Best Pre-Workout Supplements for 2020

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If you’ve put any time in the gym, you’ve probably seen people chugging pre-workouts in hopes of boosting their workout performance.

However, not all pre-workout supplements are created equal.

Some will deliver proven ingredients that can give you a clear advantage in the gym. Others might just flavor your water without providing any benefit beyond that.

That’s why it’s important to inform yourself of things to look for when shopping for a pre-workout.

What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workouts are a category of supplements that aim to boost exercise performance, whether it be for strength or endurance.

Here are a few things that a good pre-workout can deliver:

  • Increased strength
  • Increased muscular endurance
  • Improved recovery from training sessions
  • Increased nitric oxide production, leading to better pumps
  • Improved focus
  • Higher chance of hypertrophic effect from a training session

To get all these benefits, you need a pre-workout with efficacious doses of a multitude of ingredients.

Luckily, our list of the top 10 pre-workouts for 2020 boasts the best of the bunch to get you the results you want!

Best pre-workout supplements currently on the market

1. 4 Gauge

4 gauge pre workout

4 Gauge is another open-label product that boasts a multitude of effective ingredients. It doesn’t contain as many as Transparent Labs Bulk, but it does contain enough to make it highly useful for trainees.

4 Gauge is recommended somewhere between 15-45 minutes before a workout. The less you have eaten, the closer to your workout you can take it.

It requires 2 scoops to be mixed in water but can be dosed higher once tolerance is tested.

Ingredients

  • Potassium – 10 mg
  • Sodium – 20 mg
  • Calcium – 30 mg
  • L-Citrulline Dl-Malate – 6000 mg
  • Creatine Monohydrate – 1000 mg
  • Acetyl L-Carnitine (as Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl) – 500 mg
  • Red Beet (Beta Vulgaris) Root Extract – 300 mg
  • Coconut Water Powder – 300 mg
  • L-Theanine – 200 mg
  • Caffeine Anhydrous – 150 mg
  • Rhodiola Rosea (Root) Powder – 100 mg

Pros & Cons

Sold by top rated company
Natural ingredients
Great overall pre-workout
Double servings are safe
No proprietary blends
No hidden ingredients
Ship from UK and USA
Vegetarian and vegan friendly

Low creatine
Lacks in the endurance department

Our Verdict

4 Gauge is an awesome pick for those who are regularly strength training. Go a different direction if you want to boost endurance more than strength.

If you want more information about this supplement, then read our 4 Gauge review.

Shop 4 Gauge Now

at www.4gauge.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

2. Transparent Labs Bulk pre-workout

 

Transparent Labs Pre-workout

Bulk is a high-quality pre-workout by Transparent Labs. They tout themselves as being open-label and show their customers exactly what is in their products, so it’s easy to see why Bulk becomes such a highly-regarded product.

Bulk requires one scoop to be taken 20-30 minutes before a workout, mixing it in 16-24 oz of water.

Ingredients

  • Citrulline Malate – 6g
  • Beta-Alanine – 4g
  • BCAAs – 4g
  • Betaine – 2.5g
  • Taurine – 1.3g
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – 600mg
  • Choline Bitartrate – 500mg
  • L-Theanine – 360mg
  • Caffeine – 180mg
  • Mucuna Pruriens – 70mg
  • L-Norvaline – 60mg
  • Synephrine – 50mg
  • Hordenine – 25mg
  • Bioperine – 5mg
  • Vitamin D3 – 3,000 IU
  • Zinc – 30mg
  • Boron – 5mg

Pros & Cons

Effective ingredients
No artificale flavours
Great for strength training
No illegal ingredients
Great overall pre-workout
Global Shipping

Doesn’t contain Creatine
Multiple stimulants

Our Verdict

Transparent Labs Bulk is a great product from a reputable company. You can’t go wrong choosing this product if you are training for strength and muscular endurance. Simply add in Creatine and hydrating compounds at a different time and you have everything you need!

Shop Transparent Labs Now

at www.transparentlabs.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

3. PowHer Pre-workout (Editor’s Choice for The Best Women’s Pre-Workout)

powher pre workout for women

The PowHer Pre-Workout is the best choice on the market for those looking for a product designed specifically for women.

Men and women are built a little different and tolerate ingredients differently, so a pre-workout designed for women may be exactly what you need!’

PowHer requires one scoop to be taken with water about 30 minutes before starting training.

