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Branched-chain amino acids, Citrulline malate, Creatine, Beta-alanine….oh my!

Pre-workout, what does it do? Should I take it? Is it safe?

BCAAs, Citrulline, Creatine, and Beta-Alanine are some of the most common ingredients found in pre-workouts. So unless you eat, sleep, and breathe the gym, or studied Exercise science in college you might not recognize the things. Let’s break it down. 

A BCAA is a chain of amino acids including leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Amino acids make up proteins in the body. Protein makes strong muscles. These three essential amino acids are a few of the ones that cannot be made in your body and must be obtained through your diet. 

Citrulline is another amino acid, but converts arginine in the kidneys to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide increases blood flow to the muscles while working out which is important for building muscles. 

Creatine is an amino acid that most people receive through eating seafood and red meat and can also be made by the liver, kidneys, and pancreas but not at the same level and dosage found in a preworkout. Creatine is stored in the muscles where it is used as energy. 

Beta-Alanine is, you guessed it, another amino acid. This one is also produced naturally in the body on a small level. It aids in the production of carnosine, which helps with muscle endurance in high-intensity exercises. It can also be found in certain meats, poultry, and fish. Beta-alanine in high doses can also cause a tingly or itchy feeling all over the body. 

In general terms here is what all of these have in common and what they can possibly do for you when taken before a workout:

  1. They are all amino acids. Amino acids aid in muscle production.
  2. Increase muscle growth
  3. Decrease muscle soreness
  4. Increase energy and power
  5. Prevent muscle wasting

All-in-all, pre-workouts when taken properly can enhance your fitness journey. If you are curious about which pre-workout might be right for you, stop by our front desk and ask one of us or your friendly neighborhood supplement store can also help you out!

*If you have any underlying health concerns please consult your physician before taking any supplements. 

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