Working out, whether to burn fat, build lean muscles, or both, is an art and a science. You can’t just lift weights and expect to build muscles in a specific area without applying the right methods. You also won’t gain very much from your sessions without first prepping the body for the workout. This is where pre-workout supplements come in.
The best pre-workout supplements make you ready for the workout session so that every pound of weights lifted goes on to benefit the body. And before you ask, sleep, proper nutrition, and hydration aren’t enough to prepare you for a workout. Yes, they also play a critical role in improving athletic performance. However, as we shall find out in a bit, the ingredients in pre-workout supplements bring something special; something that can be the difference between a productive session and a wasted day.
We also must clarify at this stage that pre-workouts aren’t caffeine supplements. Since a good number of pre-workouts contain the stimulant, a lot of people think that the two are synonymous. Caffeine is great for increasing energy and thus boosts endurance, power and strength. That’s why many pre-workouts contain the substance. But, pre-workouts also contain over a dozen other substances; so, it would be wrong to call them caffeine supplements.
Top 5 Pre-Workout Supplements of 2019
Learn more about the best pre-workout supplements in the United States.
Kaged Muscle Pre-Kaged
Best all-round pre-workout. With a high dose of caffeine (247mg), betanine, citrulline, beta alanine, and creatine, it can support just about any workout and is recommended for both men and women.
Evlution Nutrition Engn Shred
Best pre-workout for weight loss. It contains a wide variety of ingredients, including red pepper extract, conjugated linolenic acid, coleus extract, and yohimbine.
Best pre-workout for pump and cardio. What makes it the best choice for pump is the incredible levels of citrulline. It also contains a whole 4.8g of beta alinine which is vital for endurance.
Transparent Labs Bulk
Best pre-workout for men. It has a very high dose of testosterone and that’s what makes it ideal for men. It also contains plenty of Vitamin D and Zinc.
What are the Benefits of Pre Workout Supplements?
The following are five reasons you should take pre-workout supplements before you hit the gym:
Get more energy to work out
You need to be in the right mindset to benefit from your workouts. But more importantly, you need sufficient energy to get through the entire session. Without sufficient energy and motivation, you may not attack the weights with the required gusto.
Pre-workouts pack the ingredients known to provide both the energy and stimulation necessary for a productive workout session. Combining caffeine and arginine, these supplements put the pep in your step, leaving you ready to take on the world.
Increase workout performance and efficiency
Another incredible benefit of pre-workout supplements is that they increase performance and efficiency. Performance is closely tied to energy. When you have more energy, you can train harder and longer. Pre-workouts, as we’ve seen, provide sufficient energy for workout. Efficiency comes from being able to focus. You should be able to concentrate on your moves with no distractions. Again, the ingredients contained in pre-workout supplements boost focus, thus increasing efficiency.
Recover faster after workouts
Everyone who goes to the gym knows that if you want to gain the most from your workouts, you must break every bit of sweat; you must work out until you fail. That’s when you’ll gain significantly from the session. However, you’ll also be left shattered and sore for what might feel like the rest of your life. Even though pre-workouts are taken before the actual workout, they play a vital role in post-workout recovery. The supplements reduce muscle soreness while increasing glucose and insulin levels in the body after workout, helping you recover faster.
Helps with weight loss and recovery
Finally, pre-workout supplements also help with weight loss and metabolism. Many of the ingredients found in these supplements stimulate metabolism while others have been shown to help with fat loss. Caffeine, for instance, when ingested, raises body thermogenesis and fat oxidation, delays the onset of hunger, and boosts metabolism. Even if you’re not trying to lose weight, these characteristics can help you build leaner and mass while staying fitter.
What’s in a Pre-Workout?
You may also consider making your own pre-workout drink by purchasing the ingredients listed below separately. They can be purchased on Amazon or other online stores.
The following are some of the most common ingredients you’ll find in the supplements. This list should help you decide which ingredients you really want, and why you want them.
Caffeine is associated with several benefits including alertness, endurance, power output, perceived exertion, and strength. Often, a dose of pre-workout contains 100mg of caffeine which is equivalent to what you’d get from a cup of coffee.
- Beta Alinine
Beta Alinine also improves endurance. Additionally, it has been linked to hypertrophy. A dose of pre-workout usually contains 1.6g of the compound.
Originally derived from watermelon (known as citrullus in Latin), citrulline is an amino acid that is turned into L-arginine in the kidneys after supplementation. It improves blood flow and endurance. A dose of pre-workout usually contains 5g of Citrulline.
Taurine is an amino sulfuric acid that functions as an active building block of proteins. It works alongside caffeine to improve focus and may also improve recovery and reduce muscle cramps.
- Choline bitartrate
A salt form of chlorine, choline bitartrate is a miracle compound known for a long list of benefits both in the brain and body. It has been associated with mental stimulation, cognitive boost, and improved memory. It also helps with cognitive endurance.
- Other ingredients
The five above are just some of the most common compounds found in pre-workouts. Others include creatine, tyrosine, betaine anhydrous, L-Carnitine L-Tartate, pepper extracts, and alpha GPC.
Any of the recommended supplement from this list won’t disappoint you. Just ensure you’re buying a genuine product and, more importantly, stick to recommended dosage. Happy workout!