It’s no secret that for anyone looking to reach their workout goals, having a pre-workout that’s tailored to those goals is a must. With thousands of products on the market today, choosing the right product with the right ingredients can be a challenge. For those looking to take or create a pre-workout that’s catered to some popular muscle building needs, here are three of our must-have ingredient picks…
3 Ingredients You Should Include in Your Pre-Workout
BCAAs – Leucine, Isoleucine & Valine
Ignoring the fact that we’re counting three bullets as one here, BCAAs have become must-have ingredients for the 2016 pre-workout supplement. Recognized for their branched molecular structure, research has suggested that there’s a noteworthy link between this trio of amino acids and protein (i.e. muscle) synthesis. That same research has also suggested that BCAAs may play a role in preventing muscle fatigue in athletes.
While there are many BCAA products that contain all three aminos in combination, there are a number that rely on leucine alone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Leucine is currently the undisputed king of the bunch given the fact that it’s the only one that’s been shown to promote muscle synthesis on its own.
Accounting for nearly 61% of skeletal muscle, glutamine or l-glutamine is a key player in how our muscular system functions. Even though glutamine is a non-essential amino acid (meaning the body can produce it on its own), supplementing with glutamine has been linked to some interesting results.
Without going into all of the biochemistry involved, it’s been suggested that glutamine’s roles in our bodies’ glucose/glycogen (blood sugar) cycles, immune response, nitrogen transport/retention, and muscle synthesis may help set the body up to generate more muscle mass.
Even more interestingly, research has linked glutamine to leucine (who we mentioned earlier). As it turns out, glutamine levels in the blood have been linked to greater leucine concentrations in muscle fibers: greater leucine retention means greater potential for muscular gains.
Also referred to as L-carnitine, this particular amino acid has been recognized for a number of possible health benefits. But for bodybuilders and athletes, two of the most interesting things about carnitine include the fairly consistent body of research linking it to fat loss.
Carnitine administered before physical activity has also been linked to increased strength, which can then lead to more reps with heavier weights, helping those looking to pack on muscle mass reach their fitness goals.
Though they may be small, there’s no denying that amino acids are the undisputed building blocks of muscle. Incorporating amino acids into your pre-workout can be a great way to maximize your workout.