Everybody who trains, at some point, considered using pre-workout supplements. It is the craze that everybody wants, literally.

What is a pre-workout supplement?

A pre-workout supplement is used to enhance your performance at the gym. It can boost your energy levels as well as your focus and endurance. It can help with blood flow to your muscles, causing a better pump and driving those nutrients to your muscles. If you had a bad day or just didn’t sleep well, a pre-workout supplement can lift you and make you go to the gym. I wouldn’t say it is the best option to rely on some products so that you can visit the gym, but sometimes you just need that extra kick on your lower days. However, you should always be careful when taking pre-workouts and follow the guidelines on the label of the product.

Benefits of Pre-workout

  • Increases work capacity with a supply of ATP and improve time to failure.
  • Draws fluid to muscles making muscles have a more significant appearance.
  • It helps with fat loss by boosting adrenaline.
  • Better physical performance.
  • Better blood flow by vasodilatation.
  • Improves strength performance in the gym.
  • It improves focus.
  • Protects muscle loss when fasted training.

What’s in pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements usually contain ingredients such as caffeine, beta-alanine, creatine, amino acids, and L-Citrulline.

  • Caffeine is the most common type of ingredient/supplement. It affects the central nervous system and activates endorphins and hormones that increase alertness, mental concentration, and energy. If you are not careful with caffeine consumption, you might as well experience anxiety, insomnia, dizziness, and arrhythmias, or even death. Guidelines for caffeine is around 200 mg (equal to 2 cups of coffee) a day. You should NEVER exceed 500mg of caffeine a day.

 

  • Creatine is a natural chemical that is produced in the kidney and liver and stored in the skeletal muscle cells. Creatine is an energy source that can act alone as a supplement and draws water to muscle cells creating muscle hypertrophy. Because creatine helps with supplying the muscles with water, you can become more robust and have a better, fuller-looking physique. There are four forms of creatine: Creatine monohydrate, creatine phosphate, creatine citrate, and creatine esters. Guidelines for creatine is around 5 grams per day.

 

  • Beta-Alanine is produced from the liver and enhances the ability to buffer protons and slows down fatigue when muscles are in severe contractions. When exercising, it increases performance, power output, and aerobic and anaerobic endurance. Guidelines for Beta-Alanine is around 5 grams per day.

 

  • L-Citrulline is a substance called a non-essential amino acid. When you take L-Citrulline as a supplement, it is converted in the body by your kidneys to L-Arginine and a chemical called nitric oxide.  L-Citrulline boost nitric oxide production in the body. Nitric oxide helps your arteries relax and work better, which improves blood flow throughout your body. L-Citrulline can also help with erectile dysfunction because of enhanced blood flow. The guidelines for L-Citrulline is around 6-8 grams per day.

 

How and when should I take a pre-workout supplement?

If you are one of those guys, who walk into the gym and start drinking pre-workout seconds before weight training, you’re missing out! You need to take your time with pre-workout, you shouldn’t be going straight to the weights either. You can drink your concoction while you’re on the treadmill doing cardio or on a stationary bike.

Everything that you need to know about a pre-workout supplement should be stated on the label. From contents to its guidelines for consumption. Every pre-workout has a different dosage, and when you are starting, be careful and start with a lower dose. Usually, you take a pre-workout anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before workout. If you are in a fast, you can go and wreck weights after 15 minutes. You took a pre-workout.

What pre-workout supplement is the best?

First of all, there are no magic pills or pre-workouts that will do the job for you. But that doesn’t mean you can’t find a kick-ass pre-workout, which will enhance your training. Luckily today’s market for pre-workouts is booming, and we have a lot of products to choose from.

Here we have a great pre-workout from Nutrend I used to use back in the day.

It contains:

  •  3500 mg of Beta-alanine per serving
  • 3500 mg of L-arginine-alpha–ketoglutarate per serving
  • 3235 mg of creatine mixture per serving
  • 2250 mg L-Citrulline L-Malate per serving
  • 500 mg of tyrosine per serving
  • 200 mg of caffeine per serving
  • 20 mg DMAE (dimethylaminoethanol) per serving

It comes in 4 different tastes:

  • blackcurrant
  • blue raspberry
  • grapefruit
  • any my favorite red-orange

Another great product with excellent reviews is C4 for Cellucor.

It contains:

  • 1.6g CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine per serving
  • 1g Creatine Nitrate per serving
  • 150mg Caffeine per serving
  • 1g Arginine AKG per serving
  • 250mg Vitamin C
  • 30mg Niacin
  • 500mcg Vitamin B6
  • 250mcg Folic Acid
  • 35mcg Vitamin B12

However, I don’t like how my body reacts to caffeine anymore. I used to love it, but know I just take supplements like creatine and L-Citrulline before a workout.

You don’t need to take creatine before a workout, anytime during the day should be fine, around 5 grams. L-citrulline, on the other hand, can be very useful at vasodilatation (better blood flow to your muscles, because of the dilatation of blood vessels).

You will have a better pump and be less fatigued. Take it anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes before working out. Take 6-8 grams of L-Citrulline before training.

Creatine

When we talk about creatine products, we need to make sure it is the purest form.

This is just an overall excellent creatine product. It is top of the line micronized pure creatine, which will help you get more influential in the gym and make your muscles feel fuller.

Why is micronized creatine better?  Micronized creatine is made by reducing large creatine molecules into smaller particles to optimize bioavailability and absorption. That is why you get the best bang for your buck right in this product. It will also support muscle growth.

L-Citrulline

When we introduce L-Citrulline, we will feel the effects right away.

That is a high-quality L-Citrulline Malate 2:1 Ratio. It contains 197 servings, but if you want to take more, it will still last you for a very long time: hands down, one of the best pre-workout supplements for pump and endurance.

 

Conclusion

Pre-workouts can be very effective at boosting your energy levels and making sure that you are giving your best at the gym. They improve your focus, stamina, strength, and endurance. Pre-workouts can be very dangerous as well, but when you take them right, they can be one of the best supplements for muscle building out there.


6 Comments

  1. Nuttanee

    I am that person that needs a little push with the supplements before I start my workout routine. I am always tired before I do my workout but when I take the supplements I feel like I can do this and I feel healthier as well. I last longer on cardio machines and I also can do more sets for weight training. It is night and day with the supplements. I have never tried C4 before, but I like the ingredients in it. I will give it a shot, thanks for the review. 

    1. Jan

      Pre-workouts are meant to push you beyond your limits. And they can be very useful when you are tired and demotivated for the gym. But everything in moderation. You should never rely on a supplement for performance. It should only enhance you to the best you can do. 

  2. Paolo

    A friend of mine at the gym has been telling me he has seem improvement since he begun to take a pre-workout called C4 Cellucor. And I’m surprised you also have it listed here. I’m OK with caffeine. And I also see it’s at an affordable price. I’ll definitely give it a try! Thanks for this post!

    1. Jan

      C4 is one of the best-known pre-workouts out there and has a great reputation.
      In fact, the thing is very cheap, considering what it has to offer. Just be careful with the dosage ;).

    1. Jan

      You probably have a built-up tolerance to caffeine. The serving contains 150mg of caffeine which is in the recommended range of 200mg per day. If you want more, you can add half a scoop and get around 225mg of caffeine. Any more than that I would not suggest. Thank you for your comment.

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