An Overview on Pre Workout Supplements
If you’re looking to get the most out of your workout you want to make sure that you’re looking closely at pre-workout supplements. These are designed to help increase both your energy and your stamina so that you can perform even better when it comes time for your workout. We’re going to talk about some of the benefits and drawbacks of some of the most popular supplements as well as talk about what pre-workout supplements are really all about. By the time you’re done, you’re going to know a whole lot more about your workout routine.
Skip the review part. Take me to the world’s best pre-workout supplements.
What exactly are Pre Workout Supplements?
First, let’s look at what pre-workout supplements are. We’ve already said that they’re designed to increase energy and stamina. Overall, they’re considered a dietary formula that is typically found in powder form (though you can find them in pill forms and others). They can then be mixed with your water to create a drink that you take before you start your workout. This makes them relatively simple to take and makes them convenient for those who are looking to get the most out of their workout. But how do they actually do anything?
How do Pre Workout Supplements Work?
The reason these products work is because of the ingredients that they include. Now, the specific mix of ingredients and the quantities of them are going to depend on which product you actually decide to go with, but overall you’re going to find that certain ingredients seem to offer the best.
We’ll talk more about the specific ingredients that you should be looking at later, but know that the ingredients that are in them are what help to increase the effectiveness. Some ingredients are designed to increase your energy and some are designed to affect stamina.
These types of products may also have other touted benefits or features. Some might claim to reduce your hunger cravings or they may claim to increase actual performance as well.
Overall, it’s the specific blend of ingredients that’s used that will provide you with any of these, but they must be combined with a good diet and a workout (which we’ll talk more about later as well). Just taking a pre-workout supplement and giving a half-hearted workout (or no workout at all) is definitely not going to help you in the long run.
How to Choose a Pre Workout Supplement?
So, if you’re looking to take a pre-workout supplement what should you do? What should you actually be looking for? Well, there are several different things you want to consider before you choose this or any other kind of product. We’ll talk about different ingredients as well as talking to professionals, doing some research and more.
By the time we’re done with this section you’re going to have a much better understanding of just what you need to consider before you choose a pre-workout supplement. That way, when we get to our favorite products you’ll know how to choose yours.
These are the first things that you should be paying attention to. You want to find specific ingredients that are actually researched and proven to provide benefits to your athletic performance. These are ingredients that will help your body to perform at its best and will help you to increase not just energy and stamina but in other ways as well. We’ll talk about some of the most commonly used ingredients for pre-workout supplements here and then get into some of the other things you should be looking at.
- Beta-Alanine :
This ingredient is actually produced directly within the body, but adding more can help to mitigate muscle fatigue. It’s designed to control lactic acid, which is what causes you to feel that burning sensation in your muscles that generally makes you stop working out. With beta-alanine you get what’s called carnosine, which keeps the body from getting that buildup of lactic acid and allows you to keep going a little bit longer (or for at least a couple more sets).
- Caffeine :
Caffeine is pretty good at just about anything that requires you to have energy. It provides increased focus and alertness as well as helping to increase your reaction time as well. So, all-in-all, caffeine is going to provide you with a number of different benefits to getting you up and moving in the morning and ready to start that next workout. If you really have a hard time waking up and getting that motivation you’re likely going to want to look for a little bit of an extra caffeine boost in your pre-workout supplement
- Creatine :
Designed to increase your performance by helping to increase the energy you need to move your muscles, creatine is definitely an ingredient you want to pay closer attention to. It’s actually going to increase the production of adenosine triphosphate, which is produced naturally in your body and that increase in energy that it provides will then allow you to keep going a little bit faster and a little bit harder. Your body will continue to produce this ingredient and then will actually push it through the muscles and throughout the body to make sure that you’re getting the best workout you can.
- L-Citrulline :
This is actually an amino acid that works alongside other acids to create nitric oxide. That nitric oxide can help to improve blood flow, which makes it easier for you to get that workout really going. That’s because it’s going to help increase the transfer of oxygen throughout your body, keeping you from getting those cramps and allowing you to keep doing more reps. It’s also going to help transfer nutrients throughout the body and relax the blood vessels. But you’re going to need a series of nutrients and amino acids to get the most out of this.
- Branched Chain Amino Acids :
These might not be something you’ve heard of before but they’re a series of amino acids, L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine, that will help you to break down even more protein within the body while you’re working out. That’s going to help your body to keep going and it’s going to make sure that you can continue to get a healthy workout as well. Protein keeps you feeling full longer and gives you a whole lot more stamina and power. So, if you’re looking to keep your workout going these are a good way to get some help with that process.
