Pre-workout supplements for cardio training
August 3, 2022
We’ve all been there. You’re 10 minutes into your cardio workout, and your muscles still feel tight, your energy is low, and the motivation is lacking. The sofa is calling, and you’re just not feeling it.
Sometimes just a little kick of energy before your workout is all you need to get a workout going. Pre-workouts for cardio can really help you get to your cardio performance goals, depending of course, on the type of cardio you’re doing.
There are two types of cardio - aerobic and anaerobic.
Aerobic: Meaning ‘with oxygen’
Light to moderate styles of cardio exercise, like light jogging, walking, & outdoor cycling. The kind of refreshing exercise where you’re still able to focus on other things.
Anaerobic: Meaning 'without oxygen’
So essentially that hard hitting cardio that doesn’t give your body enough time to hit its physical targets without oxygen. HIIT cardio is intense, quick bursts of energy that quickly soars your heart rate to its almost peak. The kind of exercise that’s super intense and requires every second of mental determination! Think spin classes, sprints, a 15 minute fat burning video.
No type of cardio is more important than the other - implementing them both into your whole workout routine is really beneficial for our bodies and can do real wonders for mental health and wellbeing.
Get the blood flowing!
Cardio exercise is so good for our bodies. It gives us a boost of energy, really gets the blood going, and is essentially a spa treatment for our circulation.
But sometimes it’s difficult to really get into cardio - you might be an early morning gymer, and your muscles might get tired. Or you might try a workout after work, only to find that your muscles are feeling stiff and your energy levels are depleted after a long day.
Pre-workout can give us a cardio hit like no other! It takes longer for your muscles to feel tired, and can give you that quick hit of energy you need to begin your workout effectively.
Sometimes, when our muscles are a bit sleepy and we force ourselves into cardio, it can take a while for the body to warm itself up and properly respond. Even the best warm-ups can take a while to really get our energy levels up, but pre-workout can help reduce those feelings of fatigue.
Cardio pre-workouts are all about stimulating energy levels, giving quick bursts of energy, and helping to pump the muscles during an intense activity.
If you’ve never tried a pre-workout before, it might be worth trying some pre-workout supplements to enhance your cardio endurance, energy and performance. It might just be the thing that completely revolutionises your workout routine!
What exactly is a pre-workout?
Well, pre-workouts are a type of supplement that are designed to be taken around 45 minutes prior to a workout. Pre-workouts are endurance and energy boosting, and can help lengthen your time in the gym, increasing the level of muscular output.
Not a meal replacement
It’s important to note that pre-workouts are not a meal replacement, they are simply designed to help boost your energy levels during a workout. Taking a pre-workout in supplement form, is for people who have a varied, balanced diet and want a little bit of extra endurance. Think of pre-workout as your gym buddy who gives you that little extra push during your cardio workout.
Creatine Monohydrate is a form of amino acid that is often found in various forms of meat, but it can also be taken in supplement form as an addition to a healthy balanced diet.
It’s been shown that Creatine Monohydrate can improve and boost cardio performance by a whopping 15%, helping to gain both muscle and strength. Research has shown that creatine is a useful supplement for HIIT workouts in particular, as it helps the muscles recover faster from intense bursts of workout, as creatine enhances and encourages energy production within the cells.
We all know that drinking coffee makes us feel more alert and awake thanks to its caffeine content. But did you know that caffeine can also help improve energy levels during a cardio workout?
Caffeine can give us a solid boost of energy and promises stimulant effects - meaning it may reduce the fatigue we feel at the beginning of some cardio sessions. Consuming caffeine between 40 and 60 minutes prior to a workout is the recommended time for it to really kick in.
Coffee or supplements?
Well, in one bog standard cup of coffee, there’s about 40 mg of caffeine.
In a single 8oz cup of espresso coffee, there’s just under 100mg caffeine.
Instant coffee is generally about half of this.
MOBU’s caffeine supplements contain 200mg caffeine.
X2 8oz espresso based coffees = 1 tablet
X4 cups instant coffee = 1 tablet
Many people who take caffeine before a workout will prefer to ingest caffeine in tablet form, as tablets contain a concentrated amount of caffeine, as opposed to drinking 2-4 cups of coffee an hour before their workout!
When we sweat, we lose electrolytes. Our electrolyte tablets contain potassium, chloride, calcium, magnesium and sodium. If we lose electrolytes during exercise then, this begs the question - are electrolyte tablets a pre-workout or a post-workout?
Well, it actually depends on the kind of workout that you’re doing, and the type of sweater you are…yes, some people sweat out more salt than others.
But generally, it’s recommended that you take electrolyte tablets before a cardio workout if you’re doing long endurance exercise, like a long run or an uphill hike. Take into consideration the weather conditions too, if you’re doing some outdoor exercise - this can really impact the amount that you sweat out.
Don’t forget about carbs!
Consuming pre-workout supplements is great, but consuming them with carbs will give you a strong pre-workout fuel that makes you last even longer during your workout!
If you’re eating shortly before your workout, it’s recommended that you eat a low fat, high carb snack about an hour pre-workout. Try a carb based protein bar, some fresh fruit, or a small bowl of oatmeal.