In the past few years, a new entrant in the class of dietary supplements called multi-ingredient pre-workout supplement (MIPS) has gained popularity. These supplements are meant to be taken before exercise and typically contain a combination of ingredients such as caffeine, creatine, beta-alanine, amino acids, and some nitric oxide agents. A blend of these is known to bring out a cumulative effect on acute exercise performance, while later on the successive training adaptations, as compared to a single ingredient in itself.
Who should take a pre-workout supplement?
The majority of people take pre-workout for improved performance or to simply feel energetic while working out sessions. Pre-workout supplements not only improves strength and endurance but also reduces fatigue during the training session.
Benefits of a Pre-Workout Supplement
- Pre-workout supplements contain essential amino acids like leucine, isoleucine & valine, which directly go into muscle protein synthesis and become immediately available in the muscle-building process.
- In addition to BCAAs, pre-workout supplements also possess citrulline. It is another amino acid that increases blood flow to the muscles and carries optimum nutrients to muscles as they undergo training stress.
- The most important ingredient in pre-workout supplements for enhancing strength is creatine.
- Nitrate in pre-workout supplements allows your body to carry more amino acids and other nutrients to your muscles.
- Caffeine provides alertness, the caffeine present in pre-workouts charges you up for motivation and endurance throughout the workout.
- Beta-alanine eliminates acid buildup in your body, specifically from your muscles.
- Sodium bicarbonate has been clinically proven to reduce acid accumulation in the muscle tissue.
Why use Steadfast Pre-Workout “PLAYSTEAD”?
Playstead is a specialised blend of 8 amino acids with beta-alanine, creatine monohydrate and caffeine, which supports increased muscle strength, alertness and endurance performance. The formulation has been developed in such a way that it provides you immense energy, alertness and sharp focus. It is prescribed to professional athletes and gym going people for consumption.
Ingredients of Playstead & Their Benefits
It is a non-essential amino acid that supports the balancing of lactic acid’s pH in the muscles to lower down fatigue levels and enhance endurance. An intense workout schedule leads to the production of lactic acid inside the body, if the same is present in excess amounts, it may adversely affect an athlete’s performance. Beta-alanine is utilised by our body to synthesise carnosine that acts as a buffer and reduces acidity while improving muscle contraction.
Leucine, Isoleucine and Valine are the three essential amino acids under BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids). BCAAs have been widely known to play a key role in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, preventing muscle wear & tear and improving glucose uptake in the body. BCAAs taken during exercise or pre-exercise not only prevents exercise-induced fatigue but also saves the muscle from breakdown.
This amino acid is mainly found in skeletal muscles and helps the body in converting fat into fuel. During intense workouts, the body’s energy needs tend to increase, then L-carnitine supplies fatty acids to mitochondria for oxidation. In this way, it boosts up the energy levels and aids in fat burning too. L-carnitine is effective in terms of preventing fat accumulation and improving metabolic health.
It helps sharpen focus and uplifts mood throughout the training session. It is an amino acid that our body utilises to produce muscle tissues, enzymes and proteins. It also acts as a precursor to neurotransmitters such as norepinephrine and dopamine.
- L-Citrulline Malate
It is an amino acid that has two components - Citrulline and Malate. Citrulline provides nitric oxide support that reduces fatigue and extends the exercise duration. While malate is a significant mediator in the TCA cycle for the metabolization of energy.
- L-Arginine HCl
It works as a muscle maximiser and fatigue reducer. L-Arginine is a precursor to nitric oxide (NO). Arginine enhances nitric oxide activity, which leads to improved blood flow, increased and consistent supply of oxygen and other nutrients to the muscles.
- L-Ornithine Monohydrochloride
This amino acid is also widely used to improve liver condition during hepatic encephalopathy, where it fights glutamine poisoning. Ornithine pairs up with glutamine in the body to form alpha-ketoglutarate, which is well known to promote wound healing, prevent infections, promote muscle growth and build stamina.
Caffeine promotes energy in a workout session & delays fatigue. It acts as a stimulant in our body which induces the secretion of a neurotransmitter known as Dopamine. Caffeine pumps up mental alertness and makes us more focused. It also reduces the feeling of exhaustion and enhances stamina.
- Creatine Monohydrate
It helps the muscles in producing energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity workouts. Having creatine as a supplement is very common among athletes and bodybuilders to achieve more muscle mass and increase strength. The amount of creatine monohydrate in PlayStead is considered safe to be used by athletes with healthy kidney functioning.
- Sodium Bicarbonate
Intense exercises may lead to the production and accumulation of lactic acid in our muscles, which may create an acidic environment affecting overall athletic performance, hence it needs to be neutralised. Sodium Bicarbonate thus acts as a great buffer. It lowers the feeling of fatigue and balances the pH of the body.
1. Harty, P.S., Zabriskie, H.A., Erickson, J.L. et al. Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 15, 41 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-018-0247-6
2. Fetters, K. Aleisha. (2020). What Are Pre-Workout Supplements—And Do You Need Them?. Self Magazine https://www.self.com/story/pre-workout-supplements
3. A Guide to Pre-workout Supplements: Benefits, Side Effects, and Risks (n.d.)NFS https://nfsports.com/blogs/supplements/pre-workout-benefits