There are plenty of articles circulating the web that are titled, “The Best Pre-workout Supplement”, “Top 10 Pre-Workout Supplements”, etc., there are very few articles that focus on the ingredients that are actually in most pre-workout supplements. What ingredients are backed by clinical studies that show they actually help you perform better during your workout? What are the required doses that you need of these ingredients? Just a few questions you should ask yourself before purchasing a pre-workout supplement.
Just like anything else on the web, this blog will definitely be up for debate. In order to minimize the debate and inform you on what you should look for as far as pre-workout ingredients, we will only focus on ingredients that are backed by clinical studies and research. Let’s dig into what you need to take pre-workout to get the ultimate PUMP, ENERGY AND PERFORMANCE.
Let start with the tried and true, the mecca of all pre-workout ingredients L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1. L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1 is by far the most effective pre-workout ingredient on the market that will help you achieve the PUMP that you are looking for. Followed by Beta-Alanine, Betaine Anhydrous and the most common ingredient in most pre-workout supplements Caffeine. There is a ton of evidence online to support the effectiveness of each of these ingredients and below we provide a brief description of each.
L-Citrulline DL-Malate 2:1
A natural amino acid, Citrulline Malate is produced in the body from other amino acids you consume. This means that you likely have small amounts as you walk around every single day. This level simply is not sufficient for the benefits it could provide. This is where supplementation comes into play.
By boosting the level of Citrulline Malate in your body, you can help to increase your energy level and performance, while speeding up the recovery rate that you see. If you often wake up sore from a hard workout the next day (getting out bed is enough of a challenge never mind climbing up steps!), this ingredient will help make it easier to reach the top.
Citrulline also helps to remove the byproduct of lactic acid from your muscles during a set, which would otherwise create that intense burning sensation, causing you to stop early.
Finally, Citrulline Malate also enhances the release of L-Arginine in the body, while increasing the use of amino acids present in your system during exercise. This benefit will lead to faster strength and size gains, while also helping you achieve unreal muscle pumps that are typically associated with L-Arginine supplementation. When you use Citrulline malate pre-workout, you can skip right over using L-Arginine entirely.
Recommended dosage: 6+ grams per serving
PRE-STACK Pre-Workout Supplement Contains 4-8 Grams of 2:1 Citrulline Malate – The highest dose available on the market.
Another non-essential amino acid, Beta-Alanine will be converted into Carnosine in the body, which then helps to diminish the sensation of fatigue you are experiencing during each session by maintaining a favorable pH level in the body.
Using Beta-Alanine during a workout will improve exercise performance and capacity on any exercise lasting over 60 seconds in total duration.
Recommended dosage: 1.6+ grams per serving
PRE-STACK Pre-Workout Supplement Contains 2.4 - 4.8 Grams of Beta-Alanine – A full clinically effective daily dose.
Betaine is another amino acid that works by increasing the rate in which the muscles are able to utilize oxygen being provided, thus increasing the total load in which you can lift. More sets and reps means greater growth and strength gains.
Use of Betaine pre-workout also helps to increase your total level of strength and power, which can then mean lifting more weight than normal. Now, not only are you doing more volume, but you are lifting more weight as well.
In fact, one study illustrated that with just 1.25 grams of betaine supplementation, over a 6 week period, subjects were able to gain more lean muscle mass, increase their work capacity and lower their overall body fat percentage compared to the control group.
Recommended dosage: 1.25+ grams per serving
PRE-STACK Pre-Workout Supplement Contains 1.25 -2.5 Grams of Betaine Anhydrous – The correct clinically effective daily dose.
We’ve all had those sleepy, low energy days that were saved by a cup of coffee to help us get out the door. The same ingredient – caffeine – that’s in that morning cup can also help boost exercise performance, increase muscular endurance, enhance the rate of fat oxidation, and improve mental focus and drive.
Recommended dosage: 200+ milligrams per serving
PRE-STACK Pre-Workout Supplement Contains 175 - 350 mg of Caffeine – This dose of caffeine will not only boost energy, but also boost performance.