Pre-workout For Running: Should You Be Using It?

Table of Contents

Pre-workout For Running: Should You Be Using It?

Table of Contents

As a runner, you have probably heard about the benefits of using pre-workout supplements, from increased stamina to greater focus and quicker recovery. 

All of this sounds very good. Who doesn’t want to perform at the top of their abilities? But what does the research say about pre-workout supplements? 

Are they worth all the hype? And the even bigger question is, are all pre-workout supplements safe to use? 

Choosing the right supplements can help you achieve your fitness goals while ensuring that your health stays intact. 

This article will discuss some of the pros and cons of using a pre-workout for running, as well as some scientific-backed research to help you make an informed decision. 

What Is Pre-Workout?

A pre-workout is a type of supplement designed to give you an energy boost when you start your run or exercise and boost athletic performance. It often comes in a powder, gel, or pill, with caffeine as its primary ingredient. 

You’ve seen it: the cartoon character takes a sip of the energy drink, develops wings, and can outrun, out-jump, and out-throw everyone else on the sporting field. 

Pre-workout supplements will give you an edge, resulting in better performance and endurance. However, some pre-workout supplements may bring about side effects. So, make sure you consider the pros and cons of the supplement you’re thinking of using. 

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Good for Runners?

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Well, yes. Pre-workout can be effective for some athletes and become an integral part of your training routine. 

If you’re a runner interested in trying a pre-workout supplement, starting with a simple one-ingredient product is best to use first… just to check if it agrees with your body.  

It’s also beneficial to start with a low dose (half or one-quarter of the lowest available dose) to lower the risk of dose-related side effects. [1] When starting supplementation, this approach is called “start low, go slow.”

Nevertheless, good pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that assist with recovering and maintaining a lean muscle mass. Most contain ingredients such as electrolytes and vitamins, while some contain added stimulants like caffeine.

Yet, some of the best pre-workout supplements contain ingredients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties – Here’s why:

Anti-Oxidant and Anti-Inflammatory – Why Important

Antioxidants help combat oxidative stress induced by intense exercise, reducing muscle damage and fatigue. 

By neutralizing harmful free radicals, antioxidants contribute to improved muscle function and recovery, allowing runners to push harder and recover faster during their runs. 

Additionally, anti-inflammatory properties aid in reducing exercise-induced inflammation, alleviating muscle soreness, and enhancing overall comfort during and after the run.

CarnoSport presents an ideal solution for runners seeking to enhance their pre-run preparation with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Its main ingredient, carnosine, serves as a powerful ally in combating oxidative stress and reducing inflammation, key factors that can impact performance and recovery. 

We’ll have a closer look at the benefits of using carnosine as a pre-workout supplement later on in the article.

7 Health Benefits of Pre-Workouts for Runners

Pre-workout ingredients and their quantities differ. Still, they usually contain a mix of ingredients that studies showed may improve focus and energy. 

Here are some of the well-known benefits of pre-workouts for runners:

1. Higher Intensity

Pre-workouts have ingredients that can optimize performance and help runners train more intensely.

For instance, those that contain L-citrulline malate improve blood flow and reduce the sensation of fatigue. [2]

Another ingredient in a pre-workout supplement that is beneficial for runners is creatine, which improves energy production in cells. Creatine works by increasing the store of phosphocreatine, the main building block of Adenosine triphosphate (the fuel for muscle contraction).

In theory, increasing ATP storage may lead to better running efficiency, especially for high-intensity sprint workouts. 

A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has confirmed this theory. It showed that the higher a person’s creatine levels, the more energy muscle cells produce during high-intensity training. As a result, it improved performance. 

2. Greater Focus

Running, especially long distances, is a physical and mental stress test. As such, keeping your brain engaged is an important aspect of being a successful long-distance runner, especially when fatigue begins to kick in. 

Taking a pre-workout supplement may help with mental alertness and focus, especially those that contain optimal doses of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that can improve mental focus, endurance, and energy levels, making it a staple in many pre-workouts.

3. Improved Running Efficiency

Most runners want to gain the ability to run faster using less energy. They must also train for speed via tempo, intervals, and other workouts to boost performance and their overall fitness. Fortunately, that’s what the makers of pre-workout supplements promise: improved maximal power output.

Caffeine has likewise been shown to improve the ability to burn fat and use it later as a fuel source. It also improves neuromuscular coordination, which is how fast your brain sends signals to the muscles to relax and contract.

Improved neuromuscular coordination also enables your leg muscles to function more forcefully and quicker, meaning a more efficient run.

4. Reduce Muscle Fatigue and Soreness

Pre-workouts with beta-alanine have postponed or reduced fatigue while improving recovery time in sprinters. [3]

Another ingredient common in pre-workouts is nitric oxide, which relaxes the blood vessels to increase blood flow in the body. This ingredient also promises to boost endurance and strength and reduce muscle fatigue. [4]

The same goes for pre-workouts that contain branched-chain amino acids. BCAAs, on their own, are a well-known supplement category. A dose can kickstart protein synthesis. As a result, it leads to better cellular energy during your run, lessened fatigue, and better hydration.

