Whether you’re working out to lose weight or build muscle, there will come a point when your performance will stay the same no matter how hard you train. This is what most people call “hitting a plateau,” or the moment when your workout performance flattens out.
Once this happens, you have to adapt by making changes to your diet, workout regime, or both. Fortunately, this can be accomplished by doing something as simple as adding a pre and post-workout supplement to your routine.
Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements
As suggested by the name, pre-workout supplements are meant to be taken thirty minutes to an hour before a workout session. They are formulated to enhance focus and stamina, contributing to improved performance.
The ingredients list varies depending on the brand. However, most pre-workout mixes will contain some sort of stimulant, like caffeine or taurine, and a variety of minerals and amino acids. This ensures that your workout session is adequately fueled and your body utilizes that fuel efficiently.
Along with the pre-workout’s ability to boost performance, other benefits include:
- Increases strength
- Increases endurance
- Promotes muscle growth
- Improves cognition and mood
Benefits of Post-Workout Supplements
Post-workout supplements should be consumed within the first forty-five minutes after the conclusion of a workout session. Usually, their main ingredient is protein, which helps the body repair and builds muscle for muscular gains.
Another common ingredient is creatine, an amino acid that further promotes muscle gains by providing energy directly to the muscle cells. Therefore, you can optimize the way your body maintains and builds muscle simply by taking a protein and creatine post workout supplement.
Other benefits of post-workout supplementation include:
- Reduces soreness after training
- Reduces muscle breakdown
- Improves hydration
- Boosts energy
How Necessary Are Supplements?
In theory, a balanced diet and a well-planned exercise regime are all that you need to be healthy and fit. Supplements are helpful for those who need an extra push, such as people trying to drastically change their body composition or people who have reached a plateau. They are also helpful for those who are dissatisfied with the speed of their training progression.
According to the experts at Legion Athletics, supplementing can help you “train harder and recover better.” In other words, it isn’t a requirement, but it can help you “level up” your fitness game.
How Safe Are Supplements?
Workout supplements are relatively safe for consumption with no adverse effects. For those with food sensitivities, some formulas may be harder to digest than others. People who need to watch their sugar or carb intake should also pay special attention to the ingredients label of their supplements. This is because many companies include sweeteners for improved taste.
To get the most out of pre and post-workout mixes, you should already have healthy lifestyle habits as a baseline foundation. Taking a supplement before and after training is an easy way to gain an edge when an effective workout routine is already in place.