Ingredients

  • Vitamin B6 – 10mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 50mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid – 10mg
  • Taurine – 2.5g
  • Citrulline Malate – 2g
  • Beta-Alanine – 1g
  • Beta Vulgaris – 500mg
  • Lysine – 500mg
  • Tyrosine – 500mg
  • Coconut Water Powder – 500mg
  • OxyJun Terminalia Arjuna – 400mg
  • EnXtra Alpinia Galanga – 300mg
  • Caffeine – 100mg

Pros & Cons

For lighter trainees
Boosts aerobic endurance

Not for strength training
Heavier trainees need higher doses

Our Verdict

PowHer is a specialized product that serves its market very well. It’s not the best choice for all trainees, but women who want to build more muscular endurance and aerobic capacity will find it very effective!

Shop PowHer Now

at www.ultimatelifestore.com/powher/

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

4. BlackWolf Workout Track Pack

blackwolf-workout track pre-workout

BlackWolf Workout Track is a pre-workout product designed for men that delivers multiple effective ingredients.

It is designed to be used 20-30 minutes before a workout and mixed in your favorite beverage, or even in something like Yogurt.

It is unique in that it is also recommended to use it 2-3 times a day and in conjunction with the rest of the Hunter Pack, a stack of products that includes a pre, intra, and post-workout product.

Ingredients

  • Vitamin C – 200mg
  • Magnesium – 50mg
  • Potassium – 50mg
  • Pantothenic Acid – 25mg
  • Thiamin – 10mg
  • Zinc – 10mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 5mg
  • Selenium – 25mcg
  • Vitamin B12 – 10mcg
  • Whey Protein Isolate – 13g
  • Citrulline Malate (2:1) – 3g
  • Clarinol Conjugated Linoleic Acid – 3g
  • Beta-Alanine – 2.6g
  • L-Glutamine – 2.5g
  • L-Leucine – 2g
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate – 1.5g
  • Betaine HCl – 1g
  • L-Isoleucine – 1g
  • L-Taurine – 1g
  • L-Valine – 1g
  • Caffeine – 250mg

Pros & Cons

30 day money back guarantee
For lighter trainees
Good choice if you don’t want to be fatigued
FREE international delivery in 100 countries

Not for maximal ergogenic boosts.
Promotes recovery.
Expensive.

Our Verdict

Track is a great product, but it’s much different than the typical pre-workout. It serves its market well, but isn’t going to be the go-to choice for many trainees that like the typical pre-workout experience.

PowHer is a specialized product that serves its market very well. It’s not the best choice for all trainees, but women who want to build more muscular endurance and aerobic capacity will find it very effective!

Shop BlackWolf Track Now

at www.blackwolfworkout.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

5. Pre-Jym

PreJym pre-workout

Pre-Jym by Jym Supplement Science produces great results for those looking for a quality pre-workout that covers all the needs for overall fitness.

Pre-Jym is designed for one scoop to be mixed in about 14 oz of water and taken 30-45 minutes before a workout.

Ingredients

  • Creatine HCl (as CON-CRET®) – 2 g
  • Beta-Alanine (as CarnoSyn®) – 2 g
  • Betaine (Trimethylglycine) – 1.5 g
  • Taurine – 1 g
  • N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine – 600 mg
  • Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline (as AlphaSize®) – 150 mg
  • Citrulline Malate – 6 g
  • Beet (Beta vulgaris L.) Root Extract – 500 mg
  • L-Leucine – 3 g
  • L-Isoleucine – 1.5 g
  • L-Valine – 1.5 g
  • L-Tyrosine – 1.5 g
  • Caffeine Anhydrous – 300 mg
  • Huperzine A – 50 mcg
  • Black Pepper – 5 mg

Pros & Cons

One scoop contains all the ingredients needed.
8 different flavors.
Caffeine is dosed high enough for larger trainees to still feel.

Expensive.
Contains Dextrose (2g of added sugars).

Our Verdict

You can’t go wrong by choosing Pre-Jym as an all-around productive supplement to boost your results. Pick one of the many flavors and enjoy it!

Shop Pre-Jym Now

at www.bodybuilding.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

6. Nkd Nutrition Pre-Workout

Nkd Nutrition Pre-WorkoutThis pre-workout is designed for the folks who put their health above everything else! It doesn’t contain any ingredients like colors, flavors, or sweeteners.

Instead, it’s just active ingredients designed for results without any negative effects on health.

One to two scoops are to be mixed in your beverage of choice and consumed 15-30 minutes before a workout.

