Pre-Workouts: Open the Gates to Supercharged Workouts
Do you feel a lack of motivation hitting the gym?
Are your workouts too draining?
Training is not easy. Professional athletes train endless hours per week, which takes a toll on the energy reserves of our bodies. Fatigue and stress are also common and drain away from the motivation of working out.
We all have been there!
Taking care of yourself is necessary. A proper diet with ample protein is a must to fuel recovery. Sleep is also important, with at least 7 – 8-hours per night a norm to facilitate muscle repair.
But what do you do about the tiredness?
Pre-workouts can help. When you need the extra energy, pre-workouts can give you the needed push. It’s not a solution, but a temporary fix to boost energy levels to train intensively.
For some, pre-workouts provide the motivation they need to work out.
Moreover, some bodybuilders take pre-workouts for bulking. The supplement can be the ideal choice to lift more weights for more muscles.
You may also consume pre-workouts to enhance performance.
The needs are many. Pre-workout comes to everyone’s rescue!
What is Pre-Workout
Many people have misconceptions about pre-workouts. Time has come to clear them all!
Pre-workout is a supplement that contains several ingredients.
We have no hard-and-fast rule on what ingredients to use. Manufacturers are free to choose what they wish. We will explore the most common ingredients in the next section, so stay put.
The credibility of a pre-workout depends on its ingredients. If they work, the supplement may very well become a part of your routine.
Reputed brands do research and choose ingredients with proven results. Scientific proof is essential, and many manufacturers even conduct clinical trials.
You can also look up the ingredients in Google to see if they really work.
A Pre-Workout is as Good as its Ingredients
Do pre-workouts work?
Pre-workouts are not magic formulas. They are scientific combinations proven to boost energy and strength.
However, the effectiveness of a pre-workout is decided by its ingredients.
If the ingredients work, you will get the desired results. If they don’t, you have just wasted your money!
So, always research the ingredients.
Google each substance on the list and see what they do. Look for studies and trials using the ingredient. See what results from the conclusions of the studies mention.
Go for pre-workouts that use proven ingredients and keep away from controversial ones.
Proven Ingredients for Pre-Workouts
What are the best ingredients for pre-workout?
As we said, always look for pre-workouts with proven ingredients. Here, we will share some common ingredients used in pre-workouts around the world.
Do not this list is not exhaustive. We have included the common substances used by different brands. You may find other ingredients in your supplement, too.
Additionally, newer ingredients are always coming up during research. So, make Google your friend and embark on a mission of truth-finding with each ingredient.
Here is the list of common ingredients without any further delay!
Enhanced performance without compromise
Beta-alanine is the top ingredient for pre-workouts. No other substance has shown the consistency beta-alanine shows in studies to boost energy, strength, and performance.
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid. We can get it from animal meat mostly. As a result, vegetarians have low levels of beta-alanine.
How Does Beta-Alanine Work?
Our muscles produce lactic acid during exercise, which leads to fatigue. A substance called carnosine present in our skeletal muscles can reduce this lactic acid.
Beta-alanine helps our bodies produce carnosine. This delays exhaustion and prevents fatigue from setting in.
Every single study has shown beta-alanine to increase carnosine levels. So, you can say beta-alanine is proven to increase power and energy.
Beta-alanine is very common in pre-workouts, while you also get it as a standalone supplement.
Here’s what you expect from beta-alanine-
Beta-alanine enhances muscle performance. The most prominent improvements are found in high-intensity muscle performance, for short to medium duration.
According to Bodybuilding.com, beta-alanine improves performances for exercises that continue beyond 60-seconds.
Many studies also show beta-alanine to help participants run faster and complete laps faster than the placebo group.
Beta-alanine can increase your output. Boxers who took beta-alanine experience increase in punch power by 20%.
Cyclists in another study were able to perform more intensively by taking beta-alanine. However, beta-alanine doesn’t increase strength, as many believe.
Beta-alanine helps you increase your time to exhaustion, according to Healthline. That means you can delay fatigue and work out for longer durations.
These three are the main benefits of beta-alanine with respect to boosting your performance and energy. Working out more can obviously add more muscles, to say the least!
Beta-alanine has a peculiar habit of giving you the tingles. You feel a crawling sensation under your skin that spreads to necks and shoulders. Some people even fell the “pin and needle” sensation in their palms.
Turns out, itch-mediating neurons behave that way to beta-alanine. But are beta-alanine tingles harmful?
No studies have ever found any adverse effects of beta-alanine. The International Society Of Sports Nutrition considers it perfectly safe.
