If you’re looking to up your cardio game, there are some nutritional supplements that can help take your performance to the next level.
While you may have heard of pre-workout supplements, there are also pre-workout supplements made specifically with cardio in mind, and these can give you a boost both before and during your sessions.
We’ll talk about what they are, how they work, and which ones have been shown to be the most effective.
While pre-workouts are designed for people who lift weights in the gym, they’re also quite beneficial for people who do cardio workouts as well.
There are two reasons why pre-workouts work well with cardio. First, when you workout in a fasted state (which is what you do when you exercise before eating breakfast), your body will burn more fat during your workout.
And second, when you’re lifting weights or doing strength training, your body produces lactic acid which can slow down fat loss.
When you take a pre-workout supplement 30 minutes before working out, it will help flush lactic acid out of your muscles so that your body will burn even more fat during your workout. Here are some of our favorite pre-workout for cardio.
The first one I recommend is Redcon1 Total War Pre-Workout
The next one is Pro Supps Hyde Max Pump
And finally Sparta Nutrition Kraken
The best pre-workout is the one that works for you. Always look for the main ingredients being caffeine, creatine monohydrate, and essential amino acids.
Caffeine is always the key ingredient in pre-work so check out this article I wrote about whether you can swap pre-workout for coffee.
Pre-workout is a supplement designed to increase mental focus and energy levels for exercise.
Not so much known for increasing muscle pumps, but for exercise performance and athletic performance.
Pre-workouts are typically made with stimulants that have been tested by third-party agencies to ensure safety.
While most pre-workouts have caffeine in them, that’s not all they contain—creatine is another common ingredient.
Other ingredients you’ll see in pre-workout supplements include beta alanine, citrulline malate, L-arginine, nitric oxide boosters, tyrosine, BCAAs (branched-chain amino acids), amino acids like arginine and glutamine, various herbs like ginseng and green tea extract.
Just make sure whatever pre-workout you buy has everything on our list of best ingredients for weight loss.
Pre-workouts are not intended to replace proper nutrition or training.
They’re just meant to give you an extra boost while working out, so don’t fall into the trap of using pre-workout as your daily energy drink.
For more on the difference between pre-workout and creatine read this article.
Always read your bottle carefully before taking any new pre-workout or supplement!
When buying pre-workouts online, be cautious because many brands will jack up their prices on Amazon!
Instead, visit the site directly for verified prices!
And lastly, for those trying to lose fat — PRE WORKOUT IS NOT FOR YOU!!
If you need help losing fat check out these supplements for getting shredded fast!
Most people are familiar with pre workout supplements, but not everyone knows what they actually do.
And if you’re buying pre-workouts without knowing why, there’s a good chance you’re wasting your money on products that don’t work.
So what does pre-workout actually do?
The term pre-workout is used to describe sports nutrition supplements that are intended to be taken before physical activity or exercise.
Such sports nutrition supplements contain nutrients and substances which are intended to enhance performance in various ways.
Some of these products also include stimulants which can help increase alertness and focus, allowing you to perform better at high intensity during exercise.
There are lots of different brands of pre-workout supplements available on today’s market, so how do you know which one is best for your needs?
In our opinion, it’s important to look for a pre-workout product that contains ingredients proven to work.
In order for something to actually enhance performance and give results while exercising, we believe it has to contain some type of stimulant; we believe caffeine-based pre-workouts offer the best results.
We don’t think all pre-workout supplements need caffeine (although some experts may disagree) because not everyone will respond positively to caffeine-based products.
Some people feel jittery and hyper when taking such products whereas others find them energizing and effective.
Pre-workouts are extremely effective.
However, you need to know when to take them, as well as understand that there are different types of pre-workouts for different purposes.
If you’re looking for an energy boost to get through your cardio workout, then you should take your pre-workout 30 minutes prior to starting your cardio session.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a pre-workout before strength training or lifting weights, it’s best to take it 1 hour before exercising so that it has time to settle in your body and work its magic.
That being said, if you’ve never used a pre-workout before it’s best not to start with one right before doing cardio.
It might give you too much energy, which can be unsafe while running on a treadmill!
The first time using pre-workout is definitely something to be eased into.
As always, talk to your doctor first before trying anything new!
Another thing worth noting is that some pre-workouts come in different forms.
Whether they are liquid or powder will affect how long they stay active in your system.
Powder versions can last up to 4 hours after consumption while liquid versions last around 1 hour depending on whether you consume water along with it or not.
Below is a video of the time I ran a few spartan races after I had a bit of Fireball as my pre-workout!
A lot of people ask if they can take pre-workout every day.
The short answer is no, you can’t.
But you also shouldn’t be taking pre-workout every day in the first place.
If you are new to working out and feeling sore after a workout, start with a single scoop of pre-workout every other day, and work your way up from there until you find a level that works for you without giving you side effects or making you feel sick after a workout.
When in doubt though, stay on one scoop per day for at least six weeks before increasing it any further.
That should give you plenty of time to see how your body reacts.
