Updated: May 24
I've gotten a lot of questions recently about taking pre-workout. I started taking some recently and really like it. The afternoon slump really gets me most days, and the pre-workout gives me an energy boost for when I workout after work/school at 4:30/5:30ish.
Some days, I'm sick of the taste of coffee, or don't want to drink a full coffee because it will keep me up. - For reference a Grande Blonde roast at Starbucks has 360mg, and yes I believe caffeineinformer.com is a reliable source) -
I wanted something that would give me an energy boost in the afternoon, but wasn't a sugar-laden energy drink. I wasn't specifically looking for a pre-workout, but it just so happened that I it was the best product for the job (i.e. giving me a small boost of energy for the evening) AND I also usually workout/teach shortly after my afternoon slump.
I actually did a TON of research before I bought anything and the one I have has 100mg of caffeine, which is about the same as a regular cup of coffee (not Starbucks) and/or similar to a cup of tea. The reason I don't just drink a tea is because the caffeine in tea has a slower "release time" than of coffee or pre-workout. It releases gradually over 12 hours, which is great for people that get jitters from caffeine (also people with anxiety) but not great for later in the day. In comparison, coffee gives you a faster energy boost (because it has a shorter half-time of 6 hours).
As you can tell, I am an active caffeine consumer (and also frequent visitor of caffeineinformer.com), For ME, pre-workout is less about the workout, and more about my caffeine intake.
To get back to the question: do you need pre-workout?
100% No. You do not NEED any fancy supplements to move your body, sweat lots, or have a good workout. You are not missing out if you don't take it. Sweat is sweat.
However, if I had to choose between feeling too tired and not motivating myself to actually go workout VS. getting a little energy boost and going, I would pick the latter. Make no mistake: it is a WANT, not a NEED.
Note: This does not mean you should pre-workout as a cop-out for motivating yourself. The bottom line is, caffeine or no caffeine, YOU and only you are the one deciding whether or not you lace up those shoes and go exercise.
If pre-workout can HELP you get there, I'm all for it. I also think that once you take the pre-workout, that's committing to going. Once you've made that drink, it's very hard to cop-out at that point.
So, if you find yourself consistently tired & un-motivated in the afternoon OR planning evening workouts and skipping them because you don't have enough energy, give pre-workout a try! (Or maybe just a tea/coffee and since it's basically the same thing)
When I added up the cost of afternoon coffees, I realized it was actually MUCH cheaper to buy pre-workout (it comes in around $1 a serving). As I mentioned, I did SO much research because most pre-workouts are filled with sugar and additives, which I didn't want!
I LOVE my Vega pre-workout. It is sweetened with Stevia, which means no added sugar. It tastes kinda like an iced tea/Frutopia vibe but much better for you. It doesn't give me any jitters or energy crashes. Seriously, this is my #1 go-to.
It comes in two flavours: Acai Berry and Lemon Lime. Although the bottle looks small, it lasts SO long because the serving scoop is so small. If you compare it to the "regular one", the bigger bottle has the exact same ingredients, and then is filled with sugar (my mind was blown when I saw it in person). I've had my bottle since December (I didn't start taking it often until recently) and I still have at least 5 or 10 servings left!
Pro Tip: If you want to make the bottle last even longer, don't use a full scoop every time. Some days, I use 1/2 scoop instead (50mg of caffeine), depending on how much energy I think I need/how tired I am/what time of day it is.
Whether you take pre-workout not not, go workout!!!
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