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If you are starting or thinking about starting a training program you have probably started to plan out your nutrition or how you can eat more healthier. One of the hardest parts of nutrition to get right is what to eat just before or after an intense training session because eating a heavy meal before exercise is not always appetizing. So nutrition companies have seen this gap in the market and filled it with products called pre-exercise and recovery drinks or shakes. They are for use just before or straight after a workout to get you the adequate nutrition that you need.
Pre Exercise Drinks
So what is a pre drink and why should you use it? These types of drinks are usually combined with water to give a juice or water-based fruit drink to make them more palatable. This will also help with hydration leading up to the exercise. The biggest benefit to using a pre-workout drink is that you don't have to plan ahead as much as if you were eating a full meal. These drinks are designed to be drank just minutes before a workout so no more do you have to sit and work out exactly the time you intend to hit the gym to make sure you eat and digest the food for energy. Also it gives you the freedom to change your plans - so if you get caught up and work and need to train an hour later there is no problem.
However it is important to remember that you shouldn't rely purely on pre-workout drinks to fuel the body they are an added nutritional supplement to help boost you into feeling motivated and ready for an intense training session. This being said the main ingredient is caffeine. Caffeine has been shown to exert positive effects for both endurance and strength activity, there is a whole heap of research that has been conducted on the benefits of caffeine on exercise but the baseline is that it will improve activity during a session. It has also been shown to delay fatigue meaning you can train for longer.
The amount varies from product to product but usually it is in the region of 60-150g of caffeine per drink. Research does suggest that pre-workout drinks increase the amount of repetitions you can complete and that the force exerted during a session was significantly higher. But as mentioned before make sure to check the caffeine levels and not simply rely on these supplements to take you through a workout.