Axis Labs - Official Athletic Blog - Performance Driven Nutrition

Athletic Majority — pre workout energy supplements

Are You Using Your Pre-Workout Effectively?

Are You Using Your Pre-Workout Effectively?

There comes a point in every fitness enthusiast's life when they sit back and ponder, "Should I be using a pre-workout?" More often than not, the answer is usually, "yes" and they invariably begin to use a pre-workout, or at least try it. But committing to using a pre-workout supplement doesn’t mean you’re always using it well.

Getting The Most Out of Your Pre-Workout Supplements

There’s more to these supplements than simply slamming a bottle full of it back before your next set of reps. Seeing as we are a leading provider of high-quality sports nutrition products, we thought it important to explore some of the ways you might be using your pre-workout supplements incorrectly and then offer up some tips for using them the right way. Let’s take a look at these popular supplements.

Just What Is a Pre-Workout?

One of the first places that athletes, bodybuilders, and fitness fanatics stumble is understanding what a pre-workout is and what it does for them. By having a better understanding of what they are, you can use them more effectively.

In simple terms, pre-workout supplements are formulated to increase your ability to perform at the gym. By using a unique balance of ingredients, vitamins, and minerals, pre-workouts are designed to help you boost your strength, and build more muscle. The result is that you can work out longer and harder, leading to greater gains at the end of each session.

Should Everyone Use a Pre-Workout?

Traditionally, pre-workout supplements have been secluded to the realm of "elite" athletes and bodybuilders, but really anyone could benefit from using a pre-workout. If you’re interested in improving your level of fitness, whether you’re brand new to the gym or a seasoned regular, a pre-workout can help them reach their fitness goals faster.

The Benefits of a Pre-Workout

We’ve already covered a lot of these in a previous blog, but for those who might have missed it, here’s a fast recap:

  • You’ll feel more energetic and alert. That’s because pre-workout supplements like our HAILSTORM make use of ingredients like creatine, which increased the amount of stored energy in your muscles.
  • You’ll work out longer and harder. That’s in part because of other ingredients like Nitrates and Beta-Alanine which improve your blood flow and limits the accumulation of lactic acid on your muscles.
  • You’ll see greater gains. With the right combination of Branch-Chained Amino Acids, your body can recover more quickly from your exercises, ensuring you maintain the muscle mass you built.

But Are You Using It Properly?

Once you’ve decided that a pre-workout is a good fit for your exercise needs, the next step is to examine how you’re using it. We’ve found that many gym-goers simply take a supplement because they’ve heard it works. There’s a ton of ways you can misuse a pre-workout, limiting their effectiveness, and even hindering your ability to exercise properly. Here are some common mistakes you should avoid and how you can fix them.

First Mistake: You’re Taking it at the Wrong Time

The name "pre-workout" can be a little deceiving. We often see gym-goers throw back a whole shaker bottle of their supplements as they walk up to a weight bench and then start lifting. This isn’t the best way to use a pre-workout. That’s because you’ll start to feel the effects while you’re well into your second, third, or even third set of exercises, meaning you’re not getting the most out of your workout. Plus, many of the stimulants that are used in pre-workouts take three to six hours to leave your bloodstream, meaning that taking it right before your exercises could mean that you’re too jittery to relax and recover.

Some have the opposite problem where they take their supplements too early. In this case, you’ll find that you’ve just begun your exercise routine and you already feel worn out. This means that you don’t finish your sets because you lack the energy.

When Should You Take It?

Timing is critical when it comes to effectively using a pre-workout. That’s because these supplements typically need 30 minutes to an hour to fully active within your body. The combination of ingredients, minerals, and stimulants all interact with your body in different ways. By taking it 30 - 60 minutes prior to hitting the gym, you’ll feel the full effects by the time you start your first set of exercises.

Second Mistake: Your Pre-Workout Is Lacking

Nearly every sports nutrition brand and even a lot of other brands have their own pre-workout supplements. But not all of these supplements are made equally. In fact, a lot of them over promise and under deliver. You expect a lot from yourself while at the gym, so it’s not unreasonable for you to expect the same of your pre-workout.

What Should Your Ingredient List Look Like?

With so many supplements lacking proven ingredients, it’s critical that you scrutinize the details and ingredients of your pre-workouts. So, what are the "can’t miss" ingredients in your pre-workout?

