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When it comes to training, and in particular a hard workout, not every day is the same. Some days we are more energetic, and some days we are down and not feeling active enough to push ourselves through a tough workout.
Using a pre-workout before exercise bike cardio can be very beneficial in keeping your energy levels steady through the workout. Not only will you feel more active while starting with the exercise, but you’ll feel stronger and your muscles will have a greater time to fatigue.
But choosing the right pre workout with the right combination of ingredients can make all the difference in whether it’s helpful or not. Keep reading below and we’ll explain not only why you need to use a good pre workout before your cardio, but also recommend the best options in the market.
So what exactly is cardio?
Cardio is the term used to represent any activity that challenges and puts your cardiovascular system through stress, which are basically the heart and the blood carrying veins. By activating and stressing the cardiovascular system, your body jumps to a high fat burning and high glycogen consuming state. Because it increases the flow of blood as well as the intake of oxygen, which is an important ingredient in the process of burning fat. Hence, cardio workouts are recommended to be done at medium to high intensity.
What kind of activities can we refer to as cardio?
Enhanced endurance and stamina are the prime targets of cardiovascular exercises. Anything that puts the body system through enough stress to raise your heartbeat, flow of blood and oxygen can easily be classified as cardio.
Here below are some of the most popular activities that you would refer to as cardio:
- Intensity driven dancing
How does HIIT link up with Cardio?
HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training is a type of cardio where your focus is more intensity of the activity rather than the duration. Hence, you are required to go through several short but high bursts of intense activity to push your heart rate at peak, and create a high-fat burning and a high Human Growth Hormone (HGH) producing environment.
We’ll discuss the benefits of HIIT workout over regular cardio further below.
What are some of the benefits of Cardio?
Improved Fat Burning – The first and foremost benefit of cardio is burning of fat. Cardiovascular exercises are the best quick way of facilitating fat burning by creating a calorie deficit. This works even better when its coupled with a very healthy and diet conscious approach to food. A lower carbohydrate and more protein and fat based diet is recommended for losing that extra fat. While all exercises including weightlifting for strength are an easy means towards burning the excess fat in your body, cardio is meant to be the best activity when it comes to fat burning rate when compared with time consumed in the activity.
Body Fitness – Since cardio is targetting the flow of blood and oxygen in your body, and resulting in enhanced endurance and stamina. It helps strengthen your cardiovascular system and reducing the risk rate of heart diseases. The main benefits from cardio come in the shape of the improved and efficient functioning of the heart and lungs, which also help the brain function better, and hence the body as a whole.
Improved Health – Routine cardio can alleviate risks of many future health problems. Increased flow of blood and oxygen helps the detoxification process to function efficiently, while different parts of the body are constantly being supplied with fresher blood. Direct effects and improvements from cardio are noticed in the sugar levels of your blood, reduction in the blood cholesterol levels, improved functioning if the brain, improvements in the quality if the sleep cycle, improved metabolism, and protection against the various type of cancers.
Cardio greatly improves the quality of life as a whole, especially when done regularly and while also giving the body enough rest between sessions.
Performance in Sports – Sports, almost all of them rely on the strength of your stamina and endurance. If you got these right, then you can easily excel in any sport you want to undertake. Sports instructors are always focusing on training for cardio to improve performance in sports. Be it running, rowing, swimming, or any sport involving the use of intensive body motion. You can always achieve improvements in maintaining a healthy routine with cardio.
Better Quality of life – Various studies have shown the effects of regular cardiovascular activity on the improvement of overall quality of life. A well maintained routine with cardio helps with becoming disciplined in life and seeing improvements in setting targets and goals, improving levels of motivation for going after those goals, improvements in moods and self-confidence, and a positive outlook on life, which in turn helps with relationships.
What are the Benefits of HIIT type of cardio?
HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training maximizes the quality of all cardio based activities. It pushes the heart and blood flow to the maximum, which puts a direct strain on various activities in the body, which in turn push the metabolism an fat burning to the max as well. This greatly improves the results obtained from cardio activities while spending less time.
Should I Take Pre Workout before Running?
Since, running is just another cardiovascular activity. Taking a pre workout before running is definitely going to help. It will help boost energy levels and keep them steady through out the running activity and help you run farther and with improved intensity, specually when it comes to HIIT running or sprinting.
What are some of the recommended pre workouts before cardio?
Here below are some of the best pre workouts on the market.
C4 Pre Workout for Cardio
C4 Pre workout has become one of the most famous pre workout supplement for men before initiating any cardio activity. While its equally beneficial for women, and is fine for consumption before both cardio and strength training activities. The ingredients that make up C4 include; Caffeine, Creatine Nitrate, Vitamin C, Tyrosine, Synephrine, Arginine AKG and Beta Alanine. While the Cellucor C4 is also great in taste, and keeps you energetic through the workout process and keeps you from suffering any downtime due to dwindling energy levels after the workout.
Cardio Cuts Pre Workout GNC
Cardio Cuts pre workout GNC is another popular and good tasting pre workout supplement. It has some added ingredients which help you more than just the energetic rejuvenation. In particular, it has the Linoleic Acid and Medium chain Triglycerides which help with improving the burning of the fat. While the BCAAs (Branched Chain Amino Acids) work for repairing your muscles, through and after the workout is done. On top of that, the Beta Alanine helps you work out harder for a longer period of time.
This is one of the most recommended pre workout supplements by trainers and fitness enthusiasts.
How about a Pre Workout Meal before Cardio
There has been a lot of research on this subject. The newer studies into the intermittent fasting usually suggest to go for a workout without having eaten for a long period of time. This helps the fat cells in the muscles to be flushed out and converted to energy.
While, other studies will have you take a full or partial meal before going for any physical activity, to keep your energy levels intact, and to also help you workout longer.
Some form of energy boosting foods like Bananas are also recommended before a draining session.
But it all comes down to how your body reacts to workouts with or without food, and some times its fine to just depend on a pre workout supplement if you do need some thing in your stomach to go about an intense workout session, while for others a meal might also be required.
So if you happen to be with a body that needs a full meal before you can push it with a workout, then go for it, and if you happen to possess a body that can do fine without a meal, then there is nothing wrong with that.
The best thing you can do is to checkout your body type, and then see what kind of food routine is the most suitable for you.
As your body burns nutrients and calories during your sleep, so in the morning you need a bit of refreshment at first. According to Stew Smith, a former Navy SEAL, you should eat a carb-loaded snack as a pre workout on cardio days. Try to eat a single piece of fruit or a glass of juice too. You can also have an egg, a slice of cheese even some yogurt at your pre workout before cardio. Well, at night a slice of whole wheat bread, a piece of fruit or a small bowl of oatmeal is enough as a night meal for athletes.
While, some form of healthy nutrition, in particular a protein based nutrition is always recommended post workout if you didn’t opt for a pre workout supplement.