Your Guide To Pre-workout Supplements

If you know some gym buffs or if you frequently go to the gym, you might have heard of pre-workout supplements. These supplements are designed to be taken before you start your exercise regimen. Moreover, they typically come in the form of a powder or a liquid droplet added to your water before you start working out.

Getting To Know Pre-workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements tend to contain varying levels of amino acids (creatine, taurine, BCAAs, etc.), caffeine, B-vitamins, sugar, nitric oxide, and herbs such as guarana, electrolytes, or variations of any of these ingredients. Moreover, the quantity of these ingredients entirely depends on the brand. To know more about the best pre-workout supplement brands, you can check out

Although pre-workout supplements are marketed to boost your workout performance, the jury is still out on whether they actually possess any pre-workout benefits. According to the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, based on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling laws, specifically for pre-workout supplements, the labels tend to be misleading. 

Since all products are required to list all of the ingredients in descending order by weight, this does not automatically mean that a particular formula contains enough ingredients. One component infused in the pre-workout supplement might be over-represented. On the other hand, the other ingredients might be in quantities below the efficacy threshold.

It is vital to know that research suggests that pre-workout supplement ingredients are more effective if combined rather than separated. A combo of the ingredients such as amino acids, caffeine, B-vitamins, beta-alanine, and creatine has shown to be effective. However, it is quite challenging to determine how much of the mentioned ingredients are needed. This is because pre-workout supplement formulas are proprietary, which means pre-workout companies don’t have to disclose this information.

Do You Need Pre-workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplement skeptics believe that you should focus on your overall nutrition and rest. It will also help if you have a proper macronutrient balance of carbohydrates, protein, and fat instead of taking pre-workout supplements. Moreover, experts suggest that it would be best to avoid any supplements that contain a lot of caffeine and sugar since it could cause you to crash, especially if you are not used to taking these nutrients.

The natural and safe ingredients usually in pre-workout supplements can be obtained by eating real food. Whole foods that have the same ingredients in a pre-workout supplement include coffee, turkey, sandwiches with lean protein, eggs, yogurt, and cheese. However, if you have already decided to take pre-workout supplements, there is nothing wrong with it.

Common Ingredients Found In Pre-workout Supplements

The following are some of the ingredients pre-workout supplements contain:


Caffeine might be the primary ingredient that plays a huge role in the immediate effects of consuming a pre-workout supplement. This ingredient is known to improve endurance, cognition, performance, and power during an extreme workout. Furthermore, as recommended, the right dosage of caffeine you must consume is between 3-6 mg per kg of your body weight.

It is vital to note that a cup of coffee usually contains about 95 mg of caffeine. Hence, if you are not used to this level of caffeine, this might feel like a lot to you. Moreover, it would be best to consume what you can tolerate.


Most of the time, guarana is used to replace caffeine in pre-workout supplements. However, some also infuse guarana in addition to caffeine. Furthermore, this ingredient contains several stimulants like saponins, catechins, and tannins.

Pre-workout supplements that contain guarana also help reduce fatigue. This means you will have enough energy to work through your exercise. Moreover, it is recommended to take guarana supplements in about 50 mg to 75 mg doses.

Amino Acids

The common amino acids pre-workout supplements have are BCAAs and Taurine. However, other amino acids are incorporated in these supplements as well.

  • BCAAs

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are composed of three out of twenty amino acids. This includes leucine, valine, and isoleucine. They are found in the ingredients of pre-workout supplements to improve your muscle protein synthesis rates, reduce muscle damage during exercises, and reduce your protein breakdown.  

  • Taurine

Taurine is considered an amino sulfonic acid, which is a little different from an amino acid. This is because the body naturally produces it from other amino acids. Moreover, they are also naturally found in animal proteins. 

Taurine has been shown to decrease lactate accumulation and enhances your endurance. This means you will get less fatigue.

  • L-arginine

Under specific circumstances and physiological stress, L-arginine is an amino acid that is considered essential. When we say essential amino acids, they are a type of amino acid that people need in their diet to survive. Furthermore, L-arginine is believed to promote nitric acid production, increasing your blood flow.

  • L-citrulline

L-citrulline is also an amino acid. However, unlike L-arginine, this one is non-essential. This amino acid has been shown to improve your exercise performance and increase vasodilation when consumed in 6 to 8 grams per day regularly.

  • Creatine

Creatine is an amino acid that your body naturally produces. It is most likely found in animal protein sources. Moreover, creatine helps in improving your high-intensity exercise performance.

  • Beta-alanine

This amino acid is considered non-essential. If you take beta-alanine regularly for at least two weeks, you might notice some improvement in your high-intensity workout performance.

  • Nitrate

You can obtain nitrate through sodium nitrate and beet juice. If you consume this ingredient in 300 mg or higher, your performance and endurance will be enhanced.

  • Betaine

This ingredient is a derivative of the amino acid glycine. Betaine is believed to boost your workout performance by elevating your blood nitric oxide levels, increasing the rates of your creatine synthesis, and promoting thermal and fluid homeostasis (also known as your body’s equilibrium).


Research the best tasting pre-workout supplements that are good for your health. Pre-workout supplements can help you improve your workout performance. A lot of gym buffs and athletes can attest to its benefits. However, it is essential to know that the benefits brought about by taking pre-workout supplements can also be obtained through eating real foods.

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