2. Check Customer Feedback
Take a look at what people who have used this product have to say. Have they seen success? Have they seen side effects? You want to take a closer look at both what the actual manufacturer website says and what other websites are saying. Look for the positive and negative reviews.
Generally, you get people who will write a review if they absolutely loved something or if they absolutely hated it. That means the truth of the matter is going to be somewhere in between those 5 star reviews and the 1 star reviews.
3. Check the Reviews
Looking at these reviews will give you a better understanding of just what it is that people are seeing and you’ll be able to get the objective opinions rather than only looking at what the company is promising.
Even if you’re reading a lot of great reviews or a lot of negative reviews don’t use those as the sole basis for your decision. Make sure you keep looking to find at least a couple reviews that go the other way and then take a look at some of the feedback available from the professionals as well (of course you should have already looked at the ingredients).
4. Look at Pre-Workout Supplement Studies
Checking out studies, research and professional feedback for a product is also going to be a good idea. Keep in mind that research doesn’t just have to relate to the product as a whole. You should also be looking at the research and professional feedback related to individual ingredients. This will help you understand what you’re getting and it’s going to make it easier for you to decide which products are the best for you (based on the research that has been done).
Keep in mind that research exists for both sides of any issue, so look at the positive and the not as positive. Chances are you’ll find some research or information that claims to be research that has glowing information about products and ingredients. The real research is generally somewhat more moderate.
5. Where Does it Focus On
Finally, you want to pay attention to what the focus is actually on for that specific supplement. While most pre-workout supplements are going to help with energy, focus, stamina and endurance, they’re generally going to have one area where they really excel. From there, the other areas are going to have some benefits but not quite as strong.
So, what is it that you seem to be struggling with the most? If you could only get benefits in one area what would it be? That’s the one you want to pay close attention to when you’re choosing a supplement.
Now, if you really want an all-around product then you’ll still be able to find it. The difference is an all-around product isn’t going to offer as much in any one area. It’s going to give you a little bit in all areas. So, if that’s what you’re really looking for then great. There are several products out there that you can find to do this. Otherwise, you’re going to want to look at building up your strength, your endurance, your energy or your focus as the primary foundation of your exercise regimen and let the others be a lesser included piece of the puzzle.
Optimizing Your Results
When you’re working out hard it’s crucial that you do everything you can to optimize the results you’re getting. That means taking a closer look at things like your diet and your exercise routine itself. If you’re taking a pre-workout supplement you already know that you need to have a workout actually involved in there. But you need that workout to be optimized for really burning fat and building up muscle.
The exercise routine that you’re following should focus on strength building and muscle building. This means a lot of weight lifting and machines that are going to focus on specific muscles. Try to focus on specific areas at each time.
A move that works only one to two muscles in your arms is going to give you a better buildup of strength than one that works your arms and legs all at once. If you’re focusing on specific places you’re going to get a better increase in that strength faster.
You should be able to work on any exercise routine that you have, however, so if you’re working on something more intense that shouldn’t be a problem with these types of pre-workout supplements. If you have been working on an exercise regimen for a while and have stopped seeing results a pre-workout supplement may help jumpstart you back to those results again.
Make sure that you’re eating right and getting plenty of nutrients when you’re working out and especially with a pre-workout supplement. It might not seem as important, but you’re going to be working out harder with the supplement.
That means you’re going to need more nutrients to replenish your electrolytes, your protein and other nutrients that keep you going throughout the rest of the day. These foods are also going to make it easier for you to get through the day feeling full and without snacking or eating unhealthy foods that your body doesn’t need.
Never start a workout routine or a supplement routine without talking to your doctor. They’re going to help you better understand your body and the way that different medications or conditions that are specific to you are going to interact with the supplement.
They can also give you advice on specific exercises to work on or stay away from (perhaps because of specific strengths or weaknesses you already have) and what type of foods you should be increasing in your diet to get the most out of your workout. They are the ones that will help to keep you protected but still getting the results that you want.
Who They’re For
Pre-workout supplements are designed for people who want to get the most out of their workout. That means, whether you’re a beginner and just starting the first gym routine you’ve ever had or you’re a gym buff who’s been working out hard for years, you can get benefits from these supplements.
