Every single day you go to the gym, you slave away, you eat the correct foods, and you get great rest. And yet, every single day you wake up, you look in the mirror, you stare at your arms, your abs, your butt, and you get slightly frustrated with the lack of progress. Sound familiar? The truth is, it’s more difficult for some people to absorb the necessary proteins and nutrients in the diet they’re eating than it is for others. Some of us have higher or lower metabolisms than others and some people can regulate sugars and amino-acids more effectively than others. If you’ve sort of “topped out” or plateaued and don’t see quite as much progress as you think you should be, your body is probably inherently unable to progress much further without some assistance. It’s unlikely that you’ve actually done something wrong or you are not working hard enough. Supplementing and stacking can be serious game changers for those who want to gain muscle mass or morph into a lean, “cut” machine. There are so many different types of pre-workout supplements on the market, it’s difficult to understand what ones you should purchase, what ones you should stay away from, when you should take them, and how you should supplement the supplements! We hope to be able to clear some of those grey areas up for you.
Do Your Research
We can’t stress it enough. Don’t buy a particular product just because it’s a lot cheaper than another product that claims to do the very same thing or be the very same thing. Chances are, one is significantly cheaper than the other for a reason and the reason is most likely something that wouldn’t fly with you if you had done your research. There are many products out on the market that haven’t gone through rigorous testing and claim to solve world hunger and end terrorism. Okay, so maybe they’re not THAT bad, but you get the point. The products on the market that you’re unable to find positive customer testimonies on and can’t find published studies about are the ones you should probably stay away from. Some may have lasting, adverse defects or health effects that are completely avoidable or simply don’t deliver results. In many of these cases, you do get what you pay for!
What to Look for…
In addition to finding a healthy and thoroughly tested solution for you, be sure to look for some key words that will dictate the specific desired benefits you’re looking for. For instance, supplements with liposomal technology are likely to be something you can trust to enhance your workouts and give you the results you’ve been looking for. Liposomal technology is a fancy term that describes a patented technology proven to boost the absorption of the supplement you’re ingesting in to your body, guaranteeing maximum effectivity. This new technology is thoroughly tested and so effective because of the way the ingredients are transmitted into your body . The supplement is essentially encased in a bubble, protecting it from being diluted until it reaches your muscles, at which point it can be safely and effectively released directly into your cells. This clinical breakthrough has allowed for the people with the most stubborn of fat cells to be burned away, most difficult-to-develop muscle mass to be increased, and lowest of energy levels to be raised.
Suggested Pre-Workout Supplements
Now that you know some key words to look for and the types of things that you should be avoiding, it’s time to pick out the supplements that will give you the best workout and lead to the results you’ve been missing out on. We’re actually going to split this in to two separate lists simply because there are two separate routes to go, typically. Both lists carry items that can be found on this website with something you may read about called bioavailability. This means that they’re going to be made using liposomal technology and extremely effective when it comes to assisting you to get the physique that you want. The first list is going to benefit those who are looking to really bulk up, body build, and gain that muscle mass. The second list will be for those who are looking for that lean muscle, low fat, and “cut” look. Some of the ingredients overlap but each also has very unique supplements to suit your specific goal. (Understand that it is assumed you will be indulging in a pre-workout whey powder protein shake in both scenarios. The supplements should be mixed in with your drink.)
Muscle Builders Supplement List
- Creatine – Creatine is preferred by most professional athletes that are doing a lot of weight training specifically because of how effective it is when it comes to muscle gain. Creatine is naturally produced by our bodies but many people find that their body creates an insufficient amount of creatine to influence the type of muscle growth that they’re looking for. We recommend you taking around 5 grams of creatine with your pre-workout drink to get the most of its cellular energy production and enhancement properties.
- Beta-Alanine – As we’ve discussed in the past, this is an amino acid that your body doesn’t really create. It mixes with other natural amino-acids to create carnosine. Carnosine is actually what you’re trying to get into your muscular system. The higher the level of carnosine, the better the results you’re going to see when it comes to body building. Beta-alanine is often abused by professional body-builders and to consume a safe amount, keep it around 3 grams prior to your workout. (Don’t be afraid of the pins and needles!)
- Nitric Oxide Boosters – These “boosters” actually increase the level of arginine in your body which will eventually be converted to nitric oxide. This is an underrated and highly effective way to stimulate growth because of the increase of blood flow to your muscles during a rigorous workout. Just a couple grams of this can go a long, long way.
- Glutamine – Considering just how much weight you’re all of a sudden going to be putting on, it’s understandable that your body is going to have a level of stress put on it that it literally never had before. Glutamine is something that’s naturally produced in your body and it helps you deal with the amount of stress you deal with on a day to day basis from a physical standpoint. Just because you’re working out doesn’t mean your body is going to create more glutamine for you to be able to deal with the increase in activity. Chances are, your glutamine levels are actually far too low for the amount of stress that you’re putting on your body every single time you go to the gym for a workout. Adding a glutamine dose to your pre-workout supplements will make it far easier for you to recover from the session and eventually this will lead to more intense, lengthier, and more effective workouts. The amount of glutamine you take will be adjusted based on your height, weight, and workout tendencies. Follow the instructions on whatever product you pick up and you’ll reap the benefits immediately.
