This is one of those ingredients you may see regularly in a sports nutrition supplement, particularly a pre- workout, but an ingredient you may not really pay too much attention to, or know too much about. Well, to clear this up, Cyanocobalamin is a man- made form of vitamin B12 which is useful for a number of reasons, chiefly because it is important in the metabolism of carbohydrate. The perks of this are that more carbohydrate is available to fuel training meaning you can train harder for longer, but also because the more carbs that are available, the less likely it is that your body will have to dip into your precious muscle protein for energy.
Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) is also thought to innovate nerves, this means your nerves may fire more readily during exercise and may contribute to concentration. So is Cyanocobalamin the most important ingredient in your pre- workout…no, but it is a useful ingredient that has a cumulative benefit to the overall efficacy of the supplement. So don’t be alarmed, this is not an extra E number (not that there’s anything particularly wrong with an E number) or anything like that, it’s simply a vitamin.
Another member of the B vitamin family, nicotinamide is defined as the amide of nicotinic acid AKA niacin and vitamin B3. So what is it with these B vitamins finding their way into our pre- workouts, well it is mainly because of their ability to enhance energy metabolism. Nicotinamide is needed to form a coenzyme (something that causes a reaction) called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD). NAD is what’s known as a key metabolite in an energy producing process that occurs within the mitochondria known as the citric acid cycle. So the addition of nicotinamide may help to promote energy production and stimulation when training.
Grapefruit Bioflavanoid Complex
This ‘complex’ sounds more complex than it actually is. This ingredient is derived from the Periwinkle herb which is thought to increase blood flow to the brain and improve mental productivity. When training it is useful to be able to focus and remain alert during the session, this can only have positive effects on the ‘mind muscle’ connection that is so important to developing muscle mass. So adding this to the array of other ingredients is thought to knit them together and improve the pre workout experience as a whole.
Yes, the main ingredients you should be looking for in a pre workout supplement are l- arginine, citrulline malate, agmatine, beta- alanine and creatine. These are the ‘money’ ingredients which are proven to aid blood flow, energy production and metabolism, support the buffering of waste product and increase muscle power endurance. However the most effective nutritional supplements consider all facets of optimising physical activity and training, and the more obscure, less recognisable names in a pre- workout supplement may be the ingredients that knit everything together.
Chromadex, (2015). Promoting Health at the Mitochondrial level. Retrieved 11th February, 2015, from https://chromadex.com/Ingredients/NIAGEN.html
Greenwood, M., Kalman, D, S. & Antonio, J. (2008). Nutritional Supplements in Sports and Exercise. NJ: Humana Press.