Ingredients

  • Vitamin C – 333mg
  • Vitamin B3 – 40mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 667mcg
  • Folate – 333mcg
  • Vitamin B12 – 47mcg
  • Calcium – 27mcg
  • Beta Alanine – 2g
  • Creatine – 1g
  • L-Arginine – 1g
  • Caffeine – 200mg

Pros & Cons

“Cleanest” product in pre-workout market.
Low cost.
Tested for heavy metal contaminants.

Useless as a nitric oxide booster.

Our Verdict

This Naked Energy Pre-Workout is a simple product that will produce results.

However, it’s best suited for those on a budget that want the peace of mind that comes with a product free from anything other than the active ingredients and undergoes rigorous testing to ensure it’s safety profile.

Shop Nkd Nutrition Now

at www.nkdnutrition.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

7. Pre-Kaged by Kaged Muscle

Pre-Kaged-pre-workout-supplement

Pre-Kaged is one of the most effective pre-workout supplements on the market while still being a healthy option. All of the Kaged Muscle products undergo testing for heavy metal contaminants, which as mentioned earlier, is rare in the supplement industry.

Pre-Kaged is designed for one scoop to be mixed with 16-20 oz of cold water and consumed 30-45 minutes before a workout.

Ingredients

  • Niacin – 30 mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 25 mg
  • Vitamin B12 – 500 mcg
  • L-Citrulline (fermented) – 6.5 g
  • QU995™ (Quercetin Anhydrous) – 200 mg
  • L-Leucine (fermented) – 1,750 mg
  • L-Isoleucine (fermented) – 875 mg
  • L-Valine (fermented) – 875 mg
  • L-Leucine (fermented) – 3 g
  • CarnoSyn® (Beta-Alanine) – 1.6 g
  • BetaPower® (Natural Betaine) – 2 g
  • Patented Creatine HCl – 1.5 g
  • Coconut Water Powder – 500mg
  • SPECTRA™ Total ORAC Blend – 100mg
  • Taurine – 2 g
  • N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine – 1 g
  • L-Tyrosine – 850 mg
  • PurCaf™ Caffeine (from green coffee beans) – 274 mg

Pros & Cons

Vegetarian friendly.
The product is tested for heavy metal contaminants.

Not cost effective.

Our Verdict

Pre-Kaged is a top-tier pre-workout that will deliver results for serious trainees. There are lighter options for those just trying out pre-workouts for the first time if Pre-Kaged seems a bit strong for your current needs.

Shop Pre-Kaged Now

at www.bodybuilding.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

8. Legion Pulse

legion pulse pre-workout supplement

Pulse by Legion Athletics is a no-nonsense product that delivers the highest quality ingredients and nothing else. It doesn’t include more ingredients just because they might work.

They only include those that have already shown their worth in research.

Pulse is best used with 2 scoops in 20-24 oz of water consumed 15-30 minutes before a workout.

Ingredients

  • Calcium – 148mg
  • Sodium – 230mg
  • Potassium – 345mg
  • Citrulline Malate – 8g
  • Beta-Alanine – 3.6g
  • Betaine – 2.5g
  • Caffeine – 350mg
  • L-Theanine – 350mg
  • Alpha GPC – 300mg

Pros & Cons

No questionable ingredients.
Great for strength.
Great for endurance.

No creatine.
No recovery ingredients.

Our Verdict

Sure, Pulse doesn’t contain as many ingredients as some of the other products on this list. However, it does contain the most promising ones used in research, so your results definitely won’t be limited!

Shop Legion Pulse Now

at www.legionathletics.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

9. Nitrosurge

Nitrosurge pre-workout supplement

Nitrosurge is another no-nonsense product focusing only on a few highly effective ingredients.

1-2 scoops can be used, mixed in water, 30-40 minutes before a workout.

Ingredients

  • Citrulline – 3g
  • Beta-Alanine – 1.6g
  • Betaine – 1.25g
  • Caffeine – 180mg
  • L-Theanine – 90mg
  • Theobromine – 50mg
  • AstraGin Astragalus Root & Tienchi Ginseng Root – 25mg

Pros & Cons

2 scoops deliver all of the ingredients.
Works well for strength and endurance.
Cost-effective.

No hydrating compounds.

Our Verdict

Nitrosurge is the best choice for those looking for the top ingredients used in pre-workouts without breaking the bank.

Shop Nitrosurge Now

at shop.jackedfactory.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

10. Cellucor C4 Original

Cellucor C4 Original Pre-workout Supplement

C4 is one of the best-selling pre-workouts on the market. However, it’s important to note that the formula has changed many times over the years, so knowing what’s in it in 2020 is relevant if you want results!

