The Pre-Workout Crash Course Part 2 -Stimulants

Stimulants are a group of substances that boost energy levels, focus, concentration, and metabolism in general.

Some of them are illegal and deadly (like amphetamine, for example), others are consumed by over 70% of the adult population of the world on a daily basis—like caffeine. In any case, why is there a stimulant compound in almost any pre-workout blend that you will find?

Well, let’s face it: working out the right way isn’t for the weak of spirit. It requires discipline, determination, a boatload of motivation, and even a pinch of healthy aggression too. Stimulants can help you get psychologically and spiritually ”pumped up” to get more work done.

Speaking of physical effects, they have quite a few actions that are beneficial for the body as well, not only for the athlete’s spirit:

  • Stimulants increase heart rate and blood pressure, helping the body to deliver more blood to the muscles—and thus exercise harder
  • Stimulants boost the body’s metabolism and energy exchange processes. It’s winding yourself up from speed 1 to speed 3 or 4
  • Some stimulants (like caffeine) are ergogenic compounds, meaning they were scientifically confirmed to boost aspects physical performance like endurance and strength

Photo by Jose Chavez on Unsplash

What stimulants are most often included in pre-workout blends (PWBs)?

  • Caffeine is the most common and well-researched stimulant used in PWBs. Also, it has a fairly good safety profile, so it still remains one of the best options since PWBs were first introduced in the 80s.
  • L-tyrosine is an amino acid that the body uses to create messenger molecules and hormones, including dopamine, thyroid hormones, and adrenaline (epinephrine). Strictly speaking, tyrosine isn’t a direct stimulant but it will help your body produce more of its own stimulative compounds.
  • Yohimbine is a natural fat-burner and stimulant extracted from the Pausinystalia johimbe tree, native to the African continent. This compound works mainly by boosting your noradrenaline levels.
  • Synephrine is an alkaloid found in citruses. It’s synthesized from thyrosine, and has pretty much the same effects as adrenaline, just milder and longer-lasting

Do you need stimulants in your pre-workout?

Not really. Small to moderate doses of stimulants could provide you with a few extra benefits for your workout sessions, but they are a bit overrated in general. We will cover MUCH more important components coming up soon in the course.

To Be Continued…

-The Cost Plus Nutrition Team