Taking food supplements when working out used to be considered infamous – people were not absolutely certain that they are not harmful, and cautionary tales were told regarding their effectiveness. However, supplements are not only completely safe, but also quite necessary if you want your dieting and training processes to be of the highest quality. When it comes to workout supplements, there are two kinds – the ones taken prior to the training session and the ones taken after it. What are the differences between them, what does each do and can they be mixed or interchanged?

pre and post workout supplements

The Basics

Food supplements are nutritional substances that provide your body with the ingredients it needs in order to achieve its full capacity. These necessary vitamins, minerals, fibers, acids and proteins can also be found in various foods, but we just cannot take a sufficient amount of them that way. That is why supplements are such an elegant solution.

There are various types of food supplements and, depending on what your end goal is, they can enhance different areas of your weight losing and/or training process. Each of them is aimed at a different area of the body and, therefore, burns fat, provides you with vitamins, elevates your mood or helps you at the gym.

Pre-Workout Supplements

Which ever supplement you are taking, it is important to know that it is safe, tested and productive. This is especially the case with pre-workout gym supplements because they are the ones that will affect your gym sessions and how you perform when training.

The main reason these supplements are taken is because they help your body get prepared for excessive physical work and all the challenges of the gym. By giving you more energy, providing additional strength and putting you in a good state of mind, pre-workout supplements are unavoidable if you want to reach results.

What they actually do is feed your system with helpful nutrients and ingredients – such as nitric oxide, agamate sulfate, caffeine, tyrosine, beta-alanine, creatine and others – that ensures the best use of your gym time. Being prepared is the key when working out and these supplements will surely get you pumped.

Post-Workout Supplements

With this type of supplements, you do not need to get hyped and additionally prepared – you have already finished your workout and your body is not in demand of more stimulants. On the contrary, once you have exited the gym, you will feel the need for cooling down and slowing your tempo. This is where post-workout supplements come into play: they help you recover from the hard training and make sure that all the work you have done is transformed into a palpable body mass.

After you leave the gym, your body goes through various processes and one of those is happening in your muscles. As your training session progresses, your muscle fibers get more and more attacked and are under a massive amount of pressure – especially if you are doing the exercises right. So, once you are finished, muscle protein breakdown occurs and, in order to prevent that from happening too much, supplements are introduced.

Some of the most popular post-workout supplements consist of whey, casein, proteins, amino acids and vitamins. These are often introduced via pills, powders and shakes that can reach all parts of your body.

The Differences

The biggest and most important difference between pre- and post-workout supplements is what they do – the former give you strength before the gym and the latter help you recover after it. Under no circumstances should they be mixed or switched because they target completely different areas of your system and can lead to serious problems if mistaken.