Pre-Workout Supplement Guide: What Is It and How Do They Work?

There are many benefits of pre-workout supplements, and those benefits are catching on with people just as much as protein supplements. If you are a serious athlete, you may be aware of everything available that can enhance your training efforts. You may have heard about pre-workout supplements, or perhaps you use them.

Just like protein supplements give you added amino acids to build muscle, the advantages of pre-workout supplements give you all the energy you need to conduct high-intensity training. Beyond the obvious pre-workout benefits, you get a boost in energy, more motivation and more blood flow to ensure stamina.

You may not fully understand the full range of pre-workout supplement benefits. Here are some things serious athletes should know about these pre-workout benefits. We will address them all in this guide, giving you information on all potential side effects as well.

What’s a Pre-Workout?

A pre-workout supplement, a combination of nutrients, amino acids and vitamins, also contains caffeine and sugar to enhance your training regimen. It mixes ingredients that can boost your energy while helping with the development of your muscles and giving you more endurance to accomplish high-intensity training.

Pre-workout supplements contain ingredients such as caffeine designed to provide a much-needed burst of energy so you can elongate your workout. There are also ingredients in them that boost blood flow and give oxygen to the muscles. The best pre-workouts have amino acids, particularly BCAAs, which can build up muscle while you work out. They can also reduce soreness and ensure muscle protein synthesis long after you workout.

Benefits: Pre-Workouts

There are many benefits of pre-workout supplements. It will depend on the type of training you’re engaging in, but most pre-workouts will enhance stamina and endurance, while others can build up muscle and strength.

Muscle Gains

Amino acids are the main ingredients that offer muscle gains. Pre-workout supplements have a lot of essential amino acids containing concentrations of BCAAs, or branched-chain amino acids. These three amino acids directly contribute to muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs work by by-passing the digestive process and becoming available to build muscle immediately.

On top of BCAAs, pre-workout supplements have citrulline – another amino acid. Its job is to increase blood flow to the muscles, boosting oxygen levels and carrying extra nutrients to your muscles when under training stress. As a result, your muscles are able to work longer and harder, giving you more productive and intense workouts.

BCAAs and citrulline combine to make a powerful supplement when it comes to muscle gains.

Enhanced Strength

Pre-workouts give you more strength by fortifying your metabolism for more strength during your workout that can last for long periods of time. The most vital ingredient in pre-workout supps is creatine. Creatine, on a cellular level, boosts the biochemical mechanisms responsible for enhancing energy in the body. Creatine gives you strength, endurance and muscle mass.

Having nitrate in pre-workout supplements gives your body the ability to carry additional amino acids and nutrients to the muscles. This gives you increased strength while you are exerting yourself when competition training. Nitrate will feed your muscles the nutrients it needs in order to perform. The result? You get enhanced strength.

Boosting of Endurance

The best way to boost endurance is by removing what causes fatigue. Pre-workout supplements do this in two big ways.

Caffeine provides you with energy. Just like you wake yourself up in the morning with a cup of coffee, caffeine contained in pre-workouts will get you charged for motivation and allow you to have a lot of endurance throughout your workout.

The big blocker against endurance is muscle fatigue due to soreness, caused by acid buildup in your muscles. To prevent this, pre-workout supplements contain beta-alanine – a chemical that takes acids out of your muscles. Beta-alanine cuts down on the acid accumulation that leads to that burning feeling during an intense workout. Now you’re able to push harder and go for longer periods of time throughout your workouts.

Another ingredient in pre-workout supplements that prevents acid buildup in your muscles is sodium bicarbonate, which is basically baking soda. This is clinically shown to cause a reduction in acid accumulation in your muscle tissues, translating to less soreness and harder, longer workouts.

Some pre-workout supps have a chemical known as L-theanine. It comes from green tea and can inhibit effects of caffeine that are known to lead to anxiety. It creates a synergistic reaction that relies on caffeine to produce increased energy levels.

How Do Pre-Workouts Work?

They provide physiological effects in many ways. They stimulate your nervous system, increasing energy levels and giving you more motivation. You need motivation to start your workout and endurance to make it through!

Pre-workouts also increase blood flow as well as the flow of oxygen and nutrients, providing your muscles with the basic building blocks for high-intensity training. Oxygen gives you stamina, nutrients build up muscle and boost metabolism, and better blood flow helps you push through the intensity of a serious workout.

When you add in things like creatine and BCAAs, pre-workout supplements make up the building blocks of increased fat reduction and muscle protein synthesis. Components like beta-alanine will reduce soreness and prevent muscle fatigue that slows you down.

Sugars give you energy and power the metabolic reactions you need to build muscle and sustain high-energy exertion.

When to Take Them

You should take pre-workout supplements when it gives you the most benefit. If you take them too soon, they will metabolize without helping you much at all. But if you end up taking them too late, you won’t realize the full benefits while training.

