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Although it may not be obvious, the human body thrives on exercise and workouts. Essentially, the body requires regular exercise to keep it healthy and in peak shape. Although some people still argue this, it’s been scientifically proven that pushing our body, when done the right way, keeps it active, healthy, and may even slow down aging. But despite all the many benefits that come from working out, many regular people ignore it completely. However, these people don’t skip workouts because they are lazy, no. Rather, they avoid the exercise because it can really be tasking and physically exhausting. As a result, they end up losing their motivation sooner or later than they anticipated.
For sportspeople, however, there isn’t much of a choice as regular workouts are needed to stay in shape and remain competitive. While it is true that most athletes, if not all of them, have grown accustomed to these grueling exercises, they sometimes lose motivation. Perhaps, a better way to put it would be that they occasionally experience burnouts or fatigue. At such times, they often seek artificial motivation or boosts from carefully created pre-workout supplements.
Pre-workout supplements are a blend of ingredients that are taken before a workout. These supplements contain vital nutrients and have been designed to provide immediate energy boosts once they are taken. One of the most popular supplements in sports and fitness workouts is C4 supplements.
Pre-workout supplements are not just for pro-athletes and sportspeople. Regular people that need energy boosts as we described above can also take these nutrient-rich products. They provide explosive energy and can keep you lifting weights in the gym longer than you normally would.
What Are C4 Supplements?
C4 supplements are products rich in key nutrients and have been designed to keep athletes and fitness enthusiasts energized for longer. They essentially contain five key nutrients or ingredients that have been proven to improve workouts and physical fitness exercises.
These nutrients include Vitamin B6, B12, Potassium, Sodium, and Magnesium. However, some other minerals may be added to improve the overall performance of the product. The B vitamins’ primary functions are to replenish lost nutrients during exercise and to help with energy metabolism. The minerals work as electrolytes aiding nutrient absorption, hydration, and helping to prevent muscle soreness. Click here to learn more about the benefits of B Vitamins.
Best Ingredients Contained in C4 Pre-workout Supplements
There are various types of pre-workout supplements and they all have different combinations of ingredients that are unique to each one of them. However, some of the best ingredients you can expect to find to find in top brands include:
Our muscles are made up of proteins, and amino acids are the foundation of proteins. Beta-alanine is amino acids that helps our muscles endure longer and tougher workouts. Our bodies produce beta-alanine, meaning they are nonessential amino acids. They can also be found in foods like chicken, fish, pork, and beef, which are packed with protein.
This amino acid acts as a precursor to carnosine, which buffers hydrogen ions within our muscle cells. This buffering creates a fatigue-fighting effect as the muscles can contract more efficiently and for a longer period.
In 2014, a review by the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism (IJSNEM) revealed some interesting discoveries about beta-alanine amino acids. According to the review, several studies found that the amino acid increases decreasing exhaustion and fatigue and may increase working capacity and power output. They also revealed that beta-alanine, overall, had a positive effect on body composition.
Among the many ingredients in C4 products, beta-alanine is one of the few that causes a physical feeling. It is usually a slight tingling sensation that could be at the fingertips, on the face, or on the lips. Don’t panic, this feeling is harmless and is seen as a way to know that the amino acid is working.
It’s been discovered that this amino acid may be better suited for physical activities that require large muscles to contract quickly. These activities include wrestling, running sprints, Olympic weightlifting, and high-intensity cycling.
Caffeine is very common among fitness enthusiasts, especially during morning routine exercises. Unlike standard coffee that contains between 80 to 100 mg of caffeine per serving, a C4 supplement can have anywhere between 135 and 350 mg.
According to a review by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, once the caffeine is ingested orally, the gastrointestinal tract absorbs 99% of it within forty-five minutes. Because of this, most of the research on the effect of caffeine on athletic performance has been focused on cycling and running.
Interestingly, in 2010, a study was carried out by the Journal of Sports Sciences to test the effect of caffeine on athletes. The study revealed that per kilogram of body mass, 3 mg of caffeine improved the cycling when compared to a placebo.
