Give yourself a big advantage with a pre-workout boost!
Working out can be daunting and if there was a supplement that could help us get through it easier, then everyone would be using it… oh wait, it’s called a pre-workout!
Possibly one of the greatest training aids we have available to us; pre-workout supplements can make a significant difference. Now, sometimes we just feel drained and the thought of going to the gym is just that… a thought.
But why let your low energy levels cause you to miss your workouts? After all, gains come when we’re consistent. Well, the good thing is that there are some amazing pre-workout supplements that will give you the edge and motivation to get up and be active when you don’t feel like it.
Pre-workouts can help you to push a little more weight and allow you to keep training when you’d otherwise call it a day! And a good pre-workout contains a minimum of a few important ingredients like caffeine, Beta-Alanine, BCAAs, and L-Arginine as a base and all other ingredients are optional.
But, we’ll get into that shortly…
What Does a Pre-Workout Do?
We’re always trying to get every advantage we can when it comes to training and performance of any sort. Well, a pre-workout gives you a big boost of energy during your activities.
So, if you’re an active individual who is willing to push yourself a little, quality pre-workout ingredients will increase your heart rate, blood flow, and focus, to get you hyped for that big session!
The common ingredients include:
- Caffeine (Nervous system stimulant)
- Beta-Alanine (Non-essential amino acid, which aids in carnosine production)
- L-Arginine (Amino acid which converts into nitric oxide for blood vessel vasodilation)
- BCAAs (Essential branched-chain amino acids and building blocks of protein)
- Creatine (Helps make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) which fuels muscle energy)
- Betaine (Beneficial for muscle growth, power and helps produce carnitine)
- Taurine (Amino acid which provides endurance benefits)
- L- Citrulline (Boosts nitric oxide by converting into L-Arginine)
And there are studies to shows the effectiveness for performance especially with caffeine consumption. Like one study which showed it to have a positive effect on resistance training to failure and psychophysiological factors which contribute to physical exertion.
There are some pretty obvious benefits of pre-workout supplementation…
- More focus
- Longer training sessions
- Increased cardio
- Strength and muscle gains
- Fat loss
- Increased blood flow
- Better recovery
According to a study, multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements do have promise as an ergogenic aid for people who are physically active. (1)
Another study showed a pre-workout mix which includes creatine, Betaine (trimethyglycine: TMG), dendrobium extract (Dendrobex™), and caffeine to have a better effect on energy, focus and fatigue than just caffeine alone. (2)
But, all you have to do is look at user experience to know that the benefits are real.
Are Pre-Workouts Safe?
Although these products are not monitored by the FDA, most are safe for consumption by the general public. However, you must use caution before using a product which contains caffeine, and other substances which could potentially cause adverse effects.
It’s always recommended to have a full health check before using such supplements, but if you don’t, always start with the absolute lowest does possible and only buy from reputable companies which test their products.
The recommended safe daily caffeine intake amount is 400mg per day. But, people who have built up a tolerance may be able to consume more. And if you’re training, you may be able to get away with extra caffeine consumption. (3)
But it’s imperative you build up your tolerance very slowly. Taking too much caffeine at once, especially if you’re sensitive, can be very dangerous and result in health consequences.
Possible Side Effects with pre-workout ingredients:
- Heart palpitations
- High blood pressure
List of 10 Pre-Workout Supplements
Keep in mind, there are different sizes and flavors for each product. We’ve listed information based on one size and flavor so be sure to check when ordering to ensure you get the desired product.
1. Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
Increase the performance and intensity of your workout with this high quality pre-workout powder available from Kaged Muscle. Pre-Kaged is unmatched in terms of ingredient quality and synthesis of the blend of proteins. Kaged Muscle lab tests every batch to make sure each is fully loaded as advertised — 274 mg pure caffeine, 2 g taurine, 6.5 g fermented BCAAs, 6.5 g pure l-citrulline, and 2 g of their patented betapower blend. It’s an unbeatable combination that is guaranteed to supercharge any workout.
Price: $39.99 / box (21 oz powder)
2. Bare Performance Nutrition “Flight”
Here’s a great product from an even better company which is veteran owned.This effect is even more pronounced when combined than either substance on its own due to the synergistic effect.