  • Beta-Alanine: This ingredient helps you to build lean mass while shedding body fat. It also reduces muscle fatigue and increases your work capacity
  • Creatine: Supplementing with creatine has been shown to help with improving the size and strength of your muscles by increasing cell volumization and protein synthesis. This reduces the amount of time you need to recover.
  • Caffeine: A little caffeine can go a long way in motivating you to push through one more set or stay at the gym just a bit longer. It also offers enhanced focus and clarity, helping you to perform exercises properly.

Third Mistake: You’re Taking a Pre-Workout On an Empty Stomach

It’s not uncommon for some who take pre-workout supplements to look at the ingredients list and think that it’s a meal in and of itself. But taking a pre-workout on an empty stomach might actually have the opposite effect of what you’re looking for.

Seeing as supplements make use of stimulants, taking a pre-workout on an empty stomach is not unlike drinking a large coffee on an empty stomach. You’ll feel jittery, nervous, and agitated. This could interrupt your focus on your exercises, meaning you’re not effectively using your time at the gym. Not only that, if you’re hungry going into your workout, you might be tempted to overeat after you leave the gym, negating any of the results you worked so hard to develop.

So What Should You Eat With Your Pre-Workout?

This isn’t to say that you should wolf down a three-course meal before every trip to the gym, but it does mean that you should have a light meal or a snack around the same time you take your pre-workout supplement. If you’re worried about feeling bloated or stopped up, just avoid snacks and meals that are high in fiber. A simple meal can help you avoid the jitters and crash you might experience otherwise.

Fourth Mistake: You’re Taking Too Much

When it comes to sports supplements, there can be too much of a good thing. Your pre-workout has a suggested serving size for a reason. By taking too much, you can actually develop a tolerance to the supplements. That means you have to take more and more over time to get the same results. Not only is this an expensive habit to break, but it can also leave you feeling sick.

How Much Should You Take

Take the recommended serving and no more or less. Realistically, adding a little bit more, or cutting out a bit every now and then won’t undo the results, but you shouldn’t make it a habit. These serving sizes are formulated to offer you the best results possible. Some pre-workout supplements can be taken more often than others, but generally, you’ll only take one once every 24-hours.

Find Your New Standard Of Excellence With Supplements From Axis Labs

The right pre-workout supplement can make the difference between a simple trip to the gym and the productive workouts you’re looking for. At Axis Labs, we’ve designed a line of pre-workout supplements with your needs in mind. Made from lab- and gym-tested and proven ingredients, our products are some of the best available. Cut the jitters, find your focus, and crush your sets with products like Creatine Ethyl Ester, HemodrauliX and HAILSTORM. Try them today!

Getting The Most Out Of Your Workout With Creatine

Getting The Most Out Of Your Workout With Creatine

Getting strong, defined muscles takes more than just simply hitting the gym all day every day. Sure, you’ll see improvements, but if you want to see lasting, impressive gains, you’ll need a little help. For some, their minds might jump immediately to harmful substances like steroids. While these drugs can lead to dramatic results, they can also have a series of terrible side effects. By enhancing the nutrients and substances that naturally occur in your body, you can quickly achieve the jacked look you’re going for. To do this, you can start incorporating more creatine into your sports nutrition diet, thanks to the creatine-based pre-workout products from Axis Labs.3


What Is Creatine?

Creatine occurs naturally in the cells in your muscles. It is this substance that helps you produce the energy you need to push through a set of heavy lifting exercises, or intense exercises like sprinting. Most of the creatine in your body is stored in phosphocreatine and is largely found in your muscles, with only a small amount found in your brain, kidneys, and liver. You can improve the stores of creatine in your body through your diet by eating enough meat, you can also improve it by exercising frequently, and balancing your hormone levels, paying particular attention to hormones like testosterone.


By supplementing with creatine, you’re basically increasing the amount of phosphocreatine your body can store. Your body keeps this substance in your cells and uses it to produce an energizing molecule called ATP. When you need more energy during your next workout, you’ll want plenty of ATP, as your body uses it to fuel your muscles and workout harder.


How Does Creatine Work?

Creatine directly impacts the performance of your muscles, and having enough available to your muscles when you need it most can help you push through that extra set, and build the muscles you want. Creatine improves your workouts in a variety of ways:

  • Creatine can help you improve your total workout length, which helps build long-lasting muscles.
  • Creatine helps to repair and grow new muscle mass.
  • By increasing the amount of water content within the cells in your muscles, you might see larger, more defined muscles.
  • A reduction in muscle breakdown is linked to increased creatine levels, which then leads to an increase in muscle size and growth.

