Complete Guide To Pre-Workouts For Energy & Muscle Pumps


All of the information you need to capitalize on great pre-workouts!

Working out and getting solid exercise is a staple in our day, as a shirt ripping muscle pump puts a smile on anyone’s face. But sometimes our busy schedules get in the way of us properly executing a good workout. Thankfully, there are supplements that can really work to boost our overall strength and performance to elevate us to new levels when it comes to a solid workout. In this post we detail a complete guide on how pre-workout supplements are one of the greatest training aids to use to build energy and gain muscle.

With so many options on the market, it can be tough to find out which pre-workouts will actually work for our overall benefit and help us to make the gains that we want. With so many added ingredients and fillers that are unnecessary to our health and performance, knowing what should be included and what should be left out are important to know. Don’t let a highly saturated market ruin your chances of getting a good solid workout in.

In this complete guide on pre-workouts, we will break down what pre-workout supplements do, what are some key and safe ingredients they must have, and how to use them as effectively as possible to maximize total growth and performance. Really work to see a change in your energy and body composition by choosing a high quality pre-workout to add to your supplemental regimen.

guide to pre-workout

What Do Pre-Workouts Do?

Pre-workouts are designed to give you an edge when it comes to energy, pumps, and focus entering into a tough workout. For active individuals, pre-workout supplements can increase your heart rate, get your blood pumping, and hit you with laser focus to really maximize all gains. Providing for solid muscle pumps and longer workouts, you will really see the muscle growth you desire come to life (1).

For those looking to burn calories and shed some body fat by increasing your heart rate and allowing you to work out longer, pre-workouts have the ability to allow for great calorie burn so you see that unwanted fat start to go. By increasing muscle mass, you will start to see a change in your body composition so you get that shredded physique you work hard for and a good quality pre-workout can also enhance recovery so you are ready to bounce back faster for your next workout.


Key Ingredients In Good Pre-Workouts

Many pre-workouts will have tons of ingredients to work for your benefit, but it is important to make sure you have these key ingredients listed below in your pre-workout. As staples in a formula, these are sure to help you see all of the great benefits.

  • Caffeine

Caffeine will work to elevate energy so you can tackle any sluggish feelings that may bring down your workout. It will add the benefits of increased focus, better reaction time, and raise your level of alertness so you see you great gains (2).

  • Beta-Alanine

Beta-alanine is found in many pre-workouts, and aids in carnosine production which acts as a buffer for the pH levels in your muscles to push past any fatigue to keep your workouts going longer. This is what is responsible for the “itchy” feeling you may get from pre-workout.

  • Creatine

Creatine works to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which fuels muscle energy to see a boost in your overall athletic performance (3).

  • BCAAs

These essential branched chain amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine) are the building blocks of proteins. They help stimulate protein synthesis so you really start to see huge gains in muscle growth and strength (4).

  • L-Citrulline

Changes into L-arginine which boost nitric oxide maintaining good blood flow into the muscles for increased muscle pumps.

  • Betaine

Helps produce carnitine which is beneficial for muscle growth and power to really elevate strength and performance (5).

guide to pre-workouts

Is Pre-Workout Safe?

Pre-workouts are not monitored by the FDA but are on the whole safe for the general public. Since many contain caffeine, it is important to monitor you caffeine intake and for those sensitive or who cannot have caffeine, there are great stimulant free pre-workouts that can really benefit you just the same without the added caffeine. For general health, look into the nutrition labels and make sure there are no harmful additives or fillers that can ruin a good diet or just add unwanted junk into your body.

Some side effects to consider are dizziness, nausea, dehydration, and high blood pressure, so it is really important to monitor caffeine intake, stay hydrated during and after your workout, and stop use if these side effects start to hurt your everyday life. While pre-workouts are really beneficial for most people, they may not work for everyone and it is important to keep all options open.


How To Use Pre-Workouts

You want to take pre-workout ideally 30 minutes before a workout so all of the ingredients have time to fully hit your body so the intended effects can kick in. Making sure you eat something, maybe a good meal, is vital for the effects of pre-workout to work for your benefit and not against you. With high amounts of caffeine, pre-workouts may give you that light-headed and nauseous feeling so having something in your stomach is more than important to counter any negative effects.

Staying hydrated during and after your workout is incredibly important for your success with pre-workout for not only can pre-workout dehydrate you but also a prolonged workout can deplete you. Be sure to look at the back of the product as well for any additional information on that specific pre-workout.

Recommended Pre-Workout

Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK

Code GENIRON10 For 10% Off

Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK is backed by science with clinically effective dosages to increase muscle size and mass. This pre-workout is perfect for reducing fatigue, aiding in muscle growth, and boosting energy levels for better overall performance.

Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK is backed by science with clinically effective dosages for those looking to increase in size and muscle mass. Transparent Labs BULK contains 6,000 mg of citrulline malate, 4,000 mg of beta-alanine, 4,000 mg of BCAAs, and 2,500 mg of betaine to boost your workouts, blood flow, weight loss, and muscle growth, all in attempts to improve performance.

Price: $49.00

Check out our list of the Best Pre-Workouts for more great energy boosting and muscle pumping products!

Wrap Up

Pre-workouts are great workout aids to really help our overall performance. Designed to enhance muscle pumps, increase energy, aid in weight loss, and provide an all around great performance boost, these supplements can work wonders for you. Knowing what ingredients to look for, how safe they are and how to use them effectively is important but all within your grasp with this complete guide on pre-workout supplements.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Outlaw, Jordan J.; Wilborn, Colin D.; Smith-Ryan, Abbie E.; Hayward, Sara E.; Urbina, Stacie L.; Taylor, Lem W.; Foster Cliffa A. (2014). “Acute effects of a commercially-available pre-workout supplement on markers of training: a double-blind study”. (source)
  2. McLellan, Tom M.; Caldwell, John A.; Lieberman, Harris R. (2016). “A review of caffeine’s effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance”. (source)
  3. Kreider, Richard B. (2003). “Effects of creatine supplementation on performance and training adaptations”. (source)
  4. Negro, M.; Giardina, S.; Marzani, B.; Marzatico, F. (2008). “Branched-chain amino acid supplementation does not enhance athletic performance but affects muscle recovery and the immune system”. (source)
  5. Yu, Zhu-Lin; Zhang, Ling-Yu; Jiang, Xiao-Ming; Xue, Chang-Hu; Chi, Naiqui; Zhang, Tian-Tian; Wang, Yu-Ming (2020). “Effects of dietary choline, betaine, and L-carnitine on the generation of trimethylamine-N-oxide in healthy mice”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.