Another study revealed that experienced cyclists rode faster for sixty minutes at 75% peak power output under 950 Fahrenheit when compared with others that didn’t take the substance. Some other studies revealed improved focus, mental clarity, and reaction time. A combination of these three factors may also lead to improved tolerance for pain.
Arginine Alpha-Ketoglutarate improves the production of nitric oxide in the body. This essentially helps with pumps. It is also an amino acid, and it can be found in chicken, eggs, pork, nuts, and diary. In a complex reaction, arginine is converted into nitric acid in the body. It is also important in the urea cycle, a natural process in which ammonia is detoxified into urea. Arginine may also improve blood circulation; however, it hasn’t been proven that the relationship between nitric oxide and this amino acid can improve performance.
Creatine occurs naturally in bones and in certain foods. Athletes use it to build increase strength and improve lean muscle. Creatine nitrate on the other hand is a more advanced and soluble form that helps with pumps. NO3-T, the only legally licensed form of creatine is widely used in C4 supplements.
Supplements containing the trademarked NO3-T are of higher quality and there’s consistency in each dose that is consumed. This allows athletes to experience to the fullest, the performance boost and power that creatine nitrates offer. Like we mentioned earlier all these ingredients are present in many pre-workout supplements and one can easily find a full review of C4 sport supplements online
The Use of Supplements in Sports
For years, competitive sports have been organized under strict rules and regulations that govern athletes’ diet and nutrition. These laws were put in place when it became obvious that some athletes may be enhancing their performance through certain substances.
Over the years, many fitness-centered companies have been able to manufacture various supplements that help to improve the performance of athletes, howbeit, under the provided laws. They’ve been able to manufacture these products without the substances that have been blacklisted by the bodies governing competitive sports.
“Supplement” itself, is a general term used to describe amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and other substances that are taken orally to improve performance in athletes. They are basically additions to their already healthy diet. Supplements may also be referred to as ergogenic aids and are typically sold in different forms including capsules, tablets, bars, powders, liquids, and soft gels.
In 2016, the dietary supplement industry garnered an estimated $40 billion in sales and sports nutrition supplements accounted for nearly 14% of this figure. In fact, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institute of Health, pro athletes especially, are more likely to take dietary supplements compared to the general population.
Regulations and Standards
Generally, supplements are not considered drugs as they’ve been placed in a special food category. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has the power to review and investigate the claims of these products. However, the manufacturers of these products aren’t legally required to submit their products to the FDA for testing and approval.
As a result, only a few of these products are investigated meaning that several supplements may be performing below what they claim or worse, may even contain harmful substances and ingredients. That said, provided that their statements are true, manufacturers are permitted to make health claims about their product with FDA approval.
Scientific Classification of Supplements
Most of these products are marketed with claims of enhanced performance in athletes. While some have been found to be true, clinical research is ongoing and has uncovered numerous flaws in some of these products. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), based on clinical research has classified all sports performance products into:
- Apparently effective: Most research reveals the product is safe and effective
- Possibly effective: Initial studies reveal positive results, but more research must be carried out to confirm the product’s effectiveness.
- Too early to tell: The product’s theory and claims make sense but lack sufficient evidence to prove its safety and effectiveness.
- Apparently ineffective: Research proves that the product is unsafe and/or ineffective.
The ISSN maintains that the foundation of a good training regimen is a nutrient-dense diet that has a sound energy balance. If supplements are to be considered, only those that fall into the first category should be an option. It is recommended that athletes stay away from products that fall under categories three and four.
When it comes to supplements timing is a crucial factor that determines whether you’ll get the best out of the product. Take caffeine for instance. Caffeine typically takes between 15 and 45 minutes to become fully active in the bloodstream once it is ingested. What this means is that to get the best out of it, it should be taken forty-five minutes before the workout for optimal performance.
A general rule is to take your C4 pre-workout supplement 30 or 40 minutes before your session. This way the effect of the caffeine kicks in by the time you’re finishing up your warmups. Other ingredients like beta-alanine usually take a little more time before they begin to work.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s).
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