How to Choose a Pre-Workout Supplement


Don’t want to turn into that guy? Then read on.

Are you working out daily, but get tired easily and your results aren’t improving at the rate you would like them to? Chances are that you have hit a plateau, which might be too difficult for you to overcome on your own. A good way to give your workout a push and start seeing improvements again is to find a good pre-workout supplement.

(Un)fortunately there are hundreds to choose from and each one seems to promise the same benefits:

  • Improved performance
  • Increased endurance and strength
  • Faster muscle recovery
  • Increased protein synthesis
  • More energy and better focus
  • Faster fat burn (increased metabolic rate
  • Proper hormonal environment for exercising

But can all of this be achieved with just about any pre-workout supplement? Of course not. In order to choose the best pre-workout supplement for you, you first need to set your goals.

Pre-Workout Supplements For Power and Strength

If strength and power is what you are looking for, then you need supplements that help you lift more weights and contain one or more of the following ingredients:

  • Creatine monohydrate – the most powerful strength booster. In fact, you can even take creatine alone before you head to the gym, and the results will still improve.
  • Taurine – this amino acid is thought to help control the balance of fluids within you body but also keep your mood and motivation up.
  • Beta-Alanine – another amino acid that promotes power, muscle strength and endurance.

Pre-Workout Supplements for Fat Burn

If you are working out to lose fat and slim down, the most powerful ingredient that the formula of the perfect supplement should include is caffeine. Many studies have shown caffeine to effectively speed up metabolism and release beta-endorphins to prevent fatigue and increase workout intensity. Caffeine also gives you energy and keeps you from getting too tired too quickly.

Pre-Workout Supplements for Bulking Up

If your only goal for training is to get huge muscles, whether it is just for show or there is a competition coming up, then l-arginine is your best bet. This ingredient, when included in supplements, increases blood flow into the muscles, making them appear larger.

Other important ingredients for bulking up as BCAAs, whey protein and high glycemic carbohydrates.

weight lifting

Pre-Workout Supplements for Endurance

Endurance training is again a whole different game. If your endurance is high, you can lift weights longer and do more reps, as a runner, it helps you run faster and increase your distance. Endurance is important in many sports.

For a pre-workout supplement to help with endurance, it should contain citrulline malate, which optimizes blood flow in the muscles and creates aerobic energy. Beta-alanine can also help here, as mentioned above.

What Else to Consider When Choosing the Supplement?

While ingredients is the most important part to consider, there are other factors to look at when choosing the perfect pre-workout supplement. For starters, you should always make sure you are buying your supplement from a trusted source. Stick to reputable brands and products with lots of positive feedback from previous users.

Here are three tips to find a good supplement:

  • Read user feedback – if most users love a product, chances are you will too.
  • Find out top sellers and buy from them – there is a reason why they are at the top!
  • Cost – be sure to also check how many servings each container has. Some manufacturers try to trick you with cheap prices, but only pack 10-20 days worth of servings per bottle.

How to Take Pre-Workout Supplements

Now that you have chosen your product(s), be sure to take it properly. Always read the label and any instructions that come with the supplement.

Don’t take two or more different supplements with one go. While the ingredients in them may be good and useful, too much is never good. You may overdo with caffeine and other stimulants and end up at the hospital.

Also, don’t take the supplement on days you don’t work out. It’s a pre-workout supplement, which means you should take it about 30-60 minutes before going to the gym.

Take care f our post-workout nutrition as well, these supplements don’t replace a good old protein shake after working out.

Bottom Line

Choosing the right pre-workout supplement is important as it helps to achieve your goals faster. Get a supplement that is specially created with your goal in mind, comes from a reputable supplier/manufacturer and comes highly recommended. Then you can be almost certain that you have made the right choice!

About The Author

Mike is one who's "been there, done that" guy. Working from home for over 10 years, he had gained over 40lbs of excess weight. He came to a realisation that his life can't go on like this anymore and it needed to change. He found CrossFit and started learning about healthy eating. Having lost all his excess body weight in the last 2 years he now regularly takes part in CrossFit competitions.

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