How to Choose Best Pre-Workout Supplements

Why do You Need Pre-Workout Supplements


To get the most out of your grueling gym sessions you need to have a well-though-out exercise plan, plenty of sleep and good food.

What do you mean by the good food you ask?

Well, it is the kind of food that will supplement your exercise the most, optimize your muscle and strength gains and give you the power to take your fitness to the next level.

Eating the right kind and amount of food both before and after your gym session is crucial to your success.

You, like most gym-goers, are likely to be fully aware of the importance of eating a hearty protein-filled meal after gym.

But, what about before the gym?

If you think eating a banana before going to the gym is going to give you enough fuel, think again.

You, like your precious car, cannot run on the empty stomach.

If you do not have enough reservoir of energy in your body, you can say your dream of bulking up good-bye.

You need energy, but what kind of energy?

Filling up your stomach with sugary sports drink is not going to help much.

All it is going to accomplish is the annoying crash once sugar leaves your body.

Eating gluten rich carbs just before your gym rendezvous is only going to bloat you.

What to do? Well, the right thing to do is to eat a balanced meal about 2 hours before your workout session.

The meal should include moderately digesting carbohydrates and a good source of protein.

15 minutes before going to the gym, you should take a quality pre-workout supplement.


What are Pre-Workout Supplements


If you find yourself spending hours at the gym or giving your all in your sports practice and do not see any improvement, the chances are you are not hooked up on the right kind of pre-workout food (1).

Pre-workout supplement solves the confusing little problem of pre-workout food.

If you are not a nutritionist or do not have the time or mental energy to waste on coming up with the right combination of nutrients to take before the gym, pre-workout supplements are just the tonic for you.

Pre-workout supplements are not magic potions, but they do come very close!

They are the supplements designed to be taken before an exertion to help maximize the gains (2).

They help you fight lethargy and amp up the powers that last long.

The right and carefully the selected mixture of ingredients is put together to cater to all of your body needs before and during a workout.

A well-crafted combination of energy builders, muscle boosters, mood stabilizers/elevators as well as stimulants is sure to make your hour in the gym full of energy and results.

Substances like creatine, beta-alanine, and caffeine as well a powerful mixture of vitamins all work together to push you through the plateau you have been stuck at.

You need to do everything in your power to make each hour at gym, count.

A pre-workout supplement lets you do just that.


Benefits of Pre-Workout Supplements


Whether you want to bulk up or want to reach the next level in your fitness goal, you need endurance, power and mental focus at the gym.

A well-formulated workout supplement can help with all these things (3).

Let us take a look at some of the most notable ways you can utilize your workout supplement.


Boost Your Energy


Who does not dream of working out for hours straight?

A workout supplement that is packed with the right ingredients can let you have boundless energy (4).

Lifting up heavier weights and going for more reps becomes easy with the right assistance.

Substances like Tyrosine, Taurine (5) as well as multivitamins take your energy to the next level.

  • Taurine has the power to increase energy and endurance by up to 50%. It can direct heart to pump more blood to the muscles, providing them with more oxygen hence more strength.
  • Tyrosine is an important and easily digestible amino acid that works to boost focus in addition to energy. It offers a calmer and more Zen state of mind to tackle the job on hand.
  • Vitamin B6 and B12 are crucial energy boosters that every pre-workout supplement must have.


Stimulate Growth


When you go to the gym, you need your mind to be thinking clearly and working optimally.

You need a jolt of energy and power. You need your mind active and ready.

A pre-workout supplement gets you in the mood and prepares you for the battle ahead.

Caffeine is the ultimate stimulant when it comes to pre-workout supplements (6).

There are some other stimulating components as well.

However, caffeine, because of its dependability and safe effects, is the stimulant of choice.

A good pre-workout supplement does not forget to include caffeine in the mix.

Caffeine may also help numb down muscle pain as well, allowing you to go for longer.

Do not look for caffeine-infused energy drinks as they pollute the benefits of caffeine with the ills of sugar.


Endure for Longer


Strength and endurance go hand in hand.

A good pre-workout supplement’s main job is to help you achieve improved efficiency and effectiveness. Improved strength allows that.

Creatine, Beta-alanine, and Betaine are the things that make a pre-workout supplement so full of endurance-building power.

Creatine is the most popular and perhaps the most useful strength builder available to us (7).

It does not only build muscle, it makes you faster, stronger and makes you last longer.

You can take it after your workout as well, however, taking it before makes all the difference.

Beta-Alanine is an amino acid that helps your body make the all-important double-amino-acid protein called carnosine.

What does it do? Well, it gives your muscles the extra oomph you have been missing from your sessions.


Pump Yourself Up


Getting a good pump enhancer before going to the gym can make you love yourself in the mirror afterward.

A good pump simply increases the supply of blood to muscles and gives them the opportunity and ability to work harder and longer, increasing your muscle-building prospects.

One of the best-known pumps is Arginine (8).

