Pre-workout has been a hot topic of late! You’re either using it, or you’ve seen others around you using it.
Historically, pre-workout formulas have been quite aggressive/intense, in terms of ingredients incorporating stimulants that have since been banned from the Australian market. Oftentimes, you’ll see pre-workout formulas that exceed 50 ingredients… As far as I’m concerned, you really shouldn’t put something on an ingredient list this long into your body!
These days, as our knowledge in nutrition improves, the importance of getting back to basics in terms of what we consume has become a focus at large. Consequently, traditional pre-workout formulas are being superseded with much more minimalistic, targeted formulas with ingredients that are proven to be safe and effective in the literature, such as that of the Tue Pre.
Being holistic with choices in what we consume involves the use of all things that offer benefit to health and performance and don’t offer undue harm in the achievement of that.
The True Pre has just 11 ingredients, all of which offer great benefits without causing potential harm to your health.
Let’s take a closer look at the ingredients:
BCAA 4:1:1 (Japanese Leucine, Japanese Isoleucine, Japanese Valine) (25%)
Proteins are the building blocks of muscles, and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. When we exercise, muscle protein is broken down lowering BCAA levels. Ingesting them around training time (ideally at the start of a session) maximised performance and prolongs fatigue.
Citrulline Malate (25%)
An amino acid that’s thought to consume waste products such as ammonia and lactic acid produced by working muscles before they can produce fatigue.
Creatine Monohydrate (Creapure®) (10%)
Helps to increase performance in short, high intensity exercise by increasing the capacity of our phosphagen system. Read more about creatine here.
Beta Alanine (7%)
Responsible for a certain “tingle” you get when consumed, this non-essential amino acid acts as another “fatigue fighter”. Enhances muscular endurance by buffering acid in muscles. Moreover, it helps to maintain pH levels within the muscle, which when dropped, is a major contributor to muscle fatigue. It can aid lean-mass gain & has been shown to be an antioxidant and anti-aging compound.
Oftentimes, consuming beta-alanine may cause a tingling feeling called paresthesia. It is a harmless side effect.
Plays a key role in protein synthesis and thus muscular recovery. Over 61% of skeletal muscle is glutamine. Studies show that glutamine supplementation can minimise protein breakdown and improve protein metabolism.
Improves blood flow, facilitating the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to muscles. Interestingly, taurine is being heavily researched as an anti-diabetic compound partly due to its’ ability to control blood sugar while reducing some forms of insulin resistance. Additionally, it has been shown to oxidise fat in submaximal activity (chippers).
Betaine is considered to be a “methyl donor.” This means it aids in liver function, detoxification and cellular functioning within the body. It’s most crucial role is to help the body process fats.
An amino acid that acts as an anti-stress supplement. It appears to improve cognition during acute stressors, such as high intensity exercise.
Involved in energy metabolism and protection of the mitochondria. It is often referred to as a brain-booster as it increases alertness and mitochondrial capacity, whilst supporting neurons.
A powerful stimulant that can improve physical strength and endurance.
An extract obtained from black pepper fruits- used as a bioavailability enhancer improving absorption of nutrients by at least 30%.
Others: Natural Apple Flavour, Natural Coconut Flavour, Organic Stevia, Organic Thaumatin (sweetener in the same category as stevia): Team together to make the drink nice and palatable.
Of course, taking pre-workout is not critical and let me tell you, it’s not going to turn you into a regional level athlete. Supplements like this are a “nice to have”. If you do decide to give it a go, the True Pre is a great option, which I can totally vouch for.
Hoffman J, et al. Effect of creatine and beta-alanine supplementation on performance and endocrine responses in strength/power athletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. (2006)
Yoshizawa F. New therapeutic strategy for amino acid medicine: notable functions of branched chain amino acids as biological regulators. J Pharmacol Sci. (2012)
Tomlinson C, et al. Arginine synthesis from enteral glutamine in healthy adults in the fed state. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. (2011)
Guzun R, et al. Systems bioenergetics of creatine kinase networks: physiological roles of creatine and phosphocreatine in regulation of cardiac cell function. Amino Acids. (2011)
Lehmkuhl M, et al. The effects of 8 weeks of creatine monohydrate and glutamine supplementation on body composition and performance measures. J Strength Cond Res. (2003)
Moloney MA, et al. Two weeks taurine supplementation reverses endothelial dysfunction in young male type 1 diabetics. Diab Vasc Dis Res. (2010)
Kraemer WJ, Volek JS, Dunn-Lewis C. L-carnitine supplementation: influence upon physiological function. Curr Sports Med Rep. (2008)