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What Is A Pre-Workout Supplement And What Does It Do?

What is a pre-workout supplement?

You can find a supplement claiming to help boost pretty much anything: sleep, immunity, joint pain, relaxation, gut health, and post-workout recovery. Lately, though, it’s the pre-workout supplements category that’s been getting a lot of attention.

“If I want to get in a good workout, I need pre-workout.” “Oh my God! This workout is so hard. I can’t believe I forgot to take my pre-workout!” “Seriously, you don’t take pre-workout?”

For many, pre-workout supplements are usually mixed with a drink and taken around 30 minutes before the beginning of a workout. That’s because, by supplying your body with extra carbohydrates, the glucose in the pre-workout helps raise blood sugar levels and supply additional energy during a workout. In short, they’re much more energizing than a banana, a shot of espresso, or a black coffee.

Important Ingredients in Pre-Workout

A) Caffeine

Primary purpose: Energy

Optimal dose: 200-500 mg, or 1.8-2.7 mg per kg of body weight

Benefits: Caffeine has repeatedly been shown to be an effective ergogenic aid (performance booster) in both endurance exercise and short bouts of maximal exercise. It is important to note that doses will vary from person to person. If you are a habitual caffeine user, you are going to need more to get you up. If you aren’t, well… you won’t. You are going to have to play within the ranges so you can figure out what works best for you.

Finally, if you work out at night, pay attention to how much you take. The effects of caffeine might take a while to wear off, keeping you up at night. 

B) Beta-Alanine

Primary purpose: Increased muscular endurance

Optimal dose: 1.5-5 g

Benefits: This is another ingredient that can help improve your overall training volume, but it works by buffering hydrogen ions (H+), giving you the ability to keep your intensity up for longer periods of time. In other words: more volume; more gains

If you take a larger dose of beta-alanine, you will most likely experience a tingling sensation. Don’t worry, your skin isn’t melting. You are experiencing what’s called “paresthesia,” and it is completely normal. Beta-alanine is excellent for pumping out extra reps and squeezing the most out of your workout. As long as you are taking it throughout the day, you will still build up your stores and increase your ability to buffer H+.

What does it do?

Most people take pre-workout to rev themselves up so they can exercise harder, or to simply feel better and less zonked when working out. The hope is that the pre-workout will help enhance performance, mainly through the boosting of energy and increased mental focus.

When you start your workout, you want to hit the ground running. You don’t want to be waiting around for your pre-workout to kick in, so it pays to find the sweet spot to take it. For most people, the ideal time to take your pre-workout is around 30 minutes to one hour before your workout — this should give the supplement enough time to hit your bloodstream and amp you up ahead of your session.

Pre-Workout Benefits

The pre-workout supplement has numerous benefits. The most important benefit is energy. Additionally, it helps in better focus and concentration. This all results in improved muscle building. This supplement is exactly what you need if you usually spend longer hours in Gym.

Who should consume pre-workout?

This is a complicated question! If you only go to the gym to get a light sweat, then a pre-workout may not provide much benefit. But if you’re someone who wants to turn serious training into serious results, a pre-workout can help. 

Anyone who feels like they need an energy boost in the gym, or who has an ambitious PR in their sights, is a prime candidate for a pre-workout supplement. However, even with the best pre in your gym bag, the best benefits are achieved over time with consistent training, continued use, adequate nutrition, and appropriate rest and recovery.

However, if you know that you’re highly sensitive to caffeine, you may benefit more from a low-stimulant or stimulant-free pre-workout. Parents should also be cautious about giving a stim-heavy pre-workout to adolescents, and no, they’re not a good idea for young children. 


The simple purpose of taking pre-workout supplements is to reach fitness goals that may be more difficult to achieve without the extra energy boost. We all need a little pick-me-up from time to time and pre-workout can be the motivation you need to crush your next workout. 

With a better understanding of the science behind pre-workouts and what they contain, it’s time for you to find the perfect option for you. 

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