Promoting Lean Muscle Supplement List
- BCAAs – Branched chain amino acids can only be obtained through a high intake of protein . Your quest to lean muscle mass and a “cut” body starts here. These amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) will increase your body’s metabolism, leading to fat loss while you’re working to increase your muscle mass. Be sure to use these guys as a dietary supplement before your workout to maximize recovery, speed metabolism, and suppress your appetite.
- Creatine – Creatine is preferred by most professional athletes that are doing a lot of weight training specifically because of how effective it is when it comes to muscle gain. Creatine is naturally produced by our bodies but many people find that their body creates an insufficient amount of creatine to influence the type of muscle growth that they’re looking for. We recommend you taking around 5 grams of creatine with your pre-workout drink to get the most of its cellular energy production and enhancement properties .
- Alpha lipoic acid – Use alpha lipoic acid to convert carbohydrates to pure energy and fuel for your body during intense workout sessions. This will ensure that the carbs aren’t being converted to fat and stowed away in the typical areas that flab starts to build up . Take it with your protein shake prior to a workout and wash it down with a bit of water. Side note – this will also act as a natural antioxidant in your body, ridding the body of nasty and harmful free radical chemicals.
- Caffeine – Enjoy your cup of coffee in the morning! Caffeine is a natural fat burner because it will increase your metabolism, give you an added spark of energy, and motivate you to get your buns moving. Caffeine can be taken in pill form with your other pre-workout supplements or be blended in to your drink, if you’d rather not fill your belly with coffee.
(You can read more about this in our Guide to Muscle Building Supplements).
Supplement your Supplements!
It’s recommended that you control your diet and regulate the foods you’re eating based on the type of body you’re trying to build. Many of the supplements that you’re going to be using in your pre-workout routine can be more effective if they too are supplemented with specific foods. For instance, eggs are known to be extremely high in protein. As we know, protein is definitely the most key ingredient when it comes to muscle building and strength gains. Both the body builders and the lean mass people should be consuming plenty of eggs.
For those of you that are insistent upon increasing the amount of pure muscle mass on your body, be sure to eat plenty of lean beef. Beef doesn’t have much of a place in the rest of the biological and anatomical communities anymore, but it definitely increases the amount of carnosine going in to your body. Remember, your body will break that down in the cells of your muscles and ultimately lead to crazy gains. One more food that is a must for you aspiring body builders is salmon . Many fish have high levels of omega-3 fats, but salmon is the cream of the crop. While they improve your heart health, omega-3 fats also inhibit muscle breakdown while making the amino acids in your body even more effective. For those of you who aren’t fond of fish, have some fish oil as a pre-workout supplement. Just… don’t burp.
Beets are a key food for the lean-muscle lovers. Beets will increase your muscle growth but it will also encourage fat loss because of the extra energy beets inherently provide you . Consider making beets a regular part of your diet. In addition to the beets, eat plenty of cantaloupe. Believe it or not, cantaloupes are one of the only fruits that are going to be low in carbohydrates, making it almost impossible to turn in to stored visceral fat. Instead, the cantaloupe will provide you with plenty of energy for those long and intense cardio workouts that you’ve become accustomed to in your quest to lose fat and get “cut.”
Pop-eye was on to something when he started to eat spinach to bulk up and get the energy he needed to cause some trouble for Bruno. Spinach is rich with the amino acid, glutamine. Glutamine is a key piece to any muscle growth and the other properties of spinach, mostly vitamin related, increases the levels of endurance so that your workouts are more thorough and lengthy. Everybody should start eating spinach, maybe not quite like Pop-eye, but it’s definitely something that should be part of your regular meal supplementation.
Rest, Reflect, Revisit
Your body has never gotten the dose of supplementation that you’re about to give it. You will likely see results at an alarmingly fast rate. While this is obviously the desired effect, it can also lead to over-success. Hard to believe that’s a thing, right? You need to watch your body very carefully. These supplements are healthy but they’re also very effective. The changes that are going to happen to your physique will take its toll while you’re getting used to things. Be sure to get plenty of sleep to ensure a healthy recovery after each workout, and consider cycle support supplements to help rebalance your body.
For the bodybuilders out there, if you start to notice that you’re not only gaining a ton of muscle, but you’re putting on a fair bit of fat, it might be time to start cutting back on some of the pre-workout supplements. For you lean-muscle people, if you’re starting to feel some joint pain or look like Skeletor, it’s probably a good time to revisit your supplements and diet. Understanding that moderation is key is going to be essential. Remember, everybody is different and not everybody will react to the pre-workout supplementation in the same exact manner. Keep a log book or journal to understand how much of each supplement you’ve been taking and then it will be easier to make a decision on when you should increase or decrease doses. Be sure to take before and after pictures! You’re going to love the progress!
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