What is the Best Stimulant-free Pre-Workout? – 2017 Review Update
The market for pre-workout supplements has been saturated with products that contain stimulants and caffeine. While such ingredients may provide us with the boost during a workout, not all people wants or needs this artificial boost.
There are many high quality stimulant-free pre-workout supplement options available for you.
With all the different options out there, it is important that you choose your supplement carefully and wisely.
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Why Should You Opt for Stimulant-free Supplements?
The main purpose of adding stimulants like caffeine in a pre-workout supplement is to give you an energy boost. The typical dose of caffeine included in most pre-workout supplements is often equivalent to one or two cups of coffee.
Comparison Between the Best Pre-Workout Supplements
While high energy during a workout is a good thing, stimulants are not always the best way to achieve this.
So, why should you opt for stimulant-free pre-workout supplements?
1. Stimulants may Increase Blood Pressure
One of the reasons why stimulant containing supplements should be avoided is that stimulants like coffee are not safe for those people who have high blood pressure.
In fact, stimulants function through vasoconstriction. This means that it can tighten the blood vessels, resulting in an increase in blood pressure due to the difficulty in pumping blood throughout the body.
For those people who already have high blood pressure, taking stimulant-containing supplements can be dangerous.
Also, if you have a pre-existing health condition or that you are currently taking prescription medications, it is best to consult your health care provider if you are thinking of taking any supplement as the ingredients of the supplement may interfere with your medications or can worsen your current health condition.
2. Interfere with Your Sleep-Wake Cycle
Another reason why you should avoid stimulant-containing supplements is that stimulants like caffeine can interfere with your sleep. If you take supplements with caffeine late in the afternoon when you work out, you may not be able to sleep well at night.
After taking stimulants like caffeine, your central nervous system can remain alerted for an average of five hours.
3. Occurrence of Possible Side Effects
Stimulants can have adverse effects like anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain. Some who take supplements with stimulants can experience these side effects.
In such cases, the benefit of stimulants does not outweigh the side effects.
4. Can be Addicting
Most stimulants including caffeine promote not only physical boost but also mental boost. Stimulant increases the dopamine levels in the brain, which is a neurotransmitter that is closely associated with feelings of pleasure.
You will probably feel a little high while you are on stimulants. However, the crash after the effects wear off will often leave you craving for more. In fact, some people who have become addicted to stimulants often experience depression and anxiety as they come off and stop taking it.
What Ingredients Should You Look for Instead?
There are other ingredients that can substitute for stimulants in pre-workout supplements. Stimulant-free supplements do work well in providing you with the boost as well as the energy that you need for your workouts.
The most common substitute for stimulants in pre-workout supplements is amino acids. There are different kinds of amino acids and each of them offers a wide array of benefits.
The right amino acid will not only improve endurance but also give you more power in fast tracking muscle repair and recovery in every workout session.
Here is a list of the most common amino acids that can substitute stimulants in pre-workout supplements.
This nitrous acid is one of the well-researched ingredients of workout supplement in the market. In fact, creatine is known to stimulate muscle growth and increase strength during workouts.
According to studies, taking creatine supplements can greatly improve athletic performance. In addition, it has numerous long-term benefits including less fat mass, more muscle mass and greater strength.
This supplement ingredient is also referred to as L-citrulline. This is an amino acid that helps the body produce more nitric oxide, which is a vasodilator that helps the body improve blood circulation.
With this amino acid, the blood vessels widen, allowing greater blood flow to the exercising muscles. With improved blood flow, more oxygen and nutrients are delivered to the muscle, resulting in an improved performance.
This supplement is often combined with L-malate and often noted as citrulline malate. Malate is malic acid and this amino acid helps boost your energy levels.
Citrulline malate does not only improve performance but also reduces muscle soreness, which is perfect for those who are new to working out.
Beta-alanine is an amino acid that is naturally produced in the liver. Despite being referred to as a non-essential amino acid as it is not necessary for people to consume it, this amino acid provides additional benefits.
When you consume beta-alanine, this amino acid goes to the muscle fibers. It binds with histidine to form carnosine, which is responsible for maintaining the normal blood pH. This amino acid acts as a buffer between the hydrogen ions in the body to promote less acid build up.
Maintaining the right pH level especially in your blood is essential, as too much acid can result in muscle fatigue. During workouts, the body naturally produces more acid, resulting in feelings of being worn out. Beta-alanine can help reduce such effects.
BCAAs or branched chain amino acids are also essential ingredients in supplements, as they are known as workout boosters.
The primary BCAAs include L-valine, L-isoleucine, and L-leucine. Leucine is considered the most beneficial BCAA. For such reason, many pre-workout supplements are equipped with this amino acid.
The effects of BCAAs include greater muscle strength, improved fat loss, and more lean muscle gains.