Trainers say you should take pre-workouts 30 to 60 minutes prior to your workout so the caffeine can energize you and ensure that the other ingredients can get into your bloodstream.

Just keep in mind that pre-workouts have high levels of caffeine. Start working out right when you take them so you can get energized.

Pre-Workout: The Side Effects

Many people are sensitive to caffeine. While the levels of caffeine found in pre-workout supplements are safe levels, caffeine could produce anxiety when you use them.

There could be rare allergies to some of the ingredients in pre-workout supplements. You could react to the beta-alanine, experiencing numbness and tingling in your hands or feet. These symptoms aren’t dangerous, but may be uncomfortable.

Many pre-workout supplements have niacin. If you have a sensitivity to niacin, your skin could redden. Again, while not dangerous, it can be unsettling or uncomfortable.

Are Pre-Workout Supplements Safe to Use?

Pre-workout supplements are safe. But they’re not just weight loss supplements. They are designed for those who do high-intensity training for the purpose of competitive sports. Some people will get anxiety with pre-workout supplements. If you aren’t sure if this will happen to you, check with your doctor before you take a pre-workout supplement. It is also advised to not dry scoop your pre workout product.

Should I Take a Pre-Workout Supplement?

If you are just interested in working out to maintain general fitness, you may not need to take pre-workouts because you won’t get many benefits. The most you will feel is a bit jittery because you didn’t burn up the fuel that’s contained in a standard pre-workout supplement.

But if you regularly engage in high-intensity training that results in real burn and exhaustion, a pre-workout supplement is a good idea. They are meant to get you through the points in a typical workout where most people would stop. The supplements will provide extra energy and amino acids, as well as acid burners. The clinical evidence says that pre-workout supplements can enhance performance and encourage muscle growth when they are used in conjunction with high-intensity training.

Common Misconceptions: Pre-Workout Supplements

There is some misinformation out there about pre-workout supps. You could confuse some of the ingredients with other things that could be dangerous. Without doing research, you could come across some common misconceptions about these supplements such as the following:

  1. Pre-workouts waste your hard-earned money. Incorrect. There are many effective and valid pre-workouts that give you verifiable results such as increased muscle, strength and stamina.
  2. Eat a good diet and you don’t need to take supplements. If you work out to stay fit in general, this is a true statement. However, competitive athletes need additional amino acids that can support how much protein synthesis their bodies need. Not only do they need more blood and oxygen flow, they also have to be able to sustain high levels of energy for long periods of time. Only a legitimate supplement can achieve this, and it’s not a waste of money.
  3. Creatine is basically a steroid. Not true. Conversely, creatine is a naturally-occurring substance in the body responsible for stimulating cellular energy. Steroids, on the other hand, will mimic the male hormone called testosterone. Creatine is safe, while steroids have physical dangers.
  4. Pre-workout supplements boost strength and muscle without training. Not true. Supplements must be added to your training regimen. While you may be more alert with supplements while not training, you can’t get the full benefits of pre-workout supplements without doing some serious training.

How Do I Know The Supplement is Really Working?

You will notice increased muscle mass as well as an increase in strength within a short period of time when you use pre-workout supplements. The amount of time it will take to notice these effects will depend on your training goals, what kind of training you’re doing, and what your physiology looks like. Many will notice the effects of pre-workout supplements as soon as they start taking them.

You will notice:

  • Sudden increases in your energy level.
  • More intense focus on your workout.
  • Tingling sensations caused by beta-alanine.
  • Ability to increase how much weight you can lift and how many eps you may handle.

The results vary from person to person, but most people witness results very quickly.

Recommended Dose

The recommended dose is 20 to 30 grams, but every pre-workout is different. That’s because they all have different concentrations of active ingredients. Always follow the recommended dosage you see on the label.

What is the Best Pre-Workout Supplement?

There are hundreds or even thousands of pre-workout supplements out there today. It can be difficult to say with any certainty which one is the best. Do your homework, research the labels, and get as much information as you can before you buy one. The product you choose should contain the active ingredients we have shown you above without the use of fillers, extra sugar, or other ingredients you don’t immediately recognize.

That said, Xwerks Ignite is considered to be one of the best, as it contains the finest ingredients such as rhodiola rosea, citrulline and beta-alanine, with no junk fillers.

In Conclusion

It’s hard to get legitimate information on the advantages of pre-workouts or learn the truth about side effects. We hope this guide has given you the basics so you can get started with a pre-workout supplement that is right for you.

Good thing is, we know that pre-workout supplements work. They give demonstrable results when used as part of an intense training program. Remember, they’re not designed for general or moderate fitness regimens. Always take as directed. When you do, these supplements will enhance your workouts because they give you extra motivation to achieve high-intensity training.

With pre-workouts, you are able to go longer and harder when it comes to your workouts, resulting in more muscle and stamina, as well as less soreness.


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