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How to Choose the Right Pre Workout Supplement

How to Choose the Right Pre Workout Supplement

There are tons of pre-workout supplements on the market.

Walk into any supplements store, or go to any website today, and you’ll be met with an array of products to choose from.

Most look similar enough and promise the same things. Their ingredient lists also look identical, which further serves to confuse us.

The good news is, there is a bit of science to the art of picking the right pre-workout supplement. And no, it’s not about picking the one that tastes best. We also need to look at the ingredients.

Let’s discuss.

What Makes a Pre-Workout Supplement Effective

Pre-workouts aren’t effective because manufacturers have found the secret formula of ingredients that brings the beast out in you. Instead, what makes a pre-workout good is the inclusion of effective ingredients in large enough doses.

Specifically, a good pre-workout supplement should have at least some of the proven ingredients and in an adequate dose:

  1. Citrulline malate

Many papers show that citrulline malate improves athletic performance. It also directly impacts strength output and can even reduce muscle soreness (1, 2, 3).

  1. Beta-alanine

Similar to citrulline, beta-alanine also improves our performance. Only here, it mostly does so for activities that last between one and three minutes (4).

  1. Caffeine

As the most popular stimulant on the planet, caffeine is proven to sharpen our focus, boost our motivation, and improve our athletic performance (5, 6). But keep in mind that caffeine can also impact your sleep, so it’s best to go with a caffeine-free pre-workout if you plan to train in the evenings.

  1. Theanine

Theanine is an amino acid that appears to lower the perception of stress (7). It also seems to work well with caffeine by taking the edge off and preventing anxiety (8). And lastly, theanine might offer positive effects for nitric oxide production, which also has an ergogenic effect (9).

How to Pick The Right Pre-Workout Supplement

We covered a fair amount of information, so let’s get practical. You’ve decided to get a pre-workout, so how do you pick the right product?

First, look at the label. Does it include the right ingredients? If so, are they dosed well, or are they hidden behind a proprietary blend? If it’s the latter, move on and find something else.

After that, look for customer feedback. Are people happy with the product? Are there negative reviews? What do people like and dislike about the pre-workout? That’s valuable information that should guide your decision-making process.

Once a product passes the first two tests, simply consider:

Is it worth the money for me? Can I afford to get it?

With that in mind, here is a quick list of two pre-workouts our customers are loving in 2023:

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