It is a conveniently absorbable amino acid that turns into nitric oxide inside your body, allowing more blood and oxygen to be delivered to the muscles.


How Pre-Workout Supplements Work


Going for a workout while loaded on a quality pre-workout supplement shows undeniable results.

So, what is it about pre-workout supplements that increase our power, endurance as well as ability to endure pain so much?

Well, as we have already discussed it is all in the ingredients.

That is what you can expect from a good pre-workout supplement.

It will employ all the necessary substances that can bring about the necessary physical changes to give you a power boost.

It may come as no surprise to you that most pre-workout supplements have amino acids as the basic ingredient (9).


Extra Fuel Source


Proteins are the building blocks of our body.

Amino acids are simple proteins that get absorbed by our body fairly conveniently.

Modified amino acids like Betaine have been shown to increase power by 25% (10).

Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) work extra hard and encourage the body to use them as a fuel source.

This gives your body the extra power.


Hormone Support


Some pre-workout supplements also use herbs like Rhodiola Rosea that helps enhancing testosterone as well as growth hormones (11).

This effectively gives you the energy and drive to go through your entire workout session without feeling any significant fatigue.


Increased Leucine


Another way a quality pre-workout supplement works is by getting the leucine levels in your muscle high (12).

Leucine is critical to your muscles’ weight lifting ability.

Glutamine can help your body get optimal leucine levels (13).

This allows you to potentially keep pushing your muscles for hours at a time.


Muscle Hydration


If you are interested to know how your pre-workout supplement pumps you up, glycerol could be the answer (14).

In addition to nitric oxide, substances like glycerol are crucial to keeping you up beat and ready.

It attracts and locks fluids to blood vessels increasing the ability of your muscles to exert.


Improved Reflexes


Mental strength is at the core of every successful athlete and body builder.

You need to have a strong focus and dependable nerves to keep pushing you beyond the limit.

Choline helps increase your focus and improves brain strength by boosting the formation of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine (15).

It gives you sharp reflexes and the mindset to endure long sessions.


Faster Metabolism


A good pre-workout supplement can even help you lose weight!

It is no secret that green tea can help improve your metabolism and burn the unwanted fat (16).

Even if you are not looking to burn fat at the moment, it is important that you gain sizable lean mass.

Green tea extracts in your pre-workout supplement will help you achieve just that.


How to Use Pre-Workout Supplements


The benefits of pre-workout supplements are hard to ignore. Aren’t they?

Well, essentially every bodybuilder takes them and enjoys the extra workout support.

To get the most benefits of your supplement intake it is important that you take the right kind of supplement at the right time.

By now, you have a pretty good idea as to what kind of ingredients you need your supplement to have.

To get the most out of your pre-workout supplement it is essential that you take it around 30 minutes before your workout.

Half an hour is the time most of the ingredients in your supplement start flowing in your blood stream.

If you take your pre-workout well before your exertion the useful ingredients would have already been used up your body.

You can, however, take your supplement just before starting your bodybuilding session.

It will kick in just in time to give you the boost to take you to the next gear.

Mix the desired or recommended amount of pre-workout supplement in a glass of water.

The quantity of water is not crucial here. You do not want to be dehydrated before the gym.

Consider it a good opportunity to drink up. However, you do not want to drink too much as it may cause bloating.

If you are wondering whether you can eat something with your supplement, the answer is – it depends!

If you want to eat a small portion of protein or carbohydrate, you may do so (17).

However, it is not advisable to have a hearty meal for two hours before you go to the gym.


What to Look for in Pre-Workout Supplements


As you are already aware, there are so many different kinds of pre-workout supplements available in the market.

Each of your friends swears by a different supplement.

What to do? Well, be smart and only get the supplement that fulfills your particular needs.

You can narrow down your choices by answering some basic questions like:

  • Are You Allergic?

When you go out to get yourself a pre-workout supplement, it is absolutely essential to go through the ingredients list.

If you find a substance on the list you are allergic to, there is no need to try it even if the substance is in minuscule quantities.

  • How Much Can You Tolerate?

Different people have different tolerant levels when it comes to stimulants.

If a small energy drink does it for you, you do not need to buy a pre-workout supplement that is loaded with caffeine.

It will only make you erratic and may cause you losing focus.

Your body’s ability to digest different kinds of proteins should also be considered.

  • What Do You Want?

Your choice of pre-workout supplement heavily depends on the kind of workout you are going for.

If you are in bulking-up phase, you cannot have enough proteins.

You need to have pre-workout supplements that are packed with a range of amino acids to help give you the endurance and strength to get your muscles to tear up and rebuild.

If you are in your fat-burning phase, you need pumps and stimulants to give you the energy required to get the job done (18).

You may also look for ingredients that enhance metabolism and help cut down fat.

Stimulant based supplements usually come packed in small jars and have the normal serving size of 10 grams, while the muscle-builders have a serving size of about 20 grams.

