The modern pre-workout has really taken a bad turn for the worse since “ultra-concentrates” were released with pretty much nothing but stimulants. While stimulants are good, they do very little to actually build muscle mass.

No supplement will replace hard work in the gym and a good diet plan, but they do help you have more effective workouts. Just remember that a good training system and diet plan is the only real way to build muscle. Supplements are only there to assist the plan.

Stimulants are a decent way to get out a few extra reps and force you to get “amped” up for the gym but they don’t actually help you make gains. There are a host of stimulants on the market but here is a list of most of them and their strength. Most people drink their preworkout as they walk into the gym, which you will see, isn’t the best thing for you!

Caffeine – the original stimulant used by men and women for hundreds of years. Caffeine has a very long half life compared to other stimulants. It lasts about 4-5 hours in the body with a peak occurring about 1 hour after consumption. Doses range from 150-500mg.

pre1

Synephrine – ephedrines weaker cousin has a half life of 2 hours, which means it clears twice the speed of caffeine. It’s active in about 20 minutes, which means it’s going to be off timing compared to caffeine. Doses range from 20-70mg.

Methyl-Synephrine – a slightly stronger version of synpehrine that’s one step closer to ephedrine. Found in the Acacia plant, methyl-synephrine doesn’t have the strongest kick and has been taken out of many preworkouts. Doses range from 20-70mg.

DMAA (1,3-methylhexamine) – this is a stimulant that many people love, unfortunately, it’s under attack from the FDA. DMAA provides a quick stimulant hit and is known to increase focus. DMAA enters the system in about 10 minutes and lasts about an hour. Doses range from 20-70mg and SHOULD NOT EXCEED 150mg.

DMHA (2-Aminoisoheptane) – this is a similar compound to DMAA and seems to be less importance to the FDA at the current time. DMHA has two isomers but they basically do the same thing. DMHA is similar in feel to DMAA but is less potent. Doses range from 100-200mg.

PEA, b-PEA, N-Methyl-PEA (Phenylethylamines) – these are a “feel good” chemical in the brain. It doesn’t really classify as a strong stimulant, but does have an effect on mood.

Yohimbine HCL – this stimulant is not a strong neuro-stimulant but it does have a good fat burning effect. Yohimbine does stack nicely with caffeine because it seems to have similar pharmokinetics – Dose is 1-20mg.

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Alpha-Yohimbine HCL – this is a isomer of yohimbine that has less stimulation but may be better at fat loss. Dose is 2-7mg.

ULTRA CONCENTRATES VS REAL PREWORKOUTS

There are two types of preworkouts on the market a standard preworkouts that have decent amounts of ingredients and “ultra concentrates” which consist of mainly stimulants without large doses of active ingredients.

They both have their place and both should be used, but I will show you why you NEED to stack both to have an effective workout.

Ultra concentrates contain a small amount of actives and then of course tons of stimulants. Preworkouts contain less stimulants and more of the active ingredients that make muscle, stretch the fascia and have an ergogenic effect. We can compare two formula’s and show why it makes sense to take your “preworkout” one hour prior to exercise and your “ultraconcentrate” 20 minutes before exercise.

Most Ultra-Concentrates contain 3-5g of “active” ingredients that don’t include stimulants. Typically made up of Beta Alanine at 1.5g (an effective dose is about 1.8g) and some other amino acids like Tyrosine, Taurine or Glycine. These are all good for the brain. They will often have stimulants like Theacrine, Caffeine, Juniper berries or DMHA. The Beta Alanine is usually included so you can “feel” the itching which people perceive as strength. Beta alanine allows for longer workouts which is great if you are trying to have heavy lifting sessions.

Most normal preworkouts contain creatine and other amino acids. You want to pick one that has at least 3g of creatine (monohydrate is the most well studied) and Arginine (good for mTOR stimulation) along with Betaine (boosts IGF-1 levels) maybe Leucine (boosts mTOR) and other key amino acids.

HOW TO TAKE THEM BOTH

The best way to take these is in this fashion:

  • 1 hour prior to workout take your preworkout that contains at least 3-4g of creatine and other key nutrients. Use 20oz of water minimum to maximize hydration.
  • 20 minutes before your workout use your ultra-concentrate in 12oz water to maximize the stimulant effects of the concentrate.

This “one two punch” approach ensures you get both the proper nutrients and caffeine timing along with the quick punch of the ultra-concentrate and will maximize your workouts and actually help you grow.

If you are on the Team Juggernaut approach to macro-nutrients, you can then have your carbohydrate loading right after the workout (taking in up to 120g of carbohydrates in a one hour window).

PLUG

At Mind & Muscle, we sell WYKED 3.0 for our pre-workout and Mesomorph for the Ultra-Concentrate. As a stack.

There are other great formulas on the market. For Ultra-Concentrates, 1-MR is a good choice and many people love C-4. For the preworkout look at choices like Modern Pre from USP Labs and Quake from Scivation.

WYKED 3.0 Contains These Key Nutrients Besides Stimulants:

  • Creatine Monohydrate – 4g provides “pump” and volumization along with increased energy and reduced myostatin.
  • Arginine AKG – 1g stimulates mTOR
  • Agmatine Sulfate – 500mg to increase the “pump” via cell volumization.
  • L-Carnitine L-Tartrate – 2g may sensitize the androgen receptor to increased testosterone levels while training.
  • Betaine Anhydrous – 2g of betaine anhydrous may help boost IGF-1 levels.
  • Caffeine and Yohimbine stimulation 1 hour prior training (hits one hour later)

Stack that with your favorite “concentrate” to achieve total victory in the gym. If you don’t have a favorite, the customer service reps at mindandmuscle.com will certainly help you make the right choice!

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