying periods of the day depending on your workout schedule, diet, and sleep habits. When taken as part of a supplement schedule, the two compounds work to provide our bodies with energy and prevent early feelings of fatigue. During a workout, the stress we exert on our bodies and muscles can create a need for quick energy resources to help keep our current pace and stay on target. Creatine [1,2] fills in these gaps by helping to energize our muscles to help prolong and increase performance. Additionally, Creatine is reported to increase the body’s ability to build and retain lean muscle. Caffeine also helps [3,4] to energize our bodies by stimulating different systems of our body to alleviate feelings of fatigue during especially intensive exercise regimens. Caffeine can provide faster reaction time, increased concentration, and boost total time spent in the gym. This combination can help us to meet our fitness and health goals, but as with any supplement, the body requires both adequate hydration during exercise and recovery time to ensure optimum performance of our bodies.

Sources

  1. www.umm.edu
  2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creatine
  3. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12439084
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine
Pre workout supplements can play a huge role in muscle gains

How to Make Your Own Pre Workout Supplement

When it comes to pre-workout supplements, there are plenty of pre-existing, ready to consume workout stacks that come in many different varieties based on multiple types of routines. Despite this, many individuals are opting to create their own unique combinations of supplements that are tailored exactly to their personal goals and their bodies’ needs.

Why Would I Want to Make My Own Pre-Workout Supplement?

Different factors can play a role in the decision of what supplements to include. Some questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are my long term goals concerning my weight, muscle gains, and overall health?
  • Am I creating an exercise and supplement regimen to address serious health concerns, to maintain a healthier state of being, or to improve my athletic abilities? Depending on which situation you happen to find yourself in, the right combination of supplements can boost your workouts’ potential benefits.
  • What has worked for me in the past and was I happy with the results? Likewise, what supplement has not worked for my body?
  • What types of beneficial compounds are found in my diet already? Are there high levels of proteins, vitamins, or other beneficial compounds like antioxidants? Some supplements are only beneficial in adequate amounts as our bodies can only absorb a set amount.
  • How difficult is, and how often do I plan on participating in, my training program? Depending on the duration and intensity of your regimen, different supplements can boost the body’s ability to build muscle, maintain muscle gains, promote weight loss, increase our stamina, and provide sources of energy.
  • What are the short term and long term effects of this supplement on my body? Are there any reported negative side effects.

Of course, these are not the be-all, end-all guidelines for creating your own combination of supplements, as there is no one right answer. Hopefully these questions do give you some idea of what you’re looking for in  your personal stack and possibly help you think of some of your own that will help you decide.

Make Your Own Pre-Workout Supplement:

Out of the hundreds of supplements available on the market, the lists below cite just a few of the beneficial compounds to consider for inclusion in your pre-workout supplement.

 Muscle Growth and Energy Supplements

Make your own preworkout for less
Too many options on the shelves? Check out our suggestions to narrow your search.
  1. Increase and maintain muscle gains with Creatine supplement and Protein. Both help the body to reduce recovery time and generate essential energy. [2,3]
  2. Citrulline Malate can assist in weight maintenance as well as maintaining muscle gains by warding off bacterial toxins in the body. Citrulline Malate powder also appears to have the ability to fight fatigue caused by acidosis from lactic acid. [7]
  3. Glutamine is an amino acid that will increase plasma growth hormone levels and stimulate the pituitary gland during workouts. [4]
  4. Tyrosine can help to improve nerve cell function in the body during exercise as well as produce different stress controlling compounds like dopamine. [6]
  5. To help improve circulation and oxygen delivery during physical activity, the supplement Vinpocetine works to widen the blood vessels to decrease blood pressure and ultimately increase workout performance. [5] 
  6. Caffeine is a popular energy booster that is often combined with various other supplements, but the synergy that it has with L-theanine makes it an ideal pre-workout energy booster. Taken in conjunction, the theanine will help calm the feelings of unease and crash often caused by caffeine alone. [8]

