Pre-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat Before a Workout – Healthline

Pre-Workout Nutrition: What to Eat Before a Workout - Healthline


Supplement use is common in sports. These products may enhance performance, improve strength, increase lean body mass and reduce fatigue.

Below are some of the best pre-workout supplements.

Creatine

Creatine is probably the most commonly used sports supplement.

It has been shown to increase muscle mass, muscle fiber size and muscle strength and power, all while delaying fatigue (17, 18).

Even though it’s beneficial to take creatine before a workout, it seems to be even more effective when taken after a workout (18).

Taking 2–5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day is effective.

Caffeine

Among many other benefits, caffeine has been shown to improve performance, increase strength and power, help reduce feelings of fatigue and stimulate fat burning (17, 19).

Caffeine can be consumed in coffee, tea and energy drinks, but it can also be found in pre-workout supplements and pills.

It doesn’t really matter how you consume it, as its effects on performance are usually the same.

Caffeine’s peak effects are seen 90 minutes after consumption. However, it has been shown to be effective even when ingested 15–60 minutes prior to exercise (20).

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs refer to the essential amino acids valine, leucine and isoleucine.

Studies have shown that taking BCAAs before workouts helps decrease muscle damage and increase muscle protein synthesis (10, 21).

A dose of 5 grams or more, at least an hour prior to exercise, is effective (21).

Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is an amino acid that increases your muscle stores of carnosine. It has been shown to be most effective for short- and high-intensity exercises.

It does this by increasing exercise capacity and muscle endurance while reducing fatigue (22, 23, 24).

The recommended daily dose is 2–5 grams, of which at least 0.5 grams should be consumed prior to your workout (25).

Multi-Ingredient Pre-Workout Supplements

Some people prefer products that contain a blend of the supplements mentioned above.

The combination of these ingredients may have synergistic effects and improve performance significantly (26).

Caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, branched-chain amino acids, arginine and B vitamins are among the most commonly used ingredients in these products (26, 27).

The particular dose depends on the product, but it’s generally recommended to take them about 30–45 minutes before exercise.

Summary

Creatine, caffeine, BCAAs and beta-alanine are often recommended before a workout. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements combine many different ingredients for optimal benefits.



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About the Author: Eugene Berry