Price: $36.99 / box (14 oz powder)
3. Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy
Optimum Nutrition Amino Energy supplies essential amino acids — leucine, valine, and isoleucine — which are important for muscle growth and effective for recovery5 calories 1g of carbs You can’t go wrong with ON products as they’re all made with high-quality ingredients.
Price: $21.99 / box (9.5 oz powder)
4. Nutrex Outlift
Outlift has the essential pre-workout ingredients you’d find in any product but there’s also creatine, which a lot of pre-workouts do not have. Since creatine is one of the few studied and proven supplements, there is an advantage here for muscle growth and strength gains. The 8 g of l-citrulline will give you lasting pumps, plus you’ll get a serving of BCAAs, 350 mg of energy-promoting caffeine and bioperine which has been shown from research to increase the absorption of important nutrients.
Price: $38.99 / box (18 oz powder)
5. Performance Lab Sport “Pre”
Performance Lab Sport “Pre” is another high quality pre-workout supplement available to the public at a great price point. Performance Lab Sport is one of the most rigorously scientifically vetted brands and all of their pre-workout products are free of synthetic additives (which might dehydrate the muscles), non-GMO, and vegan friendly. Sport “Pre” increases nitric oxide in the blood to support the oxygenation of muscles during workouts, improves endurance by hydrating the muscles, and enhances both anaerobic and aerobic exercise by increasing ATP reductase. 
Price: $39.00 / box (120 capsules)
6. Muscletech Vapor One Pre-Workout
Price: $39.99 / box (16 oz powder)
7. Transparent Labs BULK
One of the best pre-workouts for bulking on the market, bulk is specifically formulated for those looking to maximize muscle mass in every workout and keep that on for as long as possible. Gluten-free and non-GMO, BULK offers Transparent Labs patented testosterone support complex that blends vitamin D3, boron, and zinc to help your body better metabolize the powder. 19 other active ingredients — including 6 g of citrulline malate, 4 g of beta-alanine, 4 grams of BCAAs, and 2.5 g of pure betaine — help reduce fatigue and muscle soreness while increasing nitric oxide in the blood.
Price: $49.00 / box (24 oz powder)
8. Controlled Labs White Warped Pre-Workout
Each serving of White Warped supplies 250mg of caffeine Anhydrous for energy support and 100mg of di-caffeine malate which has similar effects to caffeine Antioxidants are very important for protecting the body’s cells from disease-causing free-radicals. So, you’re not only getting a pre-workout with White Warped but there’s a lot more included for health benefits as well.
Price: $28.79 / box (11.64 oz powder)
9. Cellucor C4 Original Pre-Workout
Price: $49.99 / box (19 oz powder)
10. Staunch Koala Freak Pre-Workout
Price: $49.00 / box (16 oz powder)
Wrapping It Up
Pre-workout supplements are an incredible tool and aid for training or any physical activity.
They definitely give you a boost (There’s no doubt about it) and the options are limitless. But, that means you’ll need to decide which is best for you. Pre-workouts contain a lot more than just caffeine though; they can supply your body with even more effective nutrients for reaching your fitness goals.
BCAAs, creatine, and ingredients which increase nitric oxide make for a potent stack before you head to the gym. Now, some products have all ingredients, and others have only a select few, but it just comes down to choosing a quality product that works!
So, you can’t go wrong with any of these 10 totally awesome pre-workout supplements!
1- “Multi-ingredient pre-workout supplements, safety implications, and performance outcomes: a brief review”.
2- “Effects of a Pre-workout Supplement on Lean Mass, Muscular Performance, Subjective Workout Experience and Biomarkers of Safety”.
3- “Caffeine: How much is too much?”. Mayo Clinic.
4- “Creatine supplementation with specific view to exercise/sports performance: an update”. 2012 Jul 20.
5- “Beta-alanine: Uses and Risks”. WebMD.
6- “The effects of TeaCrine® and caffeine on endurance and cognitive performance during a simulated match in high-level soccer players”.
7- “Citicoline: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning”. www.webmd.com.
8- “L-theanine, a natural constituent in tea, and its effect on mental state”.
9- “Aspartic Acid: Uses, Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning”. www.webmd.com.
10- “Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C”. ods.od.nih.gov.
11- (September 18, 2012). “B Vitamins”. The Nutrition Source
12- “Grape Seed Extract”. NCCIH. April 1, 2007.
13- “Resveratrol: A Double-Edged Sword in Health Benefits”.