Pre Workout Supplements: Do They Work?

Eating right around your training is vital to the process of getting fit and building body mass. But by now, you should also know that there is a better, more direct way of giving your body the nutrients it needs to achieve those goals – using pre-workout nutrient supplementation.

Everyone wants to get the most out of the time they spend in the gym, and pre-workout supplements claim to help you do exactly that.

Demystifying Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements often contain a mixed blend of ingredients ranging from creatine to guarana to caffeine.

But do they actually work, and are all of them safe to use? There are a plethora of pre-workout supplements in the market today – they are used to boost sports performance and help achieve optimal levels of performance.

But how do you find the right pre-workout supplements that would cater to your specific fitness needs?

Ingredients are an important factor when trying to find out what a pre-workout supplement can do, but so are any artificial colors and dyes added to the formulae.

This is because they (colors and dyes)have been linked to symptoms of hyperactivity and can actually become carcinogenic when broken down by the body.

Let’s take a look at some of the most effective ingredients you should look for in a pre-workout supplement formula that you can use to achieve various fitness goals:

1. Pre-workout Supplement Ingredients for Improved strength

Pre Workout Supplements: Do They Work?


It is among the most researched supplement ingredients on the market today, and numerous studies have shown that it can increase speed, power, strength, and even size up your muscles.

Strictly speaking, you can take creatine any time of the day, and it is very important that you have enough of it in your body before going for your workout as it enhances your phosphagen system and boosts

 Adenosine Triphosphate 

(ATP) stores. Most pre-workout supplements on the market list creatine as one of the major ingredients.


Another lesser-known, yet common ingredient that can improve strength, endurance, and tolerance to fatigue when working out by stimulating the release of the neurotransmitter beta-endorphin.

This was established after a study in which elite athletes performed full-strength grip workouts after taking 200mg of caffeine, followed by a similar workout, but without.

All the subjects performed better after taking the 200 mg of caffeine.

2.  Ingredients For Improved Endurance

Pre Workout Supplements: Do They Work?

Beta-Alanine and L-Histidine

Apart from increasing energy levels pre-workout supplements also contain ingredients that aim at increasing endurance.

One ingredient that has received a lot of attention to this effect is beta-alanine, which is an essential amino acid.

To combat fatigue and significantly enhance performance towards the end of endurance exercise bouts, beta-alanine attacks and breaks down lactic acid in the body.

It combines with another natural amino acid in the body called


to form dipeptide carnosine which experts theorize can combat the build-up of lactic acid in active muscles. This increases the body’s anaerobic capacity

A study published by researchers at the Florida Atlantic University state concluded that when combined, beta-alanine and creatine enhance endurance performance.

This indicates that this could be a very good combination of supplement ingredients for athletes and private individuals trying to break certain training plateaus.

Citrulline Malate

Another ingredient that is effective in combating fatigue and improving endurance is called

 citrulline malate 


Numerous studies have shown that combining the organic salt malate and the amino acid malate can improve athletic performance and reduce the sensation of fatigue via a 35% increase in the rate of oxidative Adenosine Triphosphate production during the workout as well as a 20 % increase in the pace of phosphocreatine recovery at the end of the workout.

To put it simply, Citrulline Malate can increase the body’s ability to supply the muscles with oxygen and therefore increase the regeneration of ATP (

 adenosine Triphosphate 

) a molecule that plays a vital role in the effective contraction of muscles.

3. Supplement Ingredients For Improved Muscle Pump

Pre Workout Supplements: Do They Work?


Improving the appearance of your muscles is the last key benefit of working out. Using the right pre-workout supplement formulae can help increase the size and vascularity also known as “The Pump.” A common supplement ingredient that you can use to achieve this effect is Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate (also known as Arginine and AAKG).

This is a non-essential amino acid that has been shown to increase the production of nitric acid in the body.

In turn, this ensures that more oxygen, blood, and nutrients are delivered to the muscles. This leaves them looking better as they are more toned

Apart from improving the muscle’s appearance, Arginine Alpha-ketoglutarate is also believed to amplify the beneficial muscle-building effects of exercise and other nutritional supplements. It achieves this by increasing the production of nitric oxide in the body.

4. Improved Muscle Growth


Anyone who has ever lifted weight has muscle growth as one of their chief goals.

Luckily, there is a number of supplement ingredients that can enhance muscle growth when taken before the training or workout.

The three BCAAs (

 branched chain amino acids 

) Valine, isoleucine, and leucine can reduce muscle breakdown during exercise as they are metabolized in the muscle tissue rather than the liver.

This means that they provide a quick burst of energy when the body needs it. Whey protein is one of the best sources of BCAAs.

High Glycemic Carbs

High glycemic carbohydrates are also digested quickly. While fast-digesting carbohydrates may not be such a glamorous supplement ingredient, they can have a profound effect on muscle development.

Consuming them increases the body’s insulin levels, and insulin is known to have an antagonistic relationship with cortisol, muscle wasting hormone that spikes during intense workouts.

So by consuming supplements with the right amounts of high glycemic carbs, you will get the anti-catabolic muscle benefits of insulin


There are many different opinions as to what the best ingredients for pre-workout supplement formulae are and only a few people fully understand what pre-workout nutrition should do for you.

The right pre-workout nutrition should help you increase muscular strength mental focus and endurance.

While the market is full of countless products that claim to provide these benefits, only a few have truly distinguished themselves as tested- and-true pre-workout performance enhancers when used in effective amounts.

It is important to look out for these ingredients before buying any supplement formula

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