The tingles last for 10 -15-minutes and die down. You have nothing to worry about them. You can, however, take a few steps-
- Don’t take more than the recommended dose
- Divide your supplement in 2 – 3 doses
- Go for slow-release formulas to avoid sudden spikes of beta-alanine
- Drink a lot of water
Your tingles should go away after a few days of starting the supplement. Click below to learn more about beta-alanine tingles and how to overcome them.
2. Citrulline Malate
More energy and easy detoxification
Citrulline malate is another wonder ingredient found in pre-workouts. It’s also a non-essential amino acid present in fruits like watermelon.
How does it contribute to better workouts?
Citrulline malate prepares you for pushing yourself harder. It also helps you recover from the effects of heavy exercise.
Additionally, it can even contribute to muscles.
The malate in citrulline malate is just malic acid that is naturally present in sour fruits. It makes the citrulline more stable and even reduces fatigue.
Role of Citrulline Malate
Citrulline plays a big role for bodybuilders-
A) Vasodilation: Citrulline boosts nitric oxide and dilates blood vessels. This allows more oxygen to flow to your muscles. As a result, your muscles-
- Absorb nutrients better
- Experience improved functions
- Grow in power and size
B) Reduce ammonia buildup: Exercise releases a number of toxins that go on to produce ammonia. Too much ammonia can invite tiredness and hamper your performance.
Citrulline boosts our body’s toxin-removal functions and clears excessive ammonia. Specifically, it helps get rid of ammonia by improving our urea cycle.
C) Boosts ATP creation: Our muscles use ATP to drive muscles during exercise. Citrulline helps in the production of creatine, which our body uses to make ATP.
Citrulline Malate Results
How do beta-alanine help athletes?
Lower Muscle Fatigue and Soreness
Citrulline malate clears the toxins that come from working out. Your body remains more energetic and motivated for the gym sessions.
Moreover, evidence shows citrulline to reduce muscle soreness.
Boost Athletic Performance
More nitric oxide means more oxygen and nutrients going to your muscles. You also get your ATP refilled by producing more creatine.
Naturally, all these build up endurance and improve athletic performance.
Studies show citrulline malate to increase bench press repetitions by a staggering 50%.
Citrulline helps our bodies use BCAAs more adeptly to promote muscle growth. It also stimulates a key signaling pathway responsible for building muscles.
Moreover, citrulline may also inhibit protein breakdown.
Citrulline acts passively to protect muscles and encourage growth.
Citrulline malate is common in pre-workouts. You can also buy them as separate supplements. Read our post on uses of citrulline for bodybuilders by visiting the link below.
Improved circulation for less fatigue
L-arginine used to be really popular, even a decade back. You can still find it in many pre-workouts. It’s another amino acid and found in animal meat and dairy products.
L-arginine, like citrulline, helps our body produce more nitric oxide.
So, you are getting most of the benefits of citrulline that include-
More oxygen and nutrients in your muscle mean more power and endurance. You will be able to enhance performance and increase your exercise intensity.
However, l-arginine doesn’t increase strength.
You will be able to keep fatigued at bay with more healthy muscles. It may also improve lung functions, according to some evidence.
You can work out longer without getting tired.
L-arginine and citrulline are closely related. Both are amino acids and boost our body’s ability to make nitric oxide.
Now here’s the secret! Our bodies break down citrulline to arginine, which leads to NO production. So, even if you take l-arginine, your body will turn it into l-arginine without exceptions.
Citrulline Is Better Than L-Arginine
If citrulline turns into l-arginine, why not just take l-arginine instead?
As we said earlier, l-arginine supplements were really popular at one time. But current research shows citrulline to be better capable of increasing blood arginine levels.
Most of the l-arginine you take orally ends up getting wasted and eliminated by our bodies. But most of the citrulline you take gets converted to arginine.
So, it’s always better to use citrulline malate if you are using a standalone supplement for increasing NO.
We have a detailed comparison between both the amino acids for you. Click below to read.
4. Nitric Oxide
Get the pumps you deserve
We have been talking a lot about nitric oxide. Surely, it deserves a place of its own in pre-workouts. Right?
Here, we will share a fun fact!
You will not find any ingredient called nitric oxide in supplements. Surprised?
Nitric oxide is a gas. So, there’s no way of getting NO inside a supplement. So how do you get NO supplements?
Manufacturers use various ingredients that help our bodies produce nitric oxide. You already know our last two ingredients- citrulline and arginine- both facilitate NO production. You may also find nitrates that do the same, help you produce more nitric oxide.
You know what role NO plays to make our muscles healthy. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from NO supplements-
Endurance and Performance Boost
NO can make your workouts lighter on you.
