In today’s world of sports and nutrition, use of pre-workout supplements to augment training adaptations has become increasingly popular. These multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements (MIPS) are believed to boost energy and improve athletic performance.
It is important to be mindful of the different types of ingredients in supplements and their effect on your workout or exercise regime. Remember, different ingredients help improve particular aspects of exercise performance and formulations may act on different physiological mechanisms. Also, certain combinations of ingredients offer a synergistic effect.
They are designed to exemplify:-
• Improve protein synthesis
• Energy and focus
• Increase fat burning rate
• Increase hydration status
Common Ingredients and Their Ergogenic Effects
Caffeine:- It is absorbed into the bloodstream within 60 minutes, and is known to improve cognition as well as performance in endurance, power and resistance exercise. Also, it is most effective when consumed in dosages between 3 to 6 mg/kg body weight.
Amino -Containing Compounds
A potent antioxidant, metabolic effects has shown to improve muscular endurance during exercise.
Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine being the prime BCAAs intent to boost muscle protein synthesis, reduce exercise-induced muscle damage.
Nitric Oxide Agents
Nitric oxide increases the blood flow to active muscles and increases exercise performance.
Inorganic nitrate is naturally present in beetroot juice and other agent sodium nitrate present in workout supplements. It gets reduced to NO2 (Nitrite) in the oral cavity and then to NO in the peripheral tissues under hypoxic conditions.
The L-arginine amino acid is the precursor required for the synthesis of nitric oxide, but with limited efficacy only.
L-citrulline gets converted to L-arginine and promotes NO synthesis and its often combined with malate, shown to increase vasodilation and improve exercise performance
It is a naturally occurring amino acid in the muscles which works by increasing the intramuscular phosphocreatine levels by almost 30% when consumed in doses of 3- 5g per day, following a loading period. Therefore, it helps in increasing exercise performance and training adaptations.
It is a naturally occurring derivative of glycine amino acid and increases creatine synthesis, the blood nitric oxide and thermal homeostasis. Supplementation with 1.2 to 2.5 g / day has been demonstrated to improve power and force production.
It is a precursor of carnosine and a dipeptide which acts as an intramuscular buffer. Its intake of 4-6 gm over a time frame of at least 2 weeks has shown to improve high-intensity exercise performance.
Thus, pre-workout supplements may help to propel your workout to new levels, improve various types of exercise and enhance training adaptations. Choosing the right kind of supplement as per your training goal might help you get the results.
Harty et al. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2018) 15:41