One scoop is best used, mixed with water, about 30 minutes before your workout.

Ingredients

  • Vitamin C – 250mg
  • Niacin – 30mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 500mcg
  • Folic Acid – 250mcg
  • Vitamin B12 – 35mcg
  • Calcium – 24mg
  • Beta-Alanine – 1.6g
  • Creatine Nitrate – 1g
  • Arginine AKG – 1g
  • 425mg Proprietary Blend of N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, Caffeine, Mucuna Pruriens, and Theacrine

Pros & Cons

Budget-friendly.
Flavors highly rated.
One of the best low-budget pre-workouts.

The doses contain below clinically proven doses.
Proprietary blend.

Our Verdict

C4 has been rated high for years. However, it is the last pre-workout we’d recommend out of all of the products on this list. It’ll work, but the other products are far superior!

Shop Cellucor C4 Original Now

at www.bodybuilding.com

*Individual results will vary. Please speak with a doctor before undertaking a new weight reduction, supplement, or exercise regime.

Best pre-workout supplement ingredients

The best ingredients fall under a few categories to maximize a supplement’s effectiveness:

  1. Stimulants
  2. Ergogenic Aids
  3. Nitric Oxide Boosters
  4. Nootropics
  5. Recovery Enhancers
  6. Hydrating Compounds
  7. Conditionally Essential Ingredients that work under certain training conditions

1. Stimulants

Stimulants are probably the most common ingredients found in the majority of pre-workouts. They can range from well-known compounds like Caffeine to unique synthetic compounds for maximum CNS stimulation.

The amount of stimulation you need for your training methods and your tolerance to stimulants themselves.

Stimulants aim to prime your CNS to be more responsive during training. This can work in a variety of ways, from increasing strength and endurance to boosting muscle activation to potentially improve hypertrophic effects from a session.

While Caffeine is certainly the most common and most researched, these are the 3 stimulants you may find in many pre-workouts:

  1. Caffeine – improves sprinting capacity (see study), increases power output (sees study), lowers the rate of perceived exertion (see study), and improves the ability to increase training volume (see study).
  2. Yohimbe – a stimulant that causes a high increase in energy while also promoting fat loss (see study).
  3. Synephrine – also known as Bitter Orange, it is similar in structure to ephedrine but is limited in its usefulness and efficacy.

There are derivatives of each of these ingredients that make their way into supplements as well, such as Yohimbine and Rauwolscine. These could be treated as equal to their natural counterparts.

Unfortunately, many stimulants don’t have a proven safety profile, so sticking with caffeine as the main stimulant is your best option. Luckily it’s proven the most effective in research as well, so you don’t have to sacrifice your health to see results.

2. Ergogenic Aids

Some ingredients are found in pre-workouts don’t have to be consumed before a workout to be effective

However, they boost workout performance and require regular dosing, so their inclusion in pre-workouts is common.

Here are the top 3 Ergogenic Aids:

  1. Creatine – increases power output (see study), improves sprinting capacity (see study), and increases lean mass gains (see study).
  2. Beta-Alanine – increases muscular endurance (see study), and may improve rates of fat loss (see study).
  3. Betaine – also labeled as trimethylglycine, it has been shown to boost power output and endurance (see study), although not as reliably as Creatine or Beta-Alanine.

These Ergogenic Aids can work in multiple ways with their main method of action of improving some factors of your fitness.

For example, creatine and beta-alanine are two of the most researched Ergogenic compounds, but they work on completely separate pathways and produce different performance enhancements.

The inclusion of all 3 of these compounds would make the pre-workout most effective for boosting overall performance.

3. Nitric Oxide Boosters

The benefit of boosting nitric oxide and blood flow to the working muscles has two major pathways: allowing more energy production within the muscle and speeding up the waste removal process.

Metabolites build up in the muscle when it is being trained, causing soreness and fatigue. Increasing available nitric oxide reduces this effect, allowing for more training volume.

While training volume isn’t the only factor in fitness improvements, it’s one of the best ways to improve results. The more high-quality volume you can do session to session, the quicker you should see results.

Here are the top 3 nitric oxide Boosters found in pre-workouts:

  1. Citrulline (see study)
  2. Nitrates (Beetroot) (see study)
  3. Ornithine (see study)

Arginine was common a few years ago, but science has essentially proven it ineffective at boosting nitric oxide when ingested orally. That’s why it’s important to keep up with the science to ensure you use the right compounds.