Your muscles get more oxygen and nutrients when you take nitric oxide. This gives you the endurance to sustain intensive workouts.
Additionally, NO stimulates our energy-producing mitochondria.
You can look forward to improvements on the track, field, and gym. Many swimmers, runners, cyclists take NO supplements to increase exercise tolerance.
Less Muscle Soreness
People who exercise hard or for longer durations build up more toxins in their bodies. You read above how working out may increase ammonia and lactic acid.
Nitric oxide sends more oxygen to remove the toxins. It also brings down the workload on your muscles by making them healthier.
All of these contribute to cut back DOMS or muscle soreness. Studies show NO to reduce DOMs by as much as 40%.
NO relaxes and dilates blood vessels. As a result, more oxygen and nutrient-rich blood flow to your heart. That leads to less blood pressure and improved circulation.
A healthy heart is a gift for any athlete and fuels his performance and endurance.
Nitric Oxide has many more benefits. We have also discussed in depth how it can help bodybuilders and athletes, backed by scientific evidence. So, just visit read the blog below.
The building blocks of muscles
Anyone who wants to build muscles will surely know about BCAAs. In fact, we all learn about BCAA or branched-chain amino acids in school!
BCAAs contain three amino acids- valine, isoleucine, and leucine. They are essential amino acids, and we have to get them from our diet.
Animal proteins are rich in BCAAs, while you also find them in plant sources in some amounts.
BCAAs can contribute heavily to your muscle-building goals. It can-
- Builds and protects muscles
- Cut down DOMS
- Reduce tiredness
You won’t be able to add muscle mass without BCAAs- it’s that important!
Now, let’s see how BCAAs contribute to such wonderful results-
BCAAs Build and Protect Muscles
BCAAs act in a number of ways to facilitate protein synthesis and build muscle fiber. They even reduce protein breakdown and muscle damage.
- BCAAs activate the mTOR pathway responsible for protein synthesis. We call them the building blocks of muscles for this reason.
- The amino acids limit the breakdown of protein through different mechanisms.
- BCAAs directly increase myofibrillar protein synthesis.
- They restrict muscle damage by discouraging activities of MAFbx and MuRF-1.
BCAAs help you protect your existing muscles. You can also stimulate protein synthesis and directly add muscle mass.
Reduce Muscle Soreness
Muscle breakdown plays a big part in increasing muscle soreness. Many enzymes, like lactate dehydrogenase and creatine kinase, damage our muscles.
BCAAs lowers these harmful enzymes and protect our muscles from harm. In studies, BCAAs reduced muscle soreness by 33%.
BCAAs lower neural fatigue. You can maintain your focus and work out intensively without getting tired. However, don’t expect an energy boost from BCAAs.
These are the most important contributions of BCAAs for athletes and bodybuilders. It also has other benefits like-
- Facilitates weight loss
- May relieve liver problems
Best BCAA Ratio
Those in the fitness world regularly debate over the best BCAA ratio. That means the ratio of valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
Earlier, research placed more importance on valine for muscle-building results. As a result, many supplements used a ratio of 8:1:1 or even 10:1:1, for leucine: isoleucine: valine.
However, current research shows we need all three BCAAs to build maximum muscles. Leucine is no doubt important, but you can’t compromise on valine or isoleucine.
The best BCAA ratio is 2:1:1, where 50% is leucine, and the rest is made of isoleucine and valine (25% each).
This ratio provides an adequate amount of all three amino acids to build muscles actively. Although, you don’t need to worry about the BCAA ratio if it’s an ingredient in your pre-workout.
The ratio only matters when you take BCAA as a standalone supplement. If you are curious to know more about the magical powers of BCAAs, just click below!
Lean muscle and strength beyond comparison
We have all heard about creatine. Chances are, you have even tried creatine for its wonderful contributions.
For beginners, creatine is the right supplement to step into the professional fitness world. What can creatine do for you?
Creatine is an ingredient in pre-workouts, so of course, it gives you the energy to work out. But that’s not where the magic of creatine ends.
How Creatine Works
Creatine is one of the most sold supplements. You also get creatine as a part of pre-workouts from many brands.
Creatine exists in our muscles and brains as phosphocreatine. Creatine you take as supplements will increase the phosphocreatine stores in your muscles.
Our muscles use this phosphocreatine to create ATP, which gets used up to produce energy. Any exercise or move that involves contraction needs energy or ATP. So, creatine is crucial for us. Every cell in our body uses creatine to produce energy.
Our bodies make some of its own creatine. But athletes and active people use more energy and need more phosphocreatine to function.