The idea is that you’re going to get more focused, you’re going to have more energy, you’re going to lose weight and/or build muscle and strength, you want to bump yourself up a little faster or you want to improve your overall performance. Pre-workout supplements are designed to help with each of these things.
What to Watch For
When it comes down to it there are a few things that you may want to watch for when it comes to pre-workout supplements. If you’re doing your research and you’re paying attention to the highest quality products you shouldn’t have to worry about most of these, but it’s always good to be prepared.
- High blood pressure
- Digestive trouble
The Products You Should Try
So, if you’re ready to get started with a pre-workout supplement which ones should you be using? Are there specific ones that are going to be better than others? We definitely think so. We believe that there are 10 products that you should take a closer look at so you can decide which one is going to work best for you.
Now, not all pre-workout supplements are created equally, but you can absolutely find something that is going to focus on the areas that are most important to you and include the ingredients that you want most. You can also take a look at the information we provided above and use that to locate an entirely different product that works better for you. So let’s take a look.
10 Best Pre-Workout Supplements
1. NO2 Max by Crazy Bulk
This product is actually intended for men and especially for those who really want to amp up their workout game. It’s made by a company that’s based in the USA and it’s designed to work on your energy, focus and muscle mass build. Overall, it’s intended to be taken 20 minutes before you’re ready to start working out and it will help to improve blood flow and oxygen flow throughout the body. Because of this, done because NO2 Max increase nitric oxide in the body, you also get less of the down time after your workout. It uses several different ingredients to do this, including:
- Microcrystalline Cellulose
- Vegetable Stearate
- Stearic Acid
- Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose
- Propylene Glycol
- Increases workout intensity
- Increases overall stamina
- Ideal for those looking for dramatic results
- Doesn’t actually build muscle
- Requires additional protein intake
- Only available through the manufacturer website
2. Pre workout for women
Powher is made by specialists in female supplements Ultimate Life.
This tailored pre workout drink has been designed to suit the needs of women rather than men. The objective is to deliver users added strength and endurance without dreaded side effects such as jitters or palpitations.
This means Powher uses lower caffeine levels than many male pre-workouts and instead uses premium alternatives like EnXtra. This natural extract has been shown to deliver a slow burst of energy over 5 hours.
Powher also avoids using creatine, this means there’s no risk of looking bulky whilst on this supplement.
- Natural Caffeine
- L-Citrulline Malate
- Coconut Water Powder
- Slow release energy
- Increases strength and endurance
- Tailored to women
- Slightly more expensive
- Only 1 flavor
- Not available on Amazon
2. Track by Blackwolf Workout
Designed to increase energy, focus and endurance during your workout, this product is helps you to build up to an even more intense workout. This is done through a proprietary blend of ingredients that combine to give you absolutely no fillers or binders. Everything in this product is active and they are designed to give you actual results in as little as 2 weeks. Overall, this concentrate takes care of everything you need in the way of supplements and gives you enhanced protein synthesis as well. Some of the ingredients that you’ll find included in this product are:
- Whey Protein Isolate
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
- Increases lean muscle
- Provides instant increase in energy
- All-in-one supplement
- Can only be purchased through official website
- Higher price point than similar products
- Very little information currently available
4. Instant Knockout
If you’re interested in getting in shape for a fight you’re going to be in the right place with this product. Instant Knockout is designed for the fighter and it helps to prepare you for getting in the ring because it works on helping you lose weight, increase energy and increase calorie burn. On top of that it helps to decrease your hunger and to increase fat oxidation. That means this product is going to help you as a pre-workout supplement, but it’s also a good weight loss supplement or fat burner because it works on all sides of the issue. It also includes ingredients like:
- GTF Chromium
- Green Tea Extract
- Cayenne Powder
- Caffeine Anhydrous
- Black Pepper Extract
- Suppresses the appetite
- Works for men and women
- Varied active ingredients
- Very high levels of caffeine
- Ingredients are not fully transparent
- Not considered vegetarian
4. Vega Sport
The final product we’re going to take a look at is Vega Sport. This pre-workout product is designed to give you sustained energy, but also to make sure that it really jumps in for you quickly. It also works on anaerobic capacity, your overall mental focus and increases your level of endurance while you’re at it. All of these things together will help you get an even better workout in every time you visit the gym. It comes in several different sizes and also in several different flavors to give you a vegan, gluten-free and all-natural product that’s also non-GMO. Some of the ingredients you will find are:
