Thursday, April 7, 2011

That Little Extra Boost

What is that in those plastic blender bottles? For the most part it is a protien/carb mix known as a recovery drink. (No, not the kind in the tallboys that they sell at the Dell.) It provides something that typical nature provided foods cannot. So what's the point? Well, to figure it out, let's talk about what is in the blender bottles that people take before the workout (incidentally, all of the following information was provided by Jim Murphy, owner of MaxMuscle Blossom Hill and consistent 7 AM'er that hates running.)
What kind of benefits might a Crossfitter get from supplement products known as "Pre-Workout Drinks"?

Those pink, green, orange or red liquids are called pre-workouts and usually begin their life as a powder. Let's start by very breifly and simply defining them. "Pre-Workout Drinks" are a combination of any or all of the following:

- Nitric Oxide-increases the flow of nutrient rich blood to the muscles.
- Creatine-produces explosiveness
- Stimulants-energy (caffeine, in most cases but there are some with high levels of B vitamins or exotics like geranium).
- Amino Acids-fuel and repair the muscle.
- Neuro-Transmitter Stimulators-make you more alert and focussed.

As you can imagine, each of these has the potential to help you intensify your workout. Whether it's an extra couple of reps for an AMRAP, a few extra pounds in your back squat, or seconds off your 500m row, you might benefit from adding it to your routine. In most cases, these "additives" are found in natural food supply, however, not in the same quantities or concentrations. Creatine (which can also help muscles grow) is found in red meat, but to get the same quantity as you'd get in a pre-workout drink, you would need to eat about 12 lbs of steak.

One final note is that while these products can help you power through a workout, get energy at the end of the day or build muscle a little faster (not Ronnie Coleman fast), they are not for everybody. For example, someone who is caffeine sensitive would not want one with caffeine. However, there are lots of them on the market, in various combinations, and there is probably one that could be right for you.

5, 2 minute rounds of
5 pwr cleans (135/95)
10 m shuttle runs
Rest 1 minute between rounds.

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