Creatine in supplements will refuel your muscle with phosphocreatine to produce energy. Now, let’s take a look at the contributions of creatine.
More Strength and Power
A ready source of energy for your muscles does wonders for your performance. Studies show creatine to increase strength by at least 10%.
Your high-intensity short-duration exercises will surely feel the difference once you start taking creatine. You can also improve ballistic power and sprint performance. Also, creatine reduces fatigue!
Moreover, you will be able to lift more weights to build more muscles.
Builds and Heals Muscles
Evidence always shows creatine to add muscle mass by stimulating key biological pathways. It even leads to the growth of muscles in the elderly.
You can gain lean muscle mass with creatine as a result of hypertrophy.
Additionally, creatine can facilitate muscle recovery. Research reveals creatine to lower markers of muscle damage. You can even lower your inflammation.
Improved Cognitive Functions
Our brains use creatine to produce energy, like the rest of the body. When you take creatine, your brains get more power to function better.
Creatine even boosts dopamine levels and brain mitochondria function.
Vegetarians, who generally have low phosphocreatine, show remarkable improvements after taking creatine-
- Better brain processing speed
- Improved working memory
- More intelligence
Of course, you are not going to turn smart just by taking creatine. But it will help you maintain focus and concentrate on your performance or training.
Creatine has a number of other benefits-
- Keeps heart healthy
- May promote bone health
- Controls blood sugar levels
- Helps in Parkinson’s disease
- May boost testosterone
Creatine is itself a must-have supplement for bulking or building muscles. We have covered every single detail about creatine in our exclusive creatine super series below. Do check it out!
Uncompromised performance and fat burning
“Everyone should believe in something. I believe I will have another coffee.” – Unknown.
Like the unknown author of the quote, many athletes put their trust in caffeine to work out better. The caffeine in you cup of coffee is a door to wonderful benefits like-
- More energy and focus
- Improved athletic performance
- Improved endurance
The results of coffee are surprising. So, it’s not at all surprising to find caffeine in almost all pre-workouts and fat burners. You can count on caffeine as a safe way to hit the peak of your performance and output.
Let’s see what makes caffeine as one of the best ingredients for pre-workouts-
Enhances Athletic Performance
The research world has come to one conclusion- caffeine, in recommended amounts, is best to improve athletic performance.
Caffeine preserves glycogen stores of your muscles. Glycogen (from glucose) is responsible for storing energy.
A cup of coffee can switch your body to use fat for energy, keeping the glycogen stores intact. As a result, you can-
- Exercise intensively for a longer duration
- Keep fatigued away
- Perform more reps and lift more weights
In studies, caffeine makes working out feel less difficult. That leads to improvements in performance once again!
Mental Focus and Alertness
We can all say from personal experience- coffee gets things done. You can get the motivation for starting the day and going about your duties.
The same happens for workouts!
Studies show caffeine to enhance mental performance. Athletes on caffeine outsmart their opponents and attain better accuracy in whatever sports they are in.
Caffeine even stimulates the activities of our brain’s prefrontal lobe. This part of the brain is associated with attention and problem-solving. Naturally, you can expect improvements in your decision-making, strategizing, and related cognitive functions.
Burns Fat Like a Pro
Caffeine is your best partner for weight loss.
The substance shifts our bodies into thermogenesis that burns fat instead of glycogen to produce energy. You can effectively reduce fat by as much as 30%.
Most fat burners also contain caffeine for this reason.
Reduces Muscle Soreness
In studies, caffeine has shown to cut back muscle soreness by a whopping 50%.
We can cite the preservation of glycogen and making exercises feel easy as reasons. So, you can say caffeine helps you recover better.
Along with the above benefits, caffeine may lower the risks of some diseases. Read our detailed post of caffeine and its effects on athletes by visiting the link below.
8. Vitamin B-12
Facilitate healthy energy production
Vitamin B-12 is a controversial ingredient. Don’t worry; it’s completely safe! Additionally, vitamin B-12 has a role in our nerves and blood cells healthy.
So, why it’s controversial?
There’s nothing controversial about B-12. What’s controversial is its highly-claimed benefits for athletes.
Does vitamin B-12 serve any need in pre-workouts?
Vitamin B-12 is Essential for Energy
Vitamin B-12 deficiency leads to weakness and tiredness. Vegetarians are more likely to suffer from B-12 deficiency as most of it is found in animal meat and fish.
Our bodies need vitamin B-12 to create glucose from food. As a result, it is essential in one way to produce energy.
However, can vitamin B-12 have any use for athletes?