- Coconut Seed Oil
- Yerba Mate
- Devil’s Claw
- Green Tea Leaf
- Rhodiola Root
- Ginseng Root
- Completely vegan and dairy, gluten and soy free
- Minimally refined sugars included
- Provides immediate energy that remains sustained throughout the workout
- Not a large energy boost
- Not easy to mix
- Very sweet to drink
5. Legion Pulse
Legion Pulse is actually an all-natural product that is designed to help those who really want to get into their workouts. It works on energy levels, endurance, focus, mood and more. It’s designed to make sure that you are ready and able to really pump iron and it doesn’t include creatine, which is a big plus for some of the more hardcore gym buffs out there. On top of that it includes some of the highest quality ingredients that are designed to provide results, rather than just filling up space or binding anything together. You’ll get ingredients like:
- Betaine Anhydrous
- Capable of delivering highest level results
- No creatine
- Tastes great
- Can be expensive compared to similar products
- High levels of caffeine
- High levels of Beta alanine
6. Pre Jym Pre Workout
This is actually one of the first products that came out as a pre-workout supplement and there’s a reason that it’s still around today. It’s created by Jim Stoppani and while it’s not the number 1 product on the market anymore, it does have results in increasing endurance and energy as well as being produced by a reputable team. You’ll find better blood flow and you’ll have increased strength through the muscles as well. Not only that but this product is designed to last longer than similar products. You’ll also have ingredients that include:
- Creatine HCI
- Carnosyn Beta-Alanine
- L-Citrulline Malate
- Several varieties to target your ideal needs
- Lower levels of Alpha GPC in newer version
- Ingredients are fully disclosed
- Can be expensive compared to similar products
- High levels of caffeine
- Low levels of Beta-Alanine
7. Organic Muscle
For those looking at organic products that are going to give them results in the gym, Organic Muscle is a great way to start your search. It’s entirely gluten-free, chemical-free, vegan-friendly and organic, which means you’re getting things that you’re not going to mind putting into your body. For those who are more particular about what they take in, this one lets you know everything up front and then it helps to increase your metabolism, your focus, energy, stamina, vascularity and more. All of this is designed to make sure that you feel your best when you hit the gym and that you get the best out of it as well.
- Maca Root
- Yerba Mate
- Beet Root
- Eluethero Root
- Completely natural, organic, vegan
- Certified USDA organic
- Provides good amount of caffeine
- Flavoring tastes artificial
- Not ideal energy booster
- Can be more expensive than similar products
8. Transparent Labs
One of the most popular products out there on the market today, Transparent Labs actually has several different varieties of their pre-workout supplement. You get to choose the one that works out the best for your overall goals and then you can focus on getting a great workout. Bulk is one of the most popular versions of the product and it provides you with a lot of energy, improved recovery and enhanced performance. This supplement is designed to help you bulk up the way you want to and to make sure that you can do so in a clean way. The product helps you put in a little bit of everything in just one single dose. You’ll also have ingredients that include:
- L-Citrulline Malate
- Branch Chain Amino Acids
- Betaine Anhydrous
- Caffeine Anhydrous
- Feel more awake and energized
- Clinical ingredients with full doses
- Uses all natural flavors and sweeteners
- Only available in limited locations
- High price point for quantity provided
- Requires a larger dose than similar products
This is actually a relatively newer product, with not as much information available quite yet, but that doesn’t mean you should discount it. There’s a lot of great things going on here. It’s actually created by Kris Gethin, who is a bodybuilder and trainer, so he knows a lot about just how these products work. With the pre-workout version of his Kaged line, you get a range of benefits that help your performance all around. You’ll be able to build up, bulk up and start actually lifting the way that you want to, without having to wait around so long. That’s all thanks to some of the best ingredients around, though you will find a few that aren’t necessarily as important here:
- Quercetin Anhydrous
- Branch Chain Amino Acids
- Leucine Anabolic Activator
- Coconut Powder
- Tastes great
- Natural sweeteners and flavors
- Easy to purchase where you shop
- Low levels of beta-alanine
- Doesn’t include L-theanine
- Large amounts of fillers
When it comes down to it you’re going to have a whole lot of options for pre-workout supplements. They’re going to focus on different areas of your workout and they’re going to help you start experiencing a better workout. Whether you’ve been working out for years or you’re just getting started today, pre-workout supplements have been shown to provide results for anyone, at any stage of their workout process. The best thing that you can do is take a look at the ones we’ve found here, and any others, and apply the steps we mentioned to make sure you’re getting something good.