Sprinters Preworkout: Top 5 Ingredients for sprinters & speed athletes
Top 5 ingredients for a sprinters preworkout!
Problems with the Supplement Industry
Let's face it - there are a lot of preworkout options, none of which are specific to sprinting, and most of them seem to be quite similar in their formulation. One major problem with today's supplement world is the extensive use of proprietary formulas, which basically make it so that the consumer doesn't actually know how much of each ingredient is in the tub of powder they just bought for $49.99. For all you know, there could be 1g of BCAA's and 5g of silica in a "6000mg Patened Propietary Get Ripped and Huge Fast Blend."
To skip the BS, I tend to make my own pre-workout supplements. Sometimes I will blend some extra ingredients to a pre-made formula, my pre-workout of choice being Legion Pulse, but most of the time I just make my own blend from scratch. Why do I do this? Well, first of all I think I can formulate a better product for my goals than any supplement company out there. Second, I know exactly what I am putting in there, how much, and can play with the doses to find an optimal balance. If all you ever do is scoop and slam some pre-made pre-workout, you are missing out on a formula which could be more effective.
So let's get to it - my favorite pre-workout blend.
What is the goal of the my pre-workout?
I chose these ingredients for a couple reasons:
- Stimulate the nervous system for the session.
- Provide the neurotransmitter building blocks so caffeine can be more effective.
- Promote motor learning through the use of a choline source.
- Promote focus and prevent jitters from over-stimulation.
- Provide for the energy requirements of sprinting and weightlifting.
What is in my pre-workout?
Why is it in there?
The worlds most popular psychoactive compound. Caffeine is the safest way to stimulate the nervous system, allowing for you to feel pumped up a ready to sprint. Caffeine is particularly effective for those training early in the morning, or those who train at the end of a long day. Additionally, caffeine promotes fat burning, allowing for your conditioning and fat loss work to be more effective.
Caffeine has been proven to enhance athletic performance in small doses, and can be used with no side effects when daily consumption is kept below 400mg. Beyond that, caffeine is linked to reduced risk for Alzheimers and dementia, because of its role in prevent oxidation in the brain. Sounds good to me!
L-Theanine is a supplement I'd recommend for basically anyone with a pulse. L-Theanine is an amino acid that is generally not taken in through diet, but has some interesting effects when ingested in a concentrated amount. Theanine induces brain function in the alpha wave band, which promtes relaxtion without sedation. Ever been up at the starting line or at home plate and you feel like you can't focus? Time to hit some theanine. Get jitters from coffee? Hit some theanine.
Theanine also affects cued biasing of sensory perception, meaning that it helps you distinguish between sensory perception inputs. This would help make you more aware of your movements and help you work on your sprint technique.
Alpha-GPC is great for sprinters. Why? Well, not only is it proven to improve peak force and post-exercise Growth Hormone levels, improve lower body isometric strength values, promote cognition and learning, and prevent brain damage from radiation. You might want to throw it in your doomsday kit as well as your workout backpack.
The core of Alpha-GPC function is to increase acetylcholine levels in the brain, the primary neurotransmitter responsible for muscle contraction and cognition. By increasing the available choline in the brain and muscle, you can be more in-tune with your movements, be more forceful with your movements, and feel powerful for more of your session. I also believe there is an aspect of promoting motor learning, allowing you to improve your technique by putting your brain in a position to learn.
Creatine works by supplying energy for the ATP-CP energy system. ATP (adenosine triphosphate) gets broken down into ADP (adenosine diphosphate), which then borrows a phosphate from Creatine Phosphate to regenerate more ATP. ATP is the source of energy in all human cells, and the ATP-CP system is particularly important for short, explosive, high-force movements. By providing the resources for the ATP-CP system to function, you can have more effective sprint training and strength development workouts.
Last but not least is L-Tyrsoine. L-Tyrosine affects neurotransmitter systems by providing the building blocks for norepinephrine and dopamine, which regulate how you feel by affecting your alertness and mood. It also can help reduce the effects of chronic stress, thanks to its ability to act as substrate for the development of these neurotransmitters. I find that the stimulation from caffeine is more effective when paired with L-Tyrsoine, and it can be taken on its own for a stimulant-free energy boost.
Dosing your pre-workout for sprint training
Here is the dosing I suggest you start with:
- Buy Caffeine 200mg
- L-Theanine - 200mg
- Alpha-GPC - 600mg
- Creatine Monohydrate - 5g
- L-Tyrosine - 1000mg
If you buy everything as powders, then you can manipulate the dosages quite easily. Life is easier with a Powder Scale, but scoops will work as well. If you buy Caffeine Powder, be very certain of the dose you are pouring in. You'd have a pretty bad time if you threw in too much.
Mixing your pre-workout
Personally, I throw my preworkout in a tasty drink and down it, or I scoop it into my mouth with some water and take it like a shot of powder. For the less extreme approach, you can use a powder scale and a Capsule Filler Machine to make your own pre-workout capsules.
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