As we said earlier, there are many exaggerated claims about B-12, like-
- Taking B-12 supplement increases energy
- Athletes need more vitamin B-12
- You need to meet your daily requirement of B-12
We indeed need vitamin B-12 to produce energy. But taking it as a supplement will not increase energy as creatine does.
Only people who are deficient in vitamin B-12 will feel improvements.
Also, athletes don’t need more B-12 than the average person. Our livers store years worth of supply of vitamin B-12, so you don’t have to worry.
Till now, no studies show B-12 to increase energy, unless you are deficient in the vitamin. According to the National Institutes of Health, B-12 doesn’t improve athletic performance for healthy people.
A bit of vitamin B-12 in your pre-workout won’t do any harm. It’s safe, so you don’t need to throw your supplement away if it’s in the list of ingredients.
Just don’t count on B-12 for athletic gains!
Benefits and Effectiveness
Do you remember what we told you in the beginning?
A pre-workout is only as good as its ingredients.
Naturally, the results you get from a pre-workout will depend on the ingredients. We discussed the most common ingredients above, so you already have an idea of what pre-workouts can do.
You can just take your pre-workout, see the ingredients, and check the results from this post. If you don’t find your ingredient here, you always have Google.
Here, we will just give you the overall benefits of pre-workouts.
More Energy and Power
Ingredients like beta-alanine and citrulline malate deliver more energy to your muscles. You get the power to lift more weights or run the extra lap. You can also feel energetic for your gym sessions and get much-needed motivation.
Creatine and nitrates in pre-workouts increase your muscle strength. You can increase your reps and step up the intensity of your training. The strength also helps you push yourself harder and longer.
You can also work out intensively to get maximum gains.
More power, strength, and oxygen to your muscles improve athletic performance. Whether you run, swim, play, or cycle, you can expect a boost in your output.
Caffeine and similar stimulants also help you maintain focus and stay on the course to achieve your goals.
Your pre-workout is a way to lessen your tiredness. BCAA, l-arginine, citrulline, and other substances help you delay fatigue and even work out for more time.
Some workouts will even reduce muscle fatigue. Ingredients like caffeine make exercise feel less intensive and lowers the perceived workload.
Fewer Cramps and Muscle Pain
You have seen several ingredients in our list that can reduce muscle soreness. As a result, you will experience fewer cramps, pains, and discomforts in your muscles.
You will naturally recover faster and stay fresh and raring to hit the gym.
Your pre-workout may contain BCAA, creatine, and other ingredients to promote protein synthesis. As you work out, you will develop lean muscles minus the fat.
Some pre-workouts even help you improve body composition.
How to Determine the Effectiveness of Pre-Workouts
As we said earlier, take to Google to find out how effective your pre-workout is. You don’t have to ask anyone or depend on biased opinions.
Do thorough research and see what the ingredients in your supplement do. Refer to our list and trusted sources to source your information. Do this for every single ingredient.
In the end, just combine the results of each ingredient in your pre-workout to determine effectiveness.
How to Get Best Results from Your Pre-Workout
Best Time to Take Pre-Workouts
When should you take pre-workouts?
Every supplement has some conditions for providing the best results. The timing, what you mix your supplement with, and several factors impact the effectiveness of supplements.
As the name suggests, pre-workouts are supposed to be taken before exercising. Now, you might wonder how much before!
The active ingredients in your pre-workout need some time to take effect. The creatine, BCAAs, citrulline- all take some time to reach the peak levels in your blood.
Let’s take caffeine, for example.
It will need half an hour to one hour to reach the peak level. Following this, caffeine will stay for hours in our system.
This shows it’s important to give some time for the ingredients in your pre-workout to work. So, the best time to take pre-workouts would be 30 – 60-minutes before working out.
Tip: Follow the instructions on the label to have the best results.
How to Best Take Pre-Workouts
What should you have your pre-workout with?
Many of you may think of adding milk to your pre-workout. However, that’s not the best way to have your pre-workout.
Milk contains protein, carbs, and fat. Mixing your pre-workout with milk will increase the time your body needs to digest the supplement. So, you will feel the effects of your pre-workout much later.
The best way to have your pre-workout is with plain water. Your body can quickly absorb the ingredients and be ready with the energy you need to exercise.
Note: Try to eat a meal with carbs and protein 3 -4-hours before working out. The carb will give you the power to fuel your exercise, while the protein will help build muscles.
Can You Take Pre-Workouts in the Evening
Some people don’t get the time to work out in the day. Maybe you have a job or need to attend to your responsibilities, and exercise in the evening.
For such people, is taking pre-workouts in the evening a good decision?