5. Improved Mood

Running already increases endorphins, which are the hormones that produce feelings of happiness and pleasure. That’s why popular culture called the chemical “runner’s high.”

Taking a pre-workout supplement before an intense exercise or run can make you feel happier and improve your mood. And this, in turn, can lead to a successful and determined training session.

6. Increased Stamina

In running, especially marathons, having stamina allows you to keep up physically and mentally. After all, it is a sport that needs to be sustained for long periods and requires endurance.

Additionally, pre-workouts increase the blood flow in the body, which delivers nutrients and oxygen to the muscles while you run or exercise. As a result, it increases your stamina.

7. Easier Recovery

Ingredients in the best pre-workout supplements help minimize downtime and support your body through recovery. When you exercise and put stress on your muscles, they begin to break apart.

However, a good supply of amino acids can help your body repair cells and remove waste. These include creatine or beta-alanine, which help you heal faster and bounce back sooner.

5 Downsides of Pre-Workouts for Runners

Source: Canva/Maridav

Pre-workouts are generally safe for healthy individuals. 

However, there are side effects that athletes will have to deal with if they decide to take something that isn’t completely natural, such as Carnosport. 

Here are some of the drawbacks to many of pre-workout supplements:

1. GI Distress

Some ingredients in the pre-workouts can cause cramping, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. These side effects can happen, especially if it contains too much caffeine or artificial sweeteners.

2. Jitteriness

For people sensitive to caffeine, pre-workouts for runners may make them anxious or jittery. Taking a pre-workout on an empty stomach also increases this risk as there’s no buffer between digestion and stimulants.

If you experience this side effect, try a smaller dose first and observe how your body reacts.

3. Increase in Blood Pressure

Consuming high amounts of caffeine from pre-workouts may increase your blood pressure. Your normal daily caffeine intake from soda, coffee, and other sources can cause this as well. 

However, studies revealed that consuming caffeine in moderate quantities is not harmful to the body. [5] 

4. Changes in Blood Sugar

Pre-workout drink mixes that contain artificial sweeteners and additives may increase blood sugar levels. And consuming it in large amounts can also cause liver problems.

However, choosing a caffeine-free pre-workout for runners can prevent this. The best thing about caffeine-free pre-workout supplements is that you can consume them at any time of the day. Unlike caffeinated pre-workouts, they don’t disturb your body clock or cause sleeplessness.

5. Tingling Sensation

Another side effect of a pre-workout is that it induces a tingling sensation, likely caused by an ingredient called beta-alanine. [6] 

A study shows that such a side effect could happen when beta-alanine activates the G-protein receptors. These transmit signals to the central nervous system, including the skin. [7]

Additionally, the tingling sensation may be associated with gender (it occurs more frequently in females than males), body size (people weighing less than 165lb experienced stronger tingling sensation or itchiness), and ethnicity. But this phenomenon is generally harmless and not a cause for concern. 

Using CarnoSport as Your Pre Workout

Many runners grapple with muscle soreness and stiffness in the 24 to 48 hours following their runs or workout sessions, particularly when they ramp up intensity or mileage or if they’re new to running. 

This discomfort is often attributed to what’s colloquially termed “lactic acid buildup,” though it’s not precisely lactic acid causing fatigue and performance limitations. Rather, during intense exercise, muscles generate acid in the form of hydrogen ions when oxygen levels are insufficient (such as when you’re breathless). 

This acid accumulation impedes running speed and overall performance.

Carno Sport stands out from conventional pre-workout supplements due to its unique composition and benefits. Unlike other supplements laden with high-caffeine ingredients that may induce jitteriness or other side effects, Carno Sport offers a blend of exceptional anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and antioxidant properties. 

Specifically formulated to address the needs of runners and athletes, Carno Sport’s innovative gel formulation buffers the accumulation of acid in muscles, promoting improved muscle function, balance, and readiness for vigorous exercise. 

By incorporating Carno Sport into their pre-run regimen, runners can mitigate the effects of acid buildup, enhance muscle performance, and optimize their training sessions with confidence, free from the concern of unwanted side effects.

Final Verdict: Should You Take Pre-Workout Supplements Before Running?

In conclusion, if you’re considering adding a pre-workout supplement to your routine, Carno Sport emerges as an exceptional choice, boasting zero side effects and a wide variety of benefits to amplify your athletic performance. 

Whether you’re seeking an extra energy boost or aiming to optimize your workouts with improved muscle function and recovery, Carno Sport delivers on all fronts. However, it’s essential to assess various factors that may influence your running experience, including nutrition, hydration, sleep quality, stress management, and post-exercise recovery. 

By incorporating Carno Sport alongside nutritious food choices, you can elevate your sports nutrition regimen, achieve your optimal body weight, and unlock your full potential on the track or trail.