For those who already lift weights regularly, one scoop could be enough to make you too jittery during exercise.
Start with half a scoop instead to gauge your reaction, then slowly increase as needed.
And remember that not everyone will react positively to pre-workout supplements—some people just don’t respond well to caffeine or energy boosters because their bodies aren’t used to them yet.
If an energy boost causes dizziness instead of just keeping you awake during an intense workout, take yourself off pre-workout entirely so your body doesn’t have time to adapt again when you decide next week that maybe it would help for another run through a strength training class.
All out of pre-workout? Stock up now.
We can’t believe we have to write an entire post about whether or not it’s okay to take pre-workout before cardio.
We’re also not happy that there are some top fitness professionals out there suggesting you don’t need to take any pre-workout for cardio at all. Please don’t listen to them!
If you’re on a tight schedule and doing high-intensity cardio, such as HIIT sprints, then taking some caffeine can help your workout tremendously.
A safe bet would be around 100mg of caffeine anhydrous, but half that if you’re sensitive to stimulants.
If you’re doing steady-state cardio, then it’s probably best to wait 15 minutes until after your warm-up before taking pre-workout.
Again, if you’ve tried everything else and still want some caffeine during your cardio session (because there is no better time to get ripped than while burning calories), then go ahead.
Otherwise, save yourself (and your wallet) from spending money on pre-workout pills for cardio only.
So how bad is pre-workout for your heart?
A little, but not nearly as much as you might think.
Whether or not you should be taking pre-workout depends on your age and health history.
Pre-workouts tend to get a lot of bad press, particularly when it comes to potential negative effects on your heart.
It’s true that many of these supplements contain stimulants such as caffeine and high doses can cause a number of side effects including elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and palpitations in some individuals.
However, although there are adverse side effects associated with pre-workouts in healthy adults when taken in moderation pre-workouts do not cause any significant damage to your heart muscle or negatively affect cardiovascular health if used sensibly.
The main risks come from consuming too much pre-workout too often which could lead to sleep problems, raised blood pressure, and overstimulation of your nervous system.
If you have been prescribed beta-blockers or similar medication by your doctor then caution is advised when taking pre-workouts because they may interact with other drugs.
The best advice would be to discuss using pre-workouts with your doctor before doing so just in case an interaction occurs so they can tell you what dose is suitable for you and also recommend alternative options if necessary.
Most experts recommend protein post-workout.
Your muscles are more sensitive to nutrients when they’re in a glycogen-depleted state, so you have an increased opportunity to absorb protein.
But what about protein before cardio?
Will it help you burn more fat?
The short answer is yes, but there are some caveats.
It turns out that 30 minutes of moderate exercise on an empty stomach increases blood flow to your active muscles.
It also elevates your body temperature slightly—about 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit)—which means you start burning even more calories during cardio because your body uses energy simply to cool itself down again.
But, researchers at Ball State University found that men who took whey protein one hour before exercising burned 200 extra calories during their workout compared with those who didn’t take whey.
Plus, these guys also reported feeling less fatigued afterward, which can help them push themselves even harder next time around.
In other words, consuming a pre-cardio whey shake doesn’t just increase calorie burn for 30 minutes.
It might also make you work out harder and longer overall. What’s not to love?
Well, unless you’re lactose intolerant or allergic to milk proteins, not much.
Whey is considered safe for most people if taken as directed by manufacturers on product labels.
Stick with healthy brands like EAS, Scivation XTEND MRP, and Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey Protein.
As for dosage: A single scoop typically contains 20–25 grams of protein; most studies showed improvements after taking between 40 and 60 grams about half an hour before hitting the gym.
That depends on what kind of cardio you’re doing. If it’s high-intensity, then experts will tell you to do that post-workout.
If it’s lower intensity (like jogging), they’ll recommend you do it pre-workout.
The reason has to do with how your body uses energy before and after exercise.
Think about it for a second: When you work out hard, your body begins to require more oxygen than usual.
When that happens, your heart rate goes up, your muscles need more fuel than normal—and even though at first glance that seems like bad news (more work?), in reality, it’s actually good news because if these processes happen right after exercising then there is ample time for rest and recovery.
The same can’t be said for pre-exercise.
You don’t have as much time to recover if things go wrong during a workout, meaning your body uses less oxygen and fuel during pre-exercise training.
In addition, your heart rate isn’t as elevated as it would be post-exercise, which also means less energy expended from an energy standpoint!
Some people swear by doing their cardio before weightlifting or running, but just remember that pre-exercise puts stress on your nervous system first so you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to recover afterward!
Strength training is another important thing to add into your cardio training.
Nutrition is important to understand and get right as well.
But did you know that without the right habits in place non of it will last?
To find out more about how I can help you take back control of your diet and fitness and achieve the body you want, book you FREE evaluation call here.
Pre-workout is a good way to get more physical performance out of your workouts, whether that’s strength or cardio.
But be warned as too much caffeine is not good for you.
Energy drinks are not necessarily the same as pre-workout so be careful with those as well.
It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting with any new supplement.
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