The best pre-workouts in 2020 look vastly different than they did 5 or 10 years ago.

When looking for the best boost in nitric oxide production, you only need one of these ingredients in an optimal dose. It’s not required to stack these.

4. Nootropics

Nootropics are a category of compounds that aim to boost mental performance.

Improving your physical performance isn’t just about your physical fitness. If you find trouble focusing in the gym and giving your all during training , you’ll have worse results.

A pre-workout is incomplete without some form of nootropic ingredient, especially if you want to cover all your bases for improving performance.

Here are the top 3 nootropics you’ll find in pre-workouts:

  1. Acetyl L Carnitine – improves attention (see study) and cognition (see study), while proving other useful benefits for fitness.
  2. Huperzine A – a promising compound for the treatment of dementia, but lacks in research for the fitness industry. Still, it’s a potent nootropic.
  3. Alpha GPC – decreases cognitive decline from aging and/or disease (see study) while also promoting increased power output (see study).

The inclusion of one ingredient from this list is usually enough. Studies haven’t examined the effects of multiple nootropics for workout performance, so you won’t find any evidence recommending as much.

Still, you’ll find nootropic based supplements that include 4-5+ nootropic ingredients claiming to be the best. It may work for some, but other compounds are more worthy of inclusion than more nootropics.

5. Recovery Enhancers

Some pre-workout ingredients are meant to jump-start the recovery process.

Here are the 3 most common recovery compounds in pre-workouts:

  1. HICA – decreases soreness (see study) while also being promoting as having anabolic or at least anti-catabolic properties.
  2. Tart Cherry Extract – reduces soreness, improve recovery rates of strength, and reduces catabolic properties of training (see study).
  3. White Willow Bark – known as nature’s Aspirin, it can alleviate muscle pains effectively (see study).

While you might notice improved recovery from Citrulline and other nitric oxide boosters, some ingredients enhance recovery from other pathways.

For example, HICA, a derivative of the amino acid Leucine, shows positive effects for recovery by enhancing protein synthesis.

Or, something like Tart Cherry extract works by reducing overall inflammation. However, a reduced inflammatory response from a workout may limit muscle gain, as inflammation is necessary to build muscle.

That’s a major reason why you won’t always find Recovery Enhancers in pre-workouts. They may be better served in a post-workout product.

You can view these more like bonuses than complete necessities in a high-quality pre-workout.

6. Hydrating Compounds

Staying hydrated alone can have wonderful effects on performance. A slight dehydration state can impair performance a significant amount.

That’s why choosing a pre-workout that also boosts hydration is key.

Here are a few common hydrating ingredients found in pre-workout supplements:

  1. Electrolyte Blends
  2. Coconut Water Powder
  3. Glycerol

It’s important to drink enough water daily. However, maximizing hydration during training can be near impossible with just water, especially if you are sweating a lot.

If your favorite pre-workout doesn’t have hydrating ingredients, you could substitute in a Gatorade, electrolyte mix, or even a dash of salt in the water to replace sodium, which is lost in abundance during periods of heavy sweating.

7. Conditionally Essential Ingredients

Some compounds work awesome in specific situations but are useless in others.

Here are 3 popular ingredients that may or may not be useful for your individual needs:

  1. Branched Chain Amino Acids
  2. Vitamins/Minerals
  3. Sodium Bicarbonate

Take BCAAs for instance: if you train fasted, BCAAs before a workout will boost performance and ward of catabolism. However if you aren’t training fasted, they don’t provide much benefit at all.

Many pre-workouts contain vitamins and minerals. If you are currently deficient in one ur more, then pre-workout dosing may be effective at boosting performance. But, if you don’t have any deficiencies, their inclusion won’t affect much.

Another promising compound for some is sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is effective at buffering lactic acid production.

While it’s highly effective for endurance athletes, most strength trainees won’t receive much from pre-workout dosing since most sets don’t build a large amount of lactic acid compared to endurance training.

So, you can see it’s important to judge your individual needs before choosing a pre-workout. What works for most may not be the best choice for your training styles.

Who should be taking pre-workouts?

Pre-workouts aren’t a necessary supplement. The exact nature of all supplements is to supplement a quality diet and exercise program, not be the difference between success and failure.

With that said, pre-workouts often contain ingredients that are clinically proven to boost performance. Improved performance can lead to better and faster results.

If you are someone that loves to push yourself to your limits and test what you are made of in the gym, a pre-workout may be a good choice.

If you can’t seem to make progress and have hit a dreaded plateau, a pre-workout with efficacious ingredients may help you busy through.

