Pre-workout stimulants have their place, but be careful. They can leave you over-stimulated and under-recovered. Here’s why.
Pre-workout stimulants are the most poorly-used supplements in the world. I’m not against the occasional use of these products, like when you’re testing your max or competing, but be smart about it. The problem? People use stimulants to be able to train when they have no business training.
If you’re too tired to train, the workout is going to be a waste because you have no drive and no energy. The smart thing to do? Take the day off, then figure out why you’re too pooped to train. The likely causes:
- Not enough sleep
- Improper programming
- Not enough rest days
- Too much training stress
- Not enough food
Once you figure out what the problem is, you can fix it. This will not only help you train hard again, but it’ll keep things more effective in the future.
But if you take stimulants to give you fake energy to train instead of finding out what the issue is, you’re just digging a bigger hole. The stimulant doesn’t fix the lack of recovery. It temporarily masks it. The stress from that workout adds to the residual fatigue, making it even harder to recover in time for your next session. It can become a vicious cycle.
Also, stimulants themselves can contribute to systemic fatigue by over-stimulating the beta-adrenergic receptors, which can make them resistant to your own adrenaline. When that happens, your strength, power, endurance, and drive go down the drain.
Use stimulants wisely. more money to spend, but you have to pay it back with interest. Never let stimulants become a crutch for poor programming or nutrition.
Keep the pre-workout stimulant use to a minimal and instead look to nootropics like caffeine-free Brain Candy and Power Drive. Nootropics don’t get you hyper; they get you more focused, more motivated, and in a better mood. This helps with performance, but it doesn’t mask fatigue as stimulants do.