Pre-workouts can cause only one problem when you take them later in the evening. What is the problem?
Pre-workouts contain stimulants like caffeine to drive away fatigue and increase alertness. Now, you know how a late cup of coffee in the evening makes it difficult to sleep!
You can have the same problems as your pre-workout. Because of stimulants, taking pre-workouts in the evening can keep you awake at night. Or, you might toss and turn on the bed without being able to sleep.
So, it’s not a good idea to take pre-workouts closer to bedtime. Keep at least a 6 – 7-hours gap between taking pre-workouts and sleeping to avoid any issues.
Myths About Pre-Workouts
Myth 1: Pre-Workouts Contain Steroids
Is your supplement going to ruin your health?
We hear this myth for a number of supplements. Many people think their supplements contain steroids or harmful chemicals.
It’s true supplements are not regulated, and we do have some controversial products in the market. That’s why we always ask you to research the supplement thoroughly.
No reputed company will add steroids to their products. Nobody wants to lose business, and we do have quality brands making quality supplements.
None of the ingredients in our list is a steroid. All are natural and exist in nature or our bodies. So, the answer is no; your pre-workout is not a steroid.
You don’t have to worry about chemicals as long as your supplement uses natural ingredients.
That being said, some companies may try to use controversial ingredients. That again tells you about the need to research your supplement and its ingredients.
Myth 2: Women Can’t Have Pre-Workouts
Is pre-workout safe for women?
We really don’t know where this myth came to be. Maybe it’s similar to myths like creatine makes women bloated.
Naturally, there is no basis for this myth. Pre-workouts work for both genders equally well. You are going to get results from a good pre-workout irrespective of whether you are male or female.
The ingredients in pre-workout don’t generally have an effect on your hormones. As a result, you can safely take pre-workouts if you are a woman.
Just make sure you choose a quality pre-workout free of chemicals or questionable ingredients. If any pre-workout causes harm, it will do so for both genders.
There is nothing in pre-workouts that make it specifically unsafe for women.
Myth 3: Pre-Workouts Keep You Awake at Nights
Do pre-workouts lead to restless nights?
Sleep is important for any person, especially athletes. Unless you get proper sleep, your body won’t recover fully from the effects of exercise.
Naturally, anything that may keep us turning and tossing in bed is not worth the investment. So, do pre-workouts hamper sleep?
Pre-workouts contain stimulants like caffeine to provide an energy boost. Now, if that will keep you awake at night or not depends on a number of factors.
Most of us can have two cups of coffee a day and still sleep peacefully. Some people even drink coffee after dinner.
If you are okay with stimulants like caffeine, you won’t notice any difference in your sleep. That goes for most of us.
However, some of us are super sensitive to stimulants. They drink a cup of coffee at 5 pm and still find it difficult to fall asleep at 11 pm.
For such people, taking pre-workouts in the day is preferable. You can give enough time for the stimulants to leave your body without affecting your sleep.
Conduct a Sleep Test
Do a sleep test with your pre-workout to see if it impacts your sleep.
Choose a weekend or anything convenient when you don’t have to wake up early the next day
Take your pre-workout 20 – 30-minutes before working out
Monitor if you face any problems falling asleep
If everything goes fine, you won’t need to worry about your sleep.
- Start with a small dose to be super safe
- Don’t take more than the manufacturer recommended dose
Myth 4: Pre-Workouts Will Make You Jittery
Will pre-workouts make you clench your teeth?
Drugs like amphetamine or ecstasy make you grind your teeth when they hit you. You feel all jittery and restless, trying to control your energy surges.
While some may enjoy the feeling, most of us are put off even by the thought of something so upsetting.
Thankfully, pre-workouts are not drugs. Most of them contain safe ingredients that just provide you some energy and power.
Think of caffeine. It’s a safe ingredient to make you alert and active. Unless you are sensitive to caffeine, you won’t get jitters from your coffee.
The same goes for pre-workouts. Most of us will be okay with the stimulants as long as you stick to the recommended dose.
You may feel a bit of tingling sensation, as we discussed for beta-alanine. But they are harmless and not a concern for anyone.
To make it safe, follow the tips we provided for the myth above.
Myth 5: Pre-Workouts Are Addictive
Do pre-workouts turn you into a junkie?
Some substances are habit-forming. Take coffee, for example.
If you get are habituated to caffeine, missing your morning cup of coffee may make you feel uneasy. Additionally, you may also have symptoms like anxiety and headaches.
So, can you get addicted to pre-workouts?
We would suggest you check out the ingredients of your pre-workout to get the answer. Unless it has some controversial chemicals, you won’t get addicted to your supplement.
