Before We Start
So you want to learn more about pre-workouts?
Good for you. You came to the right place.
A lot of them are hard to come by in any other supplements, which makes them difficult to be recognized as good or bad. So it’s always good to have a page like this to handle on an unknown nutrient.
Fortunately, YourPreWorkout.com has produced a guide of the best possible ingredients that a PW can contain, to make them both safe and effective.
We believe you should treat your pre-workouts like your actual workouts: Heavily researched, and always looking for the best results.
How does a Pre-Workout Help Me?
A pre-workout has the ability to:
Elevate Energy Levels
High energy levels is one of the main reasons people take pre-workouts. Going into a gym session with bursting with energy is the best way to boost performance and set new personal records. This is usually achieved by the stimulants in the supplement.
Improve Muscle Strength and Endurance
This is a combination of different types of ingredients, and usually comes in the form of some kind of amino acid. They work in a number of ways be it raising muscle carnosine levels, or increasing the amount of water in them. But with an effective nutrient the result is the same. You get stronger, and can go for longer. The advantage of this is that you can push your body past usual sticking points, and breakthrough plateaus.
Again, this is largely performed by the of amino acids. Working with the body, these ingredients strive towards increasing the nitric oxide in the body. Nitric Oxide is crazy valuable for pumps and greatly increases the amount blood flow between muscle tissues.
This is very important to a workout. You want to keep focused and motivated to achieving your goals. Pre-Workouts sometimes use ingredients known as nootropics, they elevate the brain’s attention and allow you to perform at a higher cognitive level than usual. This allows you to avoid getting mentally fatigued, as well as physically.
Due to energy levels already being lifted in the body, many pre-workout manufacturers take the opportunity to increase the body’s metabolism as well. This speeding up of processes helps the body burn more calories and get more out the workout.
These are the main features that pre-workouts offer. Not all are in one pre-workout, they may vary with each product. Some may try and tackle every feature, while others may go after one in particular. From personal experience, I’ve found the products which do ‘everything’ to either be very expensive, under-dosed, or both. Another feature of pre-workouts (and supplements in general) to stay wary of are proprietary blends. We talk a bit about this on the homepage.
Best Proven Pre-Workout Ingredients
As our site grows we’ll continue to expand this section:
Muscle Strength and Endurance
Creatine (Effective dose 1 – 5g)
A rapid energy producing molecule for cellular function. Creatine is mostly found in meat, eggs and fish. It is an extremely potent tool for raising power output in athletes and increases water retention in the muscles. It is safe, healthy and cheap – and most importantly it works. Creatine’s most effective form is Monohydrate.
In this study creatine was shown to improve bench press in 22 young men over the course of 2 – 4 weeks by supplementing creatine.
A similar situation happened in this study with a group of boys with Duchenne’s Muscular Dydtrophy who supplemented creatine for 8 weeks. The result again was a noticeable improvement in power.
Beta-Alanine (Effective dose 2 – 5mg)
One of the main properties of carnosine – the buffer acid in muscles that increases explosive power in the first few minutes of exercising. It is most commonly found in animal proteins like beef and pork. Beta-Alanine is the modified version of the amino acid alanine – it can help with muscle endurance and strength gains. When supplementing Beta-Alanine, you may experience a tingling effect known as paresthesia – it is harmless, and a sign that effects are kicking in.
In this study Beta Alanine helped runners beat their previous 2k time trials over a matter of weeks.
Whereas in this study with College Football Players fatigue was reduced and workout volume for their bench presses showed significant improvement.
It helps for muscle stamina as well – in this study involving cyclists, the supplementing of Beta-Alanine was seen to dramatically improve performance while reducing fatigue.
Muscular Pump and Size
Citrulline Malate (Effective dose 5500 – 8000mg)
The precursor to L-Arginine. Watermelons in particular hold a lot of this amino acid. Citrulline Malate turns into this after being processed by the kidneys – the argument is: as the body has made the L-Arginine naturally, it is a more effective strain of the amino acid. However the drawback with Citrulline is the sheer amount of it required to administer an effective dose for a workout. It works in the same way after turning into L-Arginine and increases NO and blood flow throughout the body.
In this study Citrulline Malate was seen to reduce muscle soreness and increase indurance in weight lifters allowing more reps and set per workout.
Mental Focus and Concentration
L-Tyrosine (Effective dose 500 – 2000mg)
Another amino acid but this time for the mind and focus. It is found in high protein meats, but usually in small doses. L-Tyrosine is essential to the body and has been seen to be an anti-stress amino acid by it’s ability to produce noradrenaline and dopamine throughout the body. The anti-stress factor is what we’re interested here – L-Tyrosine is great for counteracting jitters that come from the intense energy boosts that come with pre-workouts.
In this study L-Tyrosine was seen to improve cognitive function and mood in military personnel – their heart rate and blood pressure were unaffected.
In another study, L-Tyrosine promoted wakefullness in a group of mixed individuals during sleep deprivation – there was no problem with their cognitive performance.
Alpha-GPC (Effective dose 300 – 600mg)
A cholinergic compound known for it’s cognitive promoting properties and is found usually in red meat and organ tissue. Not only does Alpha-GPC promote the mind, but it also promotes muscle – it has been known to increase focus to enhance power output in athletes. It is also linked to enhancing growth hormone in the body,
This study shows trained men supplementing Alpha-GPC to have made a 14% improved power output when on the supplement. It also made the men produce more exercise induced growth hormone.
Energy Levels and Fat Burning
Caffeine Anhydrous (Effective dose 100 – 200mg)
Probably the most renown stimulant in the world. Caffeine is in everything from our coffee to our chocolate. It is a very effective energy source and also burn fat when used at 200mg or above – although if you have a low tolerance to caffeine this is not advised. It has also been seen to improve power output, but only when used in 500mg doses or more.
In this study these men’s energy levels increased while on caffeine and were able to bench press more reps than their usual – it also greatly reduced fatigue.
While over in this study subjects found their had increased power while taking caffeine, even when being deprived of sleep.
Green Tea (Effective dose 200 – 500mg)
One of the strongest fat burners nature has to offer. Green Tea is not only an effective caffeinated herb, but also a nutrient that is rich in catechins. These catechins in the green tea are a fat burning miracle as they react with the body to help it release norepinephrine – the fat burning hormone. This increases the amount of overall fat burned, while giving the body a thermogenic aid and energy boost.
The Green Tea catechins in this study helped create a 1.2kg weight loss and waist size reduction in subjects on the most catechins over a period of 90 days.
In this more focused study, it was calculated that one cup of green tea causes approximately 5.7g of body fat to be burned.
Not all pre-workouts have these ingredients, you should always consult the nutrient profile on the back of any product you’re considering to make sure you’re getting the best for your workout.
We’ve compiled a list of the best pre-workouts on the market that will be uploaded to this site soon. Keep checking back with us and we’ll let you know when it’s up.