Pre workout supplements are products which have been designed to be consumed before periods of exercise or training to help support your fitness goals.
Generally though, most people would associate pre workouts with hitting the gym and lifting weights. That is certainly their most popular use – but what about taking a pre workout before a cardio session?
In this article, we’re going to take a detailed look at pre workout supplements and see whether they can be used to support your goals when taking part in cardio training.
There are lots of different pre workout supplements available on the market these days, and not all of them are suitable for your specific situation, so it’s always worth doing your own research.
We’re going to be breaking this article up into the following sections:
• What is a Pre Workout Supplement?
• What is Cardio Training?
• Should You Take A Pre Workout For Cardio?
• What are the Best Pre Workout Supplements?
• Anything Else To Consider?
• Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts
So, with the introductions out of the way, let’s start taking a look at whether you should take a pre workout for cardio training or not.
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What is a Pre Workout Supplement?
If you’re reading this article, then you probably already know the basics about pre workout supplements, but let’s run over them again quickly.
In case you didn’t know, pre workouts are supplements which are usually delivered in powder form that have been specifically formulated to be taken before periods of exercise.
We all know how important our time spent in the gym and exercising is – and pre workouts are designed to help you make sure that you can perform at your best and make the most of your workouts.
They usually contain a range of different ingredients, including vitamins, minerals and amino acids, that can help to support you through your training.
Most of the best pre workout supplements also contain some stimulants such as Caffeine, to help support your training goals.
Pre workout supplements usually come in a flavored powder, which has been designed to be mixed with water and consumed around 30 minutes before starting your training.
Most of the top products on the market have been formulated to produce their peak effects during your training session.
Some of the popular ingredients found in pre workout supplements include:
• B Vitamins
• Amino Acids
For example, a pre workout supplement may include Vitamins B6 and B12, because both of them contribute to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue, and normal energy release.
Caffeine is a well-known stimulant that you are probably already familiar with, and amino acids such as L-Theanine are often combined with it in the same supplement.
Creatine is commonly known as a post-workout supplement, but it is also often ingredient in smaller doses in pre workouts.
Pre workout supplements may also include important minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium.
Taurine, an ingredient in many commercially-available energy drinks, is also a common inclusion.
So to summarize, pre workout supplements are products that have been formulated to help you get the most out of your time spent in the gym and performing exercise.
They usually contain a range of commonly used ingredients which have been selected to help support you as you look to hit your training goals.
What is Cardio Training?
Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is a form of training which raises your heart rate and burns calories.
Put simply, Cardio is a type of “physical conditioning that exercises the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels”.
So, whenever you take part in a Cardio training session, you are giving your heart, lungs and blood vessels a good workout.
Generally speaking, Cardio training is associated with exercise that spans longer periods of time. This means that endurance and stamina are often associated with Cardio training.
That’s not always the case, however, For example, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is also considered by some to be a form of Cardio training, even though the time spent performing these exercises may be shorter than an average ‘cardio session’.
Cardio training is thought to have a number of benefits. The main one, of course, is helping to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system. Having a healthy heart and lungs is important for your overall health.
There are various different forms of Cardio exercise. They include, running, walking, swimming, cycling, rowing and circuit training. In the gym, you could use a treadmill, a stepper, a rowing machine or a cycling machine.
According to UK government guidelines, adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, this activity should add up to at least 150 minutes moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more.
One way to approach this is to do 30 minutes of exercise on at least five days a week.
You should bear in mind that activities such as walking could also contribute to your exercise goals. For example, walking, jogging and running burn around 100 calories per mile covered.
So, now that we’ve covered the basics about cardio exercise, it’s time to start taking a look at whether a pre workout for cardio is a good idea or not.
Should You Take A Pre Workout For Cardio?
So, the question now is whether you should take a pre workout supplement for cardio.
The simple answer to this question is that if you are looking to boost your training goals, then a pre workout before cardio could be a good idea.
Many of the top supplements on the market have been specifically formulated to help you step up your training and get the most out of your periods of exercise.
As we mentioned above, many of the leading pre workout supplements include things such as Vitamins B6 and B12, which both contribute to normal energy release. So these could help to support you during periods of exercise.
Caffeine is another of the most common pre workout ingredients. If you’re a coffee drinker, you’ll already know about its effects, and it can be quite useful before beginning a training session.
However, we always advise looking for a pre workout that uses a relatively small dose of Caffeine (150mg or less). That’s because consuming too much Caffeine can lead to unwanted side effects such as energy crashes later in the day or that familiar jittery-anxious feeling.
It’s especially important to keep tabs on your Caffeine intake if you’re already consuming it from other sources (say, from other supplements or tea and coffee).
Most of the pre workout supplements we recommend on the site contain 150mg or less of Caffeine.
If you’re just looking for the added boost of Caffeine before training, you could start by having a coffee 20-30 minutes before your exercise session and take things from there.
Some people are more sensitive to caffeine than others, so this is certainly something to bear in mind before taking any supplement that contains it.
The bottom line here is that pre workouts are designed to help support you during periods of exercise. That includes both Cardio and other forms of exercise such as Weight Training.
So taking a pre workout supplement for Cardio can help to support your training goals, as long as you choose the right product and use it sensibly.
What are the Best Pre Workout Supplements?
There are so many different types of pre workout supplements on sale these days that it can quickly become difficult to select the product that’s right for you.
Luckily for you, we’ve selected our pick of our top-five favorite pre workout supplements on the market at the moment and you can check out our dedicated guide by visiting the link below.
RELATED: The Best Pre Workout Supplements
As we mentioned above, there are various things we look for when selecting a good pre workout supplement. One of them is making sure that the product does not overdo it on the stimulants, which is why you’ll find that all of the products on our list contain 150mg-200mg of Caffeine or less per serving.
We’ve also been careful to only select products which do not use proprietary blends. This means that you’ll know the exact doses of every single one of the ingredients on the label, which is the way it should be.
We’ve also favored products which use important vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins B6 and B12, as well as thing such as Magnesium, Potassium and Calcium.
Anything Else To Consider?
As with all forms of exercise, you should speak to a certified medical professional before starting a cardio training routine, especially if you have an underlying medical condition.
Generally speaking, regular cardio exercise will be good for your health, but it’s always better to get a professional opinion if you are making any drastic lifestyle changed (for example, if you’ve not exercised recently).
We also advise that you do your own research into supplements before taking any new product for the first time.
Because people can respond differently to supplements and their ingredients, you should also speak to a certified medical professional before taking any new supplement for the first time.
As with all supplements, it’s important to make sure that you’ve got your diet and training regime on point first.
That’s why we always recommend ensuring that you’re training regularly and sticking to a good nutrition plan before thinking about taking any new supplement for the first time.
Wrapping Things Up – Our Final Thoughts
So, that brings us to the end of our look at whether you should take a pre workout for cardio.
We’ve walked you through the basics about pre workout supplements, their ingredients and what they are used for.
We’ve also covered the important things you need to know about Cardio training and its benefits for maintaining a healthy heart and lungs.
The bottom line is that you can take a pre workout for cardio if you are looking for a supplement to support your training goals.
Pre workout supplements have been specifically formulated to help support you through periods of exercise, so picking a product to use before cardio training may help you to hit your goals.
Remember that you can check out our updated guide to the leading pre workout supplements on the market right now by following the link shown below to our dedicated guide.