Post-Workout Cool Down and Relaxation Supplements

  1. For enhanced post workout recovery assistance, consider Pure Green Tea Extract and Beta-Alanine Supplement. These supplements can contribute to the decrease of fatigue and recovery time. An additional benefit of Green Tea Extract is it also contains a high number of antioxidants which can fight off free radicals brought on by oxidative stress. [1,2,4]
  2. L-theanine can be taken independent of caffeine to calm the nerves after a particularly heavy workout, though it can also be found naturally occurring in teas, albeit in smaller doses.
  3. For particularly stressful sessions Valerian Root, a stress relieveing herb, can provide strong calming effects and Melatonin, a hormon produced in the pineal gland, can help provide more restful sleep. [9,10]

Remember to Learn and Acknowledge Your Limits

The most important thing to keep in mind when creating your own pre-workout supplement is to not overdo it. Some people may be able to take many items from this list at once while others may only be able to take a few. Start slowly while mixing and matching and research the individual supplements that you find appealing as well to see which ones tend to work the best together and how to use them effectively. There are a lot of different pre-workout supplements out there and there’s no better way to find the ones that are right for you but experiencing them first hand.

Sources

  1. www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/green-tea-000255.htm
  2. www.livestrong.com/article/441502-best-pre-workout-supplements/
  3. www.livestrong.com/article/479263-safest-pre-workout-supplements/
  4. http://examine.com/supplements/Beta-Alanine/
  5. www.vinpocetine.com/index.html
  6. www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/tyrosine-000329.htm
  7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20386132
  8. http://examine.com/supplements/Theanine/
  9. http://examine.com/supplements/Valeriana+officinalis/
  10. http://examine.com/supplements/Melatonin/
pre-workout stack: creatine, caffeine, DMAA

Pre-Workout Stack: Creatine, Caffeine, and DMAA

Caffeine supplements, creatine supplements, and DMAA are already included in many generic proprietary blend pre-workout formulas, and there is good reason why. The combination of these three supplements work very well together to provide the energy, focus, and recovery that are essential to a great workout and great results. To effectively evaluate this particular stack let’s take a look at the individual supplements and the specific research behind their effectiveness.

Creatine

According to the International Society of Sports and Nutrition the supplementation of creatine is the most effective performance enhancing nutritional supplement when it comes increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and building lean body mass. In addition, creatine is produced naturally in the body and can be found in some foods. Research involving both novice and experienced athletes has shown creatine to increase power output, muscular endurance, anaerobic running capacity, and lean mass. Increased power output and anaerobic running capacity are among the most heavily researched effects when it comes to studying creatine and both areas have shown significant results. We’ll look at how it interacts with caffeine and DMAA in a moment.

Caffeine Powder

Pure caffeine powder is arguably one of the most popular stimulants in the world at present and there is good reason why. Its effects are potent and they work fast; this coupled with the fact that caffeine is legal and unregulated make it an extremely popular choice in the stimulatory world. Research has shown caffeine to increase focus, reduce physical and mental fatigue, restore alertness, increase general coordination, and it allows for faster and clearer thoughts.

DMAA

DMAA is often one of the main ingredients in many pre-workout supplements you may have already tried and is enjoyed by many people around the world every day. Currently the only significant effects found through research relate to DMAA’s ability to raise blood pressure while not increasing the subject’s heart rate. While this may be beneficial to those with low blood pressure, I’m guessing that’s not why you’re here. In regards to training, DMAA is used in conjunction with caffeine to boost mood, confidence, and energy. In addition, it has been shown to be more potent than caffeine in related areas, essentially meaning less is more when it comes to DMAA supplementation.

This pre-workout stack will not leave you wondering if it is working or not 30 minutes in to your workout. It is most effective in boosting energy, focus, and strength and preparing your body for recovery so that you can get back to training as soon as possible. One should always exercise caution when trying a new stack and do their own research on each individual component they wish to implement. Individual responses will always be different and should be taken into account. This stack is a great option to cycle with any other stacks you may have tried and liked. Give it a shot and let us know about your results.

Sources

Caffeine: http://intraspec.ca/1981-v10n03-p202.pdf

Creatine: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7714837

DMAA: https://physsportsmed.org/doi/10.3810/psm.2011.09.1927