For these reasons and many more, creatine is a popular substance to include in supplement regimens and sports nutrition diets. There are two creatine supplements in particular that are popular with bodybuilders and gym rats alike. These are Creatine Monohydrate and Creatine Ethyl Ester.

Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine Monohydrate, or CM, is perhaps one of, if not the most effective supplements that you can use to enhance your performance. It is highly researched and has been used successfully to improve muscle strength, size, and appearance. Additionally, it has been proven to be incredibly safe, with no apparent side-effects even after short or long-term supplemental use.

The Benefits Of Creatine Monohydrate

Creatine can offer you a host of benefits that other supplements simply cannot. By using creatine, you’ll enjoy higher intensity workouts. Because creatine monohydrate is directly tied to how much ATP your body produces, you’ll enjoy greater muscular strength, enhanced performance from your muscles, your muscles will experience greater endurance, and you’ll be less likely to feel fatigued after a workout. As an added benefit, CM has also been linked to accelerated muscle recovery, ensuring that you can get back into the gym faster, and make your rest days more effective.

CEE

Creatine Ethyl Ester takes advantage of the immense power of creatine and makes it even more useful than CM by making it more readily absorbed into the bloodstream. CEE was specifically formulated to ensure that you can intake more creatine, more effective, which means you need to take less of the supplement to notice the same or even greater effects. It also means that the two common, but mild side effects attributed to CM, bloating, and dehydration, do not occur.

The Benefits Of Creatine Ethyl Ester

Much like CM, CEE is a powerful supplement that can benefit bodybuilders and exercise enthusiasts in a variety of ways. Essentially, because CEE is just an improved form of CM, the benefits of the two are shared. Athletes who include CEE in their pre-workout supplement regimen report seeing a leaner physique, improved muscle growth, increased strength, and increased power for high-intensity exercises or lifts. The key benefit to CEE is, of course, its increased absorption time.

How Are CEE And CM Different From Each Other?

CEE is just CM with an ester attached. Esters are created by combining carboxylic acid and alcohols together in a process known as esterification. Rather than absorbing the creatine through the stomach, which occurs when you take a CM supplement when you take a CEE supplement, you absorb the creatine through the small intestine, which allows it to be absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. Similarly, CEE is more stable than CM at lower PH levels, meaning it can survive the harsh conditions of the acids in your stomach. This makes CEE a more stable supplement. However, thanks to the micronized form of CM offered by Axis Labs, the surface areas of the molecules within the supplement are larger, which leads to increased absorption speeds.

Order Your Creatine Pre-Workout Supplements From Axis Labs

As a leading sports nutrition researcher, Axis Labs offers only the finest pre-workout supplements. Both our Creatine Monohydrate and Creatine Ethyl Ester supplements are a great addition to your current pre-workout supplement line up. Made from high-quality, pure ingredients, both of these supplements can enhance your workouts and leave you with a leaner, meaner, and more cut physique. You’ll recover faster, and sustain your gains longer. Order your Creatine Monohydrate and Creatine Ethyl Ester supplements today.

------------------------------

Cited Works:

Buford, T. W., Kreider, R. B., Stout, J. R., Greenwood, M., Campbell, B., Spano, M., … Antonio, J. (2007). International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: creatine supplementation and exercise. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 4, 6. http://doi.org/10.1186/1550-2783-4-6

Becque, M. D., Lochmann, J. D., & Melrose, D. R. (2000). Effects of oral creatine supplementation on muscular strength and body composition. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 32(3), 654-658. doi:10.1097/00005768-200003000-00016

Volek, J. S., Kraemer, W. J., Bush, J. A., Boetes, M., Incledon, T., Clark, K. L., & Lynch, J. M. (1997). Creatine Supplementation Enhances Muscular Performance During High-Intensity Resistance Exercise. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 97(7), 765-770. doi:10.1016/s0002-8223(97)00189-2

Cooke, M. B., Rybalka, E., Williams, A. D., Cribb, P. J., & Hayes, A. (2009). Creatine supplementation enhances muscle force recovery after eccentrically-induced muscle damage in healthy individuals. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 6(1), 13. doi:10.1186/1550-2783-6-13

Riesberg, L. A., Weed, S. A., McDonald, T. L., Eckerson, J. M., & Drescher, K. M. (2016). Beyond Muscles: The Untapped Potential of Creatine. International Immunopharmacology, 37, 31–42. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.intimp.2015.12.034