By Dr. Shellie L. Rosen, PhD, DOM, L.Ac.
A new year often inspires working out. Movement is an essential aspect of health. Flushing the body with increased circulation, and massaging the organs, bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and fascia with movement is critical to wellness. Taking a supplement before working out may be beneficial motivation and assist recovery.
Exercise purists sometimes critique supplementing to inspire a workout, but they are often also the folks with lots of energy and the motivation to get themselves moving. For others, getting a little boost is better than staying stuck in place; taking a supplement before exercise might increase motivation, energy, stamina and help you recover more quickly after physical strain.
You may have noticed “pre-workout” supplements at your local vitamin shop. These products have grown in popularity and often contain stimulants, vasodilators, and nerve modulators. The intention behind most formulations is to provide the sensation of energy, better blood flow during a workout, muscular endurance, and increased cognitive focus.
Many people notice that pre-workout supplements benefit sexual performance as well. If you are looking for more endurance and blood flow in the bedroom (male and female), perhaps pre-workout ingredients can help.
Consider your aim when choosing a pre-workout supplement. Your needs for a gentle yoga class may differ from what your body needs to hike a steep trail or to lift weights. You may decide to tailor your pre-workout cocktail with individual supplements. If you prefer simplicity, try a pre-workout supplement drink or a powder that you add to water. Take the information below with you to sort through pre-workout supplements to determine what is best for you. Get ready to move your body this year! Abundant Blessings! Dr. Shellie L. Rosen, PhD, DOM, L.Ac.
Acetyl L-carnitine (an acetylated form of L-carnitine) helps mobilize fatty acids into energy and prevents muscle damage. Dose: 2 g per day.
Alpha GPC, or Alpha Glycerylphosphoryl Choline (A-GPC)
Alpha GPC, or alpha glycerylphosphoryl choline, provides a source of choline that enables GPC to cross the blood-brain barrier and benefits cognitive health and stamina, and muscle strength. Dose: 300-600 mg per day.
B-complex helps with metabolism and nutrient conversion, providing energy needed for exercise and muscle growth and repair. B3 (niacin) produces a stimulant feeling.
The amino acid betaine helps with an athletic performance by increasing creatine and nitric oxide levels in the blood. Dose: 2.5 g per day
The amino acid beta-alanine helps with muscular endurance, preventing fatigue. Dose: Less than 800 mg per day. (It may cause a bit of a tingling feeling.).
Branch chain amino acids (BCAA) (leucine, isoleucine, and valine)
These amino acids help with protein synthesis, increasing endurance. Dose: 3 gm leucine, 1 gm isoleucine, and 1 gm of valine per dose.
Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, helping motivate the urge to work out and increasing cognition (balance and stability) during a workout. Dose: Up to 200 mg per serving (no more than 400 mg). If you are sensitive to stimulants, consult your doctor.
Creatine helps with muscle contraction and recovery. This muscle fuel helps with load-bearing exercises such as weight-lifting. Dose: 3-5 g per day.
Glutamine is an amino acid that may help in muscle development and recovery. Dose: 5-10 g per day.
L-theanine augments caffeine for increased cognition and mental performance. Dose: 100 mg-200 mg per dose.
Nitric oxide pumps or boosters (L-citrulline (2-6g), L-arginine, beetroot, dietary nitrate)
Also referred to as N.O., nitric oxide helps increase blood flow. Oxygen delivery in the body
drives blood flow to muscles during exercise, and blood flow to and from muscles increases their ability to perform best. Dose: 6-8 g daily.
Taurine activates GABA receptors in the brain (along with caffeine), and helps with blood flow and performance. Dose: Up to 1,500 mg per day.