If you just started training and don’t take your nutrition seriously, a pre-workout may not be the right choice at the moment.

Adding a pre-workout to your routine without ensuring your nutritional intake is optimal us like icing a cake before it’s baked. Sure it looks pretty, but it’s not producing optimal results.

Pre-workout benefits & side effects

Here are some of the main benefits that are possible from the regular use of a pre-workout:

  • Increased energy levels
  • Increased focus
  • Improved strength and endurance levels
  • Optimized recovery
  • Reduced soreness
  • Increased fat oxidation
  • Higher rate of muscle gain
  • Adequate hydration
  • Decreased rate of perceived exertion

They sound perfect, but the side effects are possible from pre-workouts. Here are a few common ones, with simple solutions to mitigate their recurrence:

1) Caffeine tolerance and addiction

Cycle off caffeine regularly and opt for a caffeine-free pre-workout from time to time.

2) Inability to fall asleep

Too much caffeine before bed can make falling asleep feel impossible. If you train close to the time you go to sleep, you’ll need to avoid CNS stimulants.

3) Paresthesia

A harmless skin-tingling feeling from high doses of Beta-Alanine. Opt for a product that has sustained-release Beta-Alanine if it bothers you.

4) Digestive Issues

Some ingredients may cause some digestive distress in some users. If you are sensitive to particular sweeteners, coloring agents, or the active ingredients themselves, it’s important to pick products that don’t contain these.

Keep to reputable brands

Other than that, pre-workout supplements are safe for the majority of users. Sticking with reputable brands and products will ensure your safety, as there are shady companies out there that spike their products with dangerous and illegal ingredients that could cause damage.

FAQs

Do I need a pre-workout?

Nobody needs any supplement if they have the perfect diet and training protocols. However, that doesn’t mean that pre-workout supplements don’t provide additional benefits.

It’s simple: if you want to get every bit of results possible from the gym, a pre-workout is one of the best ways to do so!

How long does pre-workout last?

This depends on the individual product itself and how full your stomach is when drinking it. The more empty your stomach, the less delayed the digestion is.

Most effects from pre-workouts go away after 1-3 hours. That’s why it’s best to take the supplement about 30 minutes before a workout to give it time to digest without risking the chance that it clears out of your system before you finish your training session.

Do pre-workout supplements make you gain weight?

No supplement will inherently make you gain weight. This is where your diet comes into play.

If you are eating more than your maintenance caloric requirement, you are bound to gain weight. If you eat below maintenance, you will be losing weight.

Pre-workouts tend to include ingredients that improve the rate of muscle gain, like Creatine and Betaine. So, pre-workout supplements may be useful when looking to gain the majority of the weight as muscle and not fat.

Is taking pre-workout safe?

As discussed earlier in the benefits and side effects section, most pre-workout supplements are safe for the majority of users.

You may encounter issues with Caffeine if you use it too often or too close to bedtime. Simply cycling off for a while is a simple fix.

Others may find digestive issues when using certain pre-workouts. This may be countered by undergoing an elimination test, removing the pre-workout completely, and then adding each ingredient in one-by-one until you find the culprit(s).

Once you do that, you can pick a new pre-workout that doesn’t contain the ingredient(s) that aggravate your digestive tract.

Last, but certainly not least, the supplement industry isn’t regulated as strictly as it should be. Due to that, there are have many cases where companies spiked their products with dangerous or even illegal ingredients to boost their effects.

However, this is certainly a cause for concern. Stick with a reputable brand and product with a proven track record if you want to avoid this risk.

Is it okay to take pre-workout supplements on an empty stomach?

This is the preferred method of taking a pre-workout as it doesn’t delay the digestion of the ingredients.

If this bothers your stomach, it’s okay to have a light meal about an hour before your workout, or around 30 minutes before you take the supplement.

This may reduce the acute effects of ingredients like Caffeine since the digestion will be slowed, and the dose circulating your bloodstream will be lower than if you had no food in your stomach.

However, it’s better to have a slightly lower response to your pre-workout than to deal with digestive issues during your workout!

The Final Word

The best pre-workout for you in 2020 is one that will deliver results based on your style of training. Someone performing strength training has many different needs from someone training for a marathon.

Know your individual needs, and you’ll be able to find a high-quality pre-workout that suits you. Chances are, it’s one of these top 10 found in this guide!

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20737165
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22496767
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21605608
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17214405
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11677005
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19387386
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  18. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1550-2783-7-1
  19. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-015-0102-y
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19140170
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