Originally Answered: Best pre-workout supplement?
James seems to have experience in this matter.
He’s not taking “pre workouts” now so you can do like he did, go through the process of learning from your mistakes or take advantage of the mistakes of others to make the right decision right away by using their experience.
He’s probably also right about the “mental” effect. I call it the placebo effect…like when people get the same effect of meds while being in the control group and being given fake pills without being aware if they got the meds or the fake pills and just thinking that they got the meds, they get the meds effects, without taking the meds (It’s all in the mind and their brain/body is doing all the work).
You can even have the placebo effect while knowing that you’re not taking meds.
Like I don’t use pain killers, I use chocolate yellow M&M!
They look like pills and I like the color yellow.
I take two of those which I swallow whole (not sucking on them to get to the chocolate) like pills and I get the same effect as any analgesics out there.
After a while, I don’t get pain anymore, like my body is saying “are you kidding me? Like I did not notice you swallowed a chocolate M&M and not some aspirin or acetaminophen, so I’m giving up giving you pain for no reason”.
I don’t know why the body gives psychosomatic pain, maybe to remind you to get a medical checkup.
I had intestinal pain at some time, got a colonoscopy, was told that there was nothing wrong with me and the pain went away.
Sometimes, waking up with a headache is your body telling you that you should take a rest day from exercising. Once you consciously make that decision (just stretching, walking), your headache goes away immediately. Your body communicates with you through pain, pleasure, hunger, being cold or hot, nauseous, exhilarated…listen to it.
Pre-workout supplements, like any other food supplements (don’t get me started on diet pills and vitamins pills) are dangerous (keep your receipts so you might sue some company in 20 years when you need heart surgery or some organs transplants), and just an excuse to having the wrong diet or the wrong workout, or not enough rest, or all of the above.
Of course it’s much more time consuming to focus on your diet (all the grocery shopping, the cooking and eating healthy at the right time, the dish washing), your workout (how much weights, how many reps…which machines and equipment to use, what exercise to do, which intensity, THR zones…), resting enough between sessions (how long does it take you to get sore to heal stronger?) and getting enough sleep (THAT is time consuming), than to pop some pills or drink a glass of something.
Don’t believe what you hear, especially from people trying to sell you something.
Each time I read “I heard” in the D&F category, I’m thinking “oh! Gosh!”
I think you could benefit from James’ experience.
If you want mine…well, get away from the alluring idea of popping pills and focus on your diet/workout/rest.
Just eating a high carbs meal 2 hours prior a workout (both aerobics and anaerobics) and getting a high blood sugar level will make a HUGE difference and will provide you with an easy, efficient workout where you can progress each session.
You’ll get strength both with aerobics (walking/jogging, biking, swimming, any physical activity that puts you in your THR zone) and anaerobics (weight training). Your weight training will greatly improve your aerobics as you surely jog, bike and swim faster with more muscle mass in your legs/arms and a strong core (abs).
Your aerobics will improve your cardiovascular system (that’s where stamina/endurance come from). You will need patience but with the right diet/workout/rest, you can progress each session, for the same physical effort.
You can walk a mile in 20 minutes (3mph) on the first month and on the third month, you can walk/jog 4 miles in 40 minutes (6mph).
For the same physical effort (you never go above your Aerobic THR zone), you can quadruple your mileage (and calorie expenditure), doubling your speed and time and improving your endurance because you’re fitter.
You can improve 10% the first month, 5% the second month and 3% the first month (your percentages only go lower because your speed/time get higher but you progress at the same speed).
And you can do all that with no need for pre-workout supplements, just a good high carbs meal 2 hours prior and also a good high protein meal post-workout as you need extra protein to build up muscle mass (and don’t forget your dietary fats). Muscle fiber does not come out of thin air (or pre-workout supplements).
You could have the perfect workout and enough rest and not be able to build up muscle mass without extra protein.
You could have the perfect workout and diet and not be able to build up muscle mass because you did not get enough rest between sessions (you have to allow your body enough days to heal stronger) and enough sleep.
Originally Answered: Best pre-workout supplement?
What do you mean by legally? NCAA bans pretty much all pre workouts out there, so if you're on a college team don't even think about taking any of them. A common stimulant that causes athletes to pop on the drug test is 1,3 dymethylalaline <-- spelt something like that. But I'd say go with jack3d, it'll give you a burning, tingly feeling which I like but some people absolutely hate that feeling. If you're not a fan of that burning sensation (which is from the stimulant beta-alaline), try craze by Driven Sports.
Honestly though, I've been working out seriously for 9 months now, and I used to take pre workouts, but now I don't. And I honestly think most of the strength gains I thought I got from the pre-workout was just mental. You take a pre-workout supplement that tells you that you'll lift more and you'll just mentally be able to lift more weight. Pre-workouts are definitely not necessary in my opinion.