Recently many of the women in our personal training studio have been asking about a pre-workout supplement or drink. Here is the answer….
Q & A: What’s the best pre-workout supplement?
Like all answers to questions about “what’s the best for me?” it depends… These are the 4 most common scenarios:
- You’re dragging today and need some pep.
- You’re looking for something to reduce muscle soreness?
- You’re seduced by the ads for pre-workout supplements saying you’ll have your best workout every time?
If you’re tired and need a boost to get even a decent workout in, then really, anything with caffeine – coffee, diet soda, NoDoze, etc. – is going to help. Caffeine is the primary energy boosting ingredient in a pre-workout supplement. Some also have ephedra, or similar compounds in them. Putting safety aside, ephedra, caffeine, etc. are stimulants that will give a you a little boost today.
Now, let’s talk about safety. Caffeine is very, very safe, and the other stimulants less so.
Beware the vicious cycle: caffeine is very safe, however if you take it too close to your bedtime it can keep you awake and/or reduce your sleep quality making you tired the next day and feeling like you need yet another boost. For most people 2 or 3 pm is good cut-off for when to stop consuming caffeine. Here’s our favorite pre-workout that is guaranteed to not have any hidden ingredients, and its also pretty inexpensive to boot!
#2. Reduced Muscle Soreness.
The first two places to look for reducing muscle soreness are 🥩 protein intake, and your 🤸 workouts.
You want to consumer approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of lean body mass. We use the InBody to get a precise number for each of our personal training clients. However, a quick and dirty way to calculate for most women is to multiply your weight by 0.7.
If your primary goal is weight loss, this is our favorite protein supplement. Otherwise these are our favorite dairy-based, and plant-based. (Don’t select your protein based on price because it’s likely not to have very much protein in it. More on that here.)
For your 🤸 workouts: consistency is queen. Hitting your muscles twice a week on a regular basis will be the best thing you can do to reduce soreness. Realistically this means using total body workouts because most clients simply aren’t going to workout 6-7 days per week.
After you have workout consistency and protein sufficiency, then a great 3rd priority is a branched chain amino acid supplement. Here’s our favorite.
#3. You Want Your Best Workout Every Time?
Let’s adjust our definition of “best.” Expecting ourselves to have our best – or near best – workout each time is a good way to guarantee disappointment. Because life happens.
You can’t have a peak (best) without a valley in between, otherwise you are just flat.
I would like you to think about having the best workout you can possibly have today. Meaning, do the best you can with the energy and resources you have today. Maybe you couldn’t sleep, or work is kicking your butt, or you broke your big toe, or fell down the stairs and can only train one leg, etc. Just do the best you can with the energy and resources your have today and know that this is success.
Over the course of 100 workouts you will have 20 great workouts, 20 crappy workouts, and 60 so-so workouts. Many people mistakenly believe their results only came from the 20 great workouts. No way. The 80 so-so and crappy workouts are far more important than the awesome workouts because of what happens when you skip workouts.
Don’t worry be crappy. Don’t worry be happy.
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Oh and in case you missed it “I’m NOT Dieting.”