Have you ever had a personal trainer tell you that you need to take a pre-workout before going to the gym? Sometimes it sounds like it is impossible to have a good workout without it! But do you ACTUALLY need it?
The supplement industry has done an incredible job at marketing their products to make you feel a need to take their supplements in order to achieve results. But what is a pre-workout supplement made of? Most pre-workouts contain some form of caffeine, sugar, and nitrous oxide (makes your veins pop out a little more). Some include several other ingredients, but those are the base ingredients. What do these do? Well, they mostly make you feel an intense rush of energy that makes your heart rate increase, blood pressure increase, and eventually you come down off of that high (hopefully not in the middle of your workout!)
This can be useful for a weight lifter going for a new personal record on a lift or for a sprinter getting ready to blast off the starting line, but in many other cases, this can actually create a negative affect on people. Like any other form of caffeine or stimulant, your body adjusts to it, so you have to take larger and lager doses to get the same effect if you take it regularly over time. So, this magical pre-workout supplement ends up consuming more and more of your money as you consume it.
Now, I'm not saying no one should take it, as I mentioned a couple of cases where it can be useful. Just don't use it every single workout or even consider going without it entirely. In the long run, it would be better to find other ways to get yourself focused and excited without injecting something in your veins to get you pumped up. Get enough sleep, make sure you get good nutrition pre and post workout, stay hydrated. These are a few things that can help you feel more energetic for a workout. If you really need a boost before a workout, then I would recommend drinking 4oz of black coffee (without milk or sugar) about 30 minutes before a workout. This will give you a little boost for your workout and save you lots of money in the long run.