It’s also crucial to follow the recommended doses to eliminate all risks. You don’t need to worry about addiction if you buy your supplement from a reputed brand.
Cycle Your Pre-Workout
While we may not get addicted to pre-workouts, our bodies can get tolerant to the stimulants. As a result, our body will need more of the substance to produce the same results.
The best way to avoid building tolerance is to cycle your pre-workouts. Take a week or two off from your supplement to wear off the effects.
You can then restart the cycle once more.
Side Effects and Drawbacks
Do pre-workouts cause side effects?
We will fall back on our first section to explain this part. Let’s keep it short and repeat what we said one more time –
Your pre-workout is as good as its ingredients
Naturally, the probable side effects also depend on the ingredients of your pre-workout. As we don’t know what ingredients your supplement uses, we can’t just jot down a list.
You will need to research the ingredients to know whether they cause any adverse effects.
You generally won’t need to worry about side effects if you stay within the recommended dose and buy a quality supplement.
Too much of anything is bad, and the same holds true for pre-workouts. Even overdosing on vitamin A can lead to liver damage!
That being said, people who are sensitive to stimulants may experience-
- Jitters and bruxism
- Anxiety and restlessness
- Difficulty falling asleep
Start with a small dose and conduct the sleep test we recommended if you are apprehensive about your supplement. Additionally, never take more than the suggested dosage.
The Best Pre-Workout Buying Guide
Steps to buy the best supplement
How do you ensure you buy a pre-workout that actually works?
A bit of research can help you find the best pre-workout from a reputed brand at the right price. Curious to learn more?
Here’s what you need to do-
Step 1: Research the Manufacturer
We always stress on quality and purity when it comes to food. The same standards should apply when you buy a supplement.
Spend time researching the company that makes your pre-workout-
- Look for the volume of sales, countries of operation, years in business
- Read a few reviews of the brand
- Visit the website and check for credibility
- Look for awards and certifications
- Search for media coverage and press releases
Analyzing the above will give you a good idea about the reputation of the manufacturer. Once you are convinced, move to the next step.
Step 2: Research the Ingredients
There’s nothing as important as this step!
You need to research the ingredients of your pre-workout for its effectiveness and side effects. Google each ingredient, check out trusted sources, and do your research.
Choose 3 – 5 supplements from reputed brands and do the ingredients analysis. Then go for the supplement that contains ingredients with proven results.
Step 3: Determine Product Effectiveness
The last step is to make sure the pre-workout provides expected results. You can look for unbiased reviews from industry-leading platforms like Healthline and Bodybuilding.com
Additionally, check out the reviews left by customers on platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, Healthkart, and others. This will give you an idea of what you can look forward to from your supplement.
Additional Step: Ordering Supplements Online
You will want to ensure you buy your pre-workout from a credible seller who sends the original product. For this, research the seller too!
- Look for customer ratings
- Check for negative reviews
- Make sure the seller responds to queries
- Check the number of years on the store
- Take a look at the volume of sales
- Check the shipping policies
The above metrics will tell you if a seller can be trusted. Stay away from sellers who have bad ratings and too many negative reviews.
Moreover, it’s always best to buy from authorized resellers.
We have a detailed pre-workout buying guide ready for your reference. Just click below!
Best Pre-Workout in India
Handpicked pre-workouts for powerful workouts
Buying a pre-workout that works is not an easy job. You need to spend days researching products to find the right one.
Unfortunately, not many of us have the time to embark on the quest to find the right supplement. We have to train, and most probably also attend our work and responsibilities.
Does that mean you settle for any pre-workout?
Buying the wrong supplement not only wastes money but can also become a health hazard. That’s why we decided to help you out by picking the best pre-workouts with proven ingredients.
We have taken the time to follow each step of our pre-workout buying guide presented above. Hours have been dedicated to unearthing products that work without exceptions.
We went through countless reviews, pages of content, journals, and research work. In the end, we have made up the list of 5 best pre-workouts you can buy in India.
Do check out our recommendations for improving your performance and power. We also have products that help you build stamina and put on lean muscles.
Find out what works best for Indian bodybuilders and athletes by visiting the link below.
Q. Do I really need a pre-workout?
Answer: Pre-workout is not a necessity. You can call it a catalyst that powers up your workouts.
Not all of us need pre-workouts. Some are always motivated and teeming with energy. They can push themselves backed by a diet and optimum bodily functions.
But not all of us are that lucky!
Most athletes lack the inspiration to give their best unless it’s a contest. You may also feel generally tired and lethargic due to various factors.
