Is a Pre-Workout Drink or Snack Really Beneficial?
Supplement companies are having a field day with all the health and fitness products that are becoming quite popular in the modern market.
One of those products are pre-workout powders and energy bars. If you have ever wondered if this is just a new fad or something beneficial to help you get then most out of your workout, then you have come to the right place. Below are three pros and cons of eating before exercise.
benefits of Pre-Workout Snacks
provides a good source of easily digestible energy
One of the simple reasons why specifically designed pre-workout powers and bars are effective is because they are filled with glucose. Glucose is used by the body for energy, and it’s the most efficient form of energy the body can use (the body has to work harder to break down fats and stored glucose for energy, compared to using the glucose provided by a pre-workout bar).
An Alternative: Fresh fruit!
caffeine makes you more alert
Being more alert while working out can put an extra pep in your step. But if you’re feeling sluggish, sometimes the very act of exercising can give you a little energy boost. So do you need the caffeine from a pre-workout powder or snack? Maybe not.
There are beneficial nutrients seldom found elsewhere
Beta alanine is an example of a supplement that is often added to pre-workout formulas that people can sometimes struggle to find naturally within food. The benefits of this additive alone are: improved blood flow, muscular strength in the long term and improved overall cardiorespiratory endurance. Worth knowing!
Cons of Pre-Workout Snacks
It could decrease the effectiveness of Insulin for food eaten later
The receptors for hormones become less sensitive when constantly stimulated. There is one school of thought that ongoing, sustained use of high-glucose foods can cause you more harm than good over the long term.
The caffeine can make you lethargic
If you are one of those people that digest caffeine very quickly, it is very likely that you’d have a caffeine crash mid workout, which defeats the purpose of taking it. It comes down to knowing how you react to caffeine and if indeed you even need it pre workout or not.
Many pre workout formulas have unhealthy synthetic flavours or are loaded with sugars and artificial sweeteners. Many are even loaded with colours to make it look more aesthetic when combined with water. At the end of the day, most casual or recreational gym goers can probably get a bit of a pre-workout energy boost from a good meal consumed a couple hours prior, or a piece of fresh fruit in the half hour leading up to exercise.
As you can see that there are just as many cons, as there are pros to having a pre workout drink or shake. You just must decide for yourself if the pros are worth it!
When starting any new diet or nutritional program, we recommend that you seek the advice and support of a qualified professional to ensure that it is suitable for you and your individual circumstances.