Pre-workout supplements are consumed before exercise and are typically composed of caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, amino acids, and some nitric oxide agents. A blend of these benefits performance and successive training adaptations more as compared to just a single ingredient. Most people take pre-workout supplements for improved performance or to feel energetic while working out.
Benefits of a pre-workout supplement:
Pre-workout supplements contain essential amino acids like leucine, isoleucine and valine, which are directly involved in muscle protein synthesis and become immediately available in the building muscle process. They also contain citrulline, another amino acid that increases blood flow to the muscles and carries optimum nutrients to muscles as they undergo training stress. Creatine, the other crucial ingredient of pre-workout supplements is known for enhancing strength. The nitrate present in these supplements increases the blood flow to all parts of the body. Caffeine ensures alertness, focus and motivation throughout the workout. Beta-alanine eliminates acid buildup in the body, specifically from the muscles, while sodium bicarbonate reduces acid accumulation in the muscle tissue.
Ingredients of Playstead and its uses:
- Beta-Alanine :
It is a non-essential amino acid that balances lactic acid’s pH in the muscles to lower down fatigue and enhance endurance. High-intensity workout schedules lead to the production of lactic acid in the body, which if present in excessive amounts, can adversely affect an athlete’s performance. Beta alanine is used by our body to synthesise carnosine, which acts as a buffer, reduces acidity and improves muscle contraction.
- BCAA’S :
Branched Chain Amino Acids have three essential amino acids under them - Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine. These help in muscle synthesis, prevent its wear and tear and improve glucose uptake in the body. BCAAs consumed during exercise or pre-exercise not only lower exercise-induced fatigue but also save the muscle from breakdown.
- L-Carnitine: L-Carnitine is an amino acid, mainly found in skeletal muscles which helps the body to convert fat into fuel. During intense workouts - when body’s energy needs increase, L-carnitine supplies fatty acids to mitochondria for oxidation, helping in fat burning.
- L-Tyrosine :
It sharpens the focus and helps in mood upliftment throughout the training session. It is an amino acid that our body utilizes to produce muscle tissues, enzymes and proteins. L-Tyrosine is a precursor to other neurotransmitters like norepinephrine and dopamine.
- L-Citrulline Malate :
It is an amino acid and has two components - Citrulline and Malate. Citrulline provides nitric oxide support, which reduces fatigue and extends the exercise duration.
- L-Arginine HCl :
L-Arginine acts as a muscle maximiser and fatigue reducer, and is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO). Arginine increases the nitric oxide supply, which leads to an enhanced blood flow and a consistent supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles.
- L-Ornithine Monohydrochloride :
This amino acid is also widely used to improve liver condition during hepatic encephalopathy - it fights glutamine poisoning. It combines with glutamine in the body and forms alpha-ketoglutarate which supports wound healing, prevents infections and builds stamina.
- Caffeine :
Caffeine boosts energy levels in a workout session and delays the onset of fatigue. It works as a stimulant in the body which induces the secretion of Dopamine (a neurotransmitter). Caffeine improves mental alertness and focus, reduces the feeling of exhaustion and improves stamina.
- Creatine Monohydrate: Creatine monohydrate helps the muscles to produce energy during heavy lifting or intense workouts. Athletes and bodybuilders are using it very commonly these days to attain more muscle mass and increase strength. The quantity of creatine monohydrate added in the supplement is safe for use for healthy kidney functioning.
- Sodium Bicarbonate:
Intense workouts can lead to the production and accumulation of lactic acid in the muscles. This can lead to an acidic environment in the body, affecting the overall athletic performance. Sodium Bicarbonate thus acts as a great buffer by lowering fatigue and balancing the pH of the body.
- Fructose: Fructose is a monosaccharide, naturally present in fruits, honey, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. Post-exercise, athletes face a lot of metabolic challenges, like restoring the initial glycogen stores in muscles and liver. This becomes the key issue for athletes involved in repeated vigorous activities, such as multi-day cycling or running races, playing sports on subsequent days, as well as in the day-to-day training sessions. It is seen that both hepatic (liver) and muscle glycogen synthesis happens effectively after consuming fructose or fructose rich foods, as compared to glucose.
- Curcumin: Curcumin is the main phenolic compound found in turmeric. It reduces muscle damage and improves muscle soreness post-exercise. A speedy recovery allows for consistent training at competitions and leads to enhanced performance. Curcumin also increases the muscular glycogen content and protects muscle damage from oxidative stress and inflammation. It is a strong naturally occurring anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compound that is also known to improve the brain functioning and lower the risk of heart diseases.
- Artificial sweeteners (INS 950, INS 955, INS 960): Artificial sweeteners are man-made sugar substitutes, derived from naturally occurring substances, like, herbs or sugar itself. Artificial sweeteners are also known as intense sweeteners as they are many times sweeter than the commonly used sugar (sucrose). Artificial sweeteners act as a good alternative to sugar because they contain no calories and are needed only in a small amount as compared to the amount of sugar that would be normally used for sweetness.
- Acidity regulator (INS 330): It widely used in foods and drinks to add a sour taste, enhance flavour, and adjust their pH. Due to its acidic pH, it is commonly used for food preservation, as bacteria cannot grow in an acidic environment. It also prevents or delays the oxidation process in foods items.
- Natural colour (INS 162): A natural colour derived from beets, beet red is the colour obtained from the roots of red beets. It is used to add colour to confectionery items, bakery goods, ice creams and energy drink premixes.
Pre-workout supplements not only improve strength and endurance but also reduce fatigue during the training session. Playstead is a formulation, which has been developed in such a way that it provides immensely high energy, alertness and sharp focus. It is is prescribed for professional athletes and gym-going people for consumption.
Benefits of curcumin for sportspersons :