If you are among such people, pre-workouts can be a good way to boost your energy. You can get the power to do your exercises perfectly for the right gains.
Q. How long does pre-workouts take to kick in?
Answer: The exact time taken for your pre-workout to take effect will depend on the ingredients. That’s why we recommend following manufacturer instructions for the best results.
If we have to give a number, you can say a typical pre-workout takes 20 – 30-minutes to kick in. You should have your pre-workout at least half-an-hour before working out to enjoy the effects during exercising.
Q. Can you drink pre-workouts during a workout?
Answer: The ingredients in a pre-workout take some time to show results. You need to give your body enough time to digest and absorb the ingredients. That’s why it’s better to have your supplement sometime before exercising.
Having your supplement during working out is a bad idea. Why?
Because the ingredients will take time to kick in. Drinking your pre-workout during exercise will delay the effects. By the time your supplement takes effect, you may be done working out. So, your pre-workout doesn’t provide any value.
Drink your pre-workout 2- – 30-minutes before exercising.
Q. Does pre-workouts really work?
Answer: A pre-workout will work as long as the ingredients are backed by science. If you choose a pre-workout with bogus ingredients, surely it’s not going to work.
We have said many times to research your ingredients. Also, follow the steps in our pre-workout buying guide to make sure you buy the right product.
Adopting a bit of caution, doing research, and picking a pre-workout with the best ingredients is the way to go.
Q. Is BCAA better than pre-workouts?
Answer: BCAA and pre-workouts are not the same things. However, you might find BCAA in your pre-workout, as we discussed in our ingredients list.
BCAA is mostly responsible for building and protecting muscles. They might have a role in reducing neural fatigue, but we need more research to make any conclusions.
BCAA won’t give you an energy boost or increase power. So, you may say BCAA is not better than pre-workouts in terms of increasing power or stamina.
BCAAs fulfill different fitness goals and are sometimes added to pre-workouts to promote muscle building.
Q. Does pre-workouts help you lose weight?
Answer: Pre-workouts are not designed for weight loss. However, you may find some ingredients in the supplement that help you lose weight.
Caffeine is a common ingredient in pre-workouts that helps our bodies burn fat. Pre-workouts may contain other similar ingredients that reduce your weight.
It’s best to take fat burners to lose weight. Pre-workouts are geared more for boosting energy and strength.
Research the ingredients to see if they have any effect on weight loss. That way to can determine if your pre-workout will help you lose weight.
Q. Is it bad to take pre-workout on an empty stomach?
Answer: Pre-workouts are made from safe ingredients. They don’t usually have adverse effects, especially if you buy a quality supplement.
As a result, taking pre-workout on an empty stomach is safe and harmless.
However, it may not be a good idea when you-
- Have a sensitive stomach (an lead to digestive issues)
- Plan to work out (empty stomach will make you weak)
It’s always best to eat a meal 3 – 4-hours before working out. Then you can have your pre-workout 20 -30-minutes before exercising.
You can take your pre-workout on an empty stomach and see how it turns out. But it’s always wise to refuel yourself with carbs and protein to get ready for your gym session.
Q. Is pre-workout addictive?
Answer: We have already discussed this in detail in our pre-workout myths section. Let’s recap what we learned.
Pre-workouts are not as addictive as they don’t contain chemicals or drugs. That being said, you may develop a habit for some ingredients like caffeine. Your body will develop tolerance, and you will need to increase your dose for the same effects.
We recommend you cycle your pre-workout and take a break of 1- 2-weeks. This will give enough time to your body to eliminate the stimulants.
Q. Can I mix BCAA with pre-workouts?
Answer: You already know BCAAs are used in pre-workouts to aid muscle-building goals. That makes BCAA a great companion for your pre-workout.
You can always combine BCAA or whey protein with your pre-workout. It’s completely safe, and many of us do use this combination for ultimate strength and muscle mass.
Make sure you use a 2:1:1 ratio for BCAAs (leucine: isoleucine: valine). You can safely mix 20 – 25-grams of BCAA with each dose of your pre-workout.
Q. Can I replace black coffee with a pre-workout?
Answer: Some of us have a habit of drinking a cup of black coffee before working out. Now, you may wonder if that cup of coffee can be substituted with your pre-workout.
If you want to boost energy, you can safely replace your coffee with pre-workout. Most probably, your pre-workout already contains caffeine, and replacing it with your supplement is harmless.
Substituting your coffee with pre-workouts will allow you to take advantage of the other ingredients in the pre-workout. You may get much better results and derive more stamina by switching your coffee with your supplement.
So go ahead and give it a try!