Pre-workout has emerged as one of the most impactful supplements in the fitness world for its energy-boosting, performance-sustaining properties. It usually comes in the form of a flavored, soluble powder that’s consumed with water. While that sounds straightforward in theory, any glance at a nutrition store will cause some second guessing, as many companies brand their pre-workout with intense titles. Seeing products called "Frenzy" and "Ripped Freak" in the category can cause shopping for pre-workout to become quite intimidating.
No need to get caught up in the bold branding, though! To help you face the wide variety of options out there, we've provided a brief yet comprehensive outline on pre-workout, its main components, and our current favorites from FitKing.com. Keep reading to find out how to pick the perfect pre-workout for personalized peak performance!
Parts of Pre-Workout
The revitalizing effects of pre-workout are achieved through precise combinations of ingredients. There’s no “one size fits all” ratio of these things, and ultimately the best one for you depends on your unique goals, regimen, and physiology. The definitive recipes vary brand by brand, however, the following are considered general pillars of pre-workout formulas. We’ll walk you through why you’d want each of these included in the blend you choose:
This proven ergogenic aid that we all know well can be considered the common denominator of most pre-workouts. Even if it shows up as an unfamiliar type of tea, odds are, you’ll see it on the label—and there’s a reason for this. Caffeine boosts mental focus and concentration, and has been also found to enhance “speed-endurance” performance in activities such as sprinting. More unexpectedly, recent studies have evidenced its effective improvements on long-form exercise over 90 min., too! The well-rounded energy boost caffeine provides explains its frequent presence in the supplement across many companies. Opt for a pre-workout with high caffeine content if you're seeking to sharpen your mind and/or bolster motivation for the gym.
As another substance that’s been researched and proven to optimize performance, creatine is a great ingredient to have in pre-workout. It has the ability to sort of double the effectiveness of the energy boost already presented by the caffeine. Scientists have found that creatine supplementation not only delays fatigue, but prolongs peak power and reduces recovery time in between sets. It accomplishes this by accelerating replenishment of glucose in the body, thus actively cycling fuel through your muscles more efficiently as you work out. These effects are delivered in an optimized way when creatine is consumed regularly via your pre-workout drink. Creatine can do wonders for people who need to amp up endurance and/or leverage their motivation to workout.
Ever wonder what in pre-workout powders causes that light, tingly burning sensation deep within the muscles? Beta-alanine is a key amino acid that assists our bodies in synthesizing carnosine, which goes inside muscles and buffers hydrogen ion buildup. The tingles you experience arise from this buffering process, and contribute to improvements in high-intensity exercise and enhanced results because of it. Similar to creatine, a pre-workout is a super convenient delivery system for beta-alanine that will really show its effects when ingested consistently.
Well, it’s not so much that Nitric Oxide itself is put into the powder, but the ingredient parts that are precursors to its production in the body are integrated into the recipe. These include L-citrulline and L-arganine. Nitric Oxide activates vasodilation, relaxing blood vessels to allow for more blood flow. And you know what more blood flowing to your muscles means? More power behind every pump! While Nitric Oxide may not be a direct energy enhancer, it definitely brings on the gains via potent muscle support. Pre-workout formulas honing in on this element are perfect for people who lift big in the gym to work in those extra powerful pumps in every rep round.
Featured Favorites from FitKing
Now that you know what to look for in your pre-workout, take a look at our curated list of recommended formulas. These premium brands are well-known to provide some of the best science-backed beverage powders in the industry, and all are available for purchase in a wide variety of flavors on FitKing.com!
Low Stimulant & No Stimulant
We hope this short and sweet guide has helped clarify details about pre-workout and its main components. Consuming the right blend with care can really help you take your workouts to the next level, so now that you're informed, give it a shot! Let us know on our social media channels which FitKing product you picked and how it goes for you. You can find us on Instagram, Twitter, and FaceBook.