Question: Should my son use pre-workout drinks like N-O-Explode? He is in high school and asked me to get him some but I don't know anything about them. What about post-workout drinks? Are they any good?

Answer: Pre-workout formulas are advertised as supplements that heighten your awareness, intensify your training, provide a little protein and some carbs to prepare you to train with maximum intensity. The advertising sells the idea that the products are necessary to workout with enough intensity to promote growth. It's marketing not muscle. These things along with the energy drinks that are sold everywhere have no place in a high school athlete's gym bag. I have even spoken with 5th graders who start their day with an energy drink and a doughnut because they don't get enough rest and don't eat nutritious food. The old school idea of getting a balanced breakfast consisting of some protein, carbs and fats seems to have been replaced by the notion of caffeine and a sugar rush.

The preworkout drinks, do indeed, "jack you up" and seem to heighten your senses along with giving an aggressive nature necessary to be productive. However, this aggressive attitude when it comes in a bottle doesn't turn off when you leave the gym. It can last for hours and when this is mixed with the typical teenage attitude which often lacks emotional control, the combination can be difficult to deal with. We, on the other hand, teach young athletes how to recognize the triggers that occur early in the workout which heighten the senses to get you fully engaged mentally as well as physically. Once you realize how to turn it on, with practice, you are able to do it almost at will. This comes along with an aggressive attitude as well but this one dissipates when the workout is over and will usually leave you exhausted but satisfied.

Post workout drinks typically contain whey protein for rapid absorption to feed the muscles and maltodextrose or some other type of sugar to replace the carbs that have been used up during training. The usual amount of protein they contain varies between 35 to 50 grams and they deliver 100 grams of carbs usually. The protein is rapidly absorbed since it is already in a state that requires less enzyme reaction in your digestive system. It is best to consume these within 45 minutes of a workout and then have a meal within another hour or so the shakes don't fill you up for very long.

The energy drinks and preworkout formulas are not necessary and for some people less than desirable, however, the post workout formulas are good for replenishing the body after a hard workout.

God bless and keep training,

Author's Bio: 

Daryl Laws is a certified personal trainer and owner of Body Unlimited, Inc. in Burlington, NC. He feels knowledge is power and teaches the all his clients why water, (hydration), the 80/20 rule for healthy eating, weight training and cardio conditioning are the four necessary blocks for any successful training program. He teaches the impact of self-discipline, concentration, optimism and enjoyment are vital for success in sports and in all aspects of life.