To use a pre-workout as a new beginner you need to keep it simple and focus on key ingredients for the outcome you want. If you’re reading this then you’re probably new to pre-workout. You probably haven’t tried a pre-workout yet. Or you have, and you’re not sure you’re using it correctly.
As an avid user of pre-workout, I’m going to give you some pointers for finding the best pre workout for beginners. And I’ll also discuss how to use it correctly as a beginner to improve your performance.
Quick Tips for Using Pre-Workout
- Drink 30 minutes before your workout
- Ingredients need time to activate in your body
- Your pre-workout is effective it helps you get in more reps
- Use your pre-workout to push yourself harder for faster results
- A pre-workout should NEVER get in the way and cause jitters (if it does, change brands)
The Basics of Pre-Workout
A pre-workout is a multi-ingredient supplement. Each ingredient serves a specific purpose. For example, caffeine gives you more energy and reduces perception of pain. L-Citrulline increase blood flow and allows your muscles to recover more more quickly. And, Beta-Alanine reduces perceptions of pain and muscle fatigue, allowing you to get more reps.
When choosing a pre-workout, it’s important to know what your goals are. And endurance swimmer will choose a different pre-workout than a bodybuilder. Some ingredients are designed to give you short-term bursts of energy. Others are designed to increase endurance.
How To Choose Your First Pre-Workout
- Keep it simple!
- Choose your first pre-workout based on caffeine tolerance
- Focus on the 3 key ingredients: L-Citrulline (blood flow), Beta-Alanine (endurance) and Caffeine (energy)
Keep It Simple
Pre-Workouts should taste good. They should give you a good overall experience. They should put you in the mood to workout. They should give you more energy. They should boost your endurance. And they should facilitate rapid recovery.
Ok. So how do you know which products will do this?
Step 1: Focus on Caffeine
Most people should start around 200mg of caffeine and work their way up. If you know that you can already handle 300mg of caffeine (let’s say you drink Bang or Monster), then start there.
Caffeine really has great performance benefits, so finding the right amount of caffeine to give you energy but not make you overstimulated is key. If you find yourself with a pre-workout that has too much caffeine, then try half a scoop to 2/3rds of a scoop and see how that makes you feel.
Step 2: Focus on L-Citrulline
The three key pre-workout ingredients are caffeine, l-citrulline and beta-alanine. I already discussed caffeine above so let’s talk about the other two.
With L-Citrulline, you want 4-10g. As a beginner, it’s ok to start at 4g although you have to be careful. Many supplement companies pack their citrulline as citrulline malate which is only 2/3rds citrulline. So if you are buying a pre-workout that has 5g citrulline malate, you are not getting the full 4g of citrulline. The better and more straightforward ingredient is L-Citrulline. Studies show that the more, the merrier with 6-8g being the sweet spot.
Step 3: Focus on Beta-Alanine
With Beta-Alanine you want at least 3g for a clinical dose. However, there’s a tradeoff. Beta-alanine can cause tingling skin. For this reason, I recommend that beginners pick a preworkout with 1-2g of Beta-Alanine to get started. Feel free to experiment with higher dose beta-alanine once you know that you can tolerate the tingly sensation.
How To Evaluate Your Pre-Workout
Everyone is different, and so everyone will respond to different pre-workout formulas differently. Here’s what you need to know:
- There should be no side effects
- You should feel motivated to start your workout
- You should feel extra drive to push through more reps
- You should feel extra focused
- You should not feel jittery
- You should not have digestive issues
- You should enjoy the flavor
If your pre-workout helps you get in more workouts and more reps through the week, it’s successful at its job. Having said that, you should enjoy it. The flavor should be delicious. It should make you feel really good. And it should give you that extra drive to make things happen.
If your pre-workout has side effects, don’t give up. Try a different formula or a different brand. Over time, you’ll find a pre-workout that works for you.
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