When it comes to ingredients, choose depending on your requirements.


What to Avoid in Pre-Workout Supplements


So, you have mastered your ingredients and now you are ready to attack the pre-workout supplement market.

Not so fast! It is definitely necessary to know what is good for you but perhaps even more important is to be aware of the things that must be avoided.

Let us walk you through the telltale signs a pre-workout supplement is not the one for you.

  • Too Much Hype

When you go shopping to get an energy-boosting supplement, you will notice that many of them come with almost impossible assurances and promises.

If a pre-workout supplement is advertised like a life-altering elixir, run for your life.

The chances are the supplement is high on hype and low on real and substantive ingredients.

If the pre-workout supplement is riddled with unknown substances with out-of-this-world benefits, it is better to move on.

  • Too Little Substance

It is essential to read the ingredients on the packaging.

The quantities of the ingredients are also crucial to the efficacy of the supplement.

A pre-workout supplement may have useful substances like citrulline and beta-alanine, but if the quantities of these ingredients are minuscule, the supplement is useless.

  • The Potentially Deceptive Propriety Blend

When it comes to ingredients “propriety blend” is a concept you need to memorize.

It simply means one title under which many different kinds of ingredients are listed.

The aggregated weight of the blend is given but not of the individual substances.

This does not allow you to know what and how much are you buying.

  • Unnecessary Chemicals

You need to take care of your body and its function if you want to see any real gains.

Loading your body up with unnecessary chemicals is not the right approach.

Pre-workout supplements that shave plenty of artificial sweeteners are unnecessary.

Similarly, avoid supplements with artificial dyes in them.

  • Too Many Stimulants

You need stimulants to get you in the right kind of mood for your gym session.

However, a pre-workout supplement that has a stimulant as its starring ingredient must be avoided.

Stimulants like Caffeine, Yohimbine, and Synephrine are great to give you a jolt of energy.

However, nothing but stimulants will only give you the push without giving you the fuel to carry on for hours.

  • Everything but the Kitchen Sink

If a pre-workout supplement has dozens of ingredients listed on the jar, do not buy it.

This may sound strange, but it is the right thing to do.

Too many ingredients in the same mixture leave a lot to chance when it comes to your body’s reaction and absorption of those substances.

Look for quality rather than quantity!




Why are you taking your pre-workout supplements?

Of course, you want to improve your strength and durability and want to look and feel good.

However, just like any other dietary supplement, you need to be cautious.

Purchasing the first pre-workout supplement that caught your eye in the market is potentially dangerous.

You need to know how the ingredients in that particular pre-workout supplement are going to affect your body.

Depending on your health and your body’s tendency to interact with various substances there are some precautions you need to take.

  • Drink Plenty of Water

Creatine and other muscle building amino acids are the pivotal part of any pre-workout supplements.

They pull the water from other parts of the body towards your muscles, giving them more power and stamina.

However, this can cause dehydration. Similarly, if your pre-workout supplement has a diuretic, it can make you urinate more than usual, depleting water in your body.

If you feel your pre-workout supplement is making you dehydrated, drink plenty of water all throughout the day, and in extreme cases, limit the use of the supplement.

  • Give Your Sleep a Priority

If your pre-workout supplement is filled with caffeine, you should change it.

Caffeine has many health and fitness benefits but one of its main side effects is insomnia or difficulty in sleeping (19).

Switching to a supplement with lower doses of caffeine might do the trick.

  • Look out for Headaches

One of the by-products of dehydration is headaches (20).

Another possible reason for headaches may be vasodilatation.

Expansion of the blood vessels and increased supply to the muscles is what pumps them.

However, this expansion can lead to annoying headaches. Lowering down the dosage of Arginine can be helpful.

  • Keep Your Blood Pressure under Control

When we exercise our blood pressure naturally rises.

However, if your workout supplement is high on stimulants and pumpers, you put your body at increased risk of substantially high blood pressure.

Try to go for pre-workout supplements that go easy on stimulants.

  • Keep Yourself Calm

If you are one of those people who want to feel something after taking your pre-workout supplement, you may not mind a little tingly sensation all over your body.

However, with others it may affect their performance in the gym.

Be careful when you take pre-workout supplements that have high quantities of niacin and vitamin B3.




Pre-workout supplements can legitimately take your exercise and fitness regimen to new lofty heights.

A quality supplement will offer you ingredients that will work cohesively to stimulate your senses, pump you up, make your muscles grow, help you lose fat and give you the required endurance to push yourself beyond limits.

If you choose the right combination of energy boosting substances for your body, you can make the best of your hard work at the gym.

Being aware of what goes into a pre-workout supplement and how the different components work is half the battle.

Getting yourself educated on the potential pitfalls and staying away from useless ingredients is sure to help you find the right mix for your unique needs.

So, what are you waiting for? Get yourself to the market.

Buy the right pre-workout supplement and start your gym with newfound vigor and passion!

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