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What is the Best Pre-Workout Supplement?

Pre-workout supplements are extremely popular among both competitive and recreational lifters, perhaps because of the instant gratification that they give the user. Many pre-workout supplements contain a blend of ingredients to increase energy, delay fatigue, increase pumps, and boost muscle gains. The best pre-workout supplement will contain a complete blend of ingredients in substantial amounts to produce the intended effect.

Almost all pre-workout supplements contain caffeine. If you are looking for an immediate energy boost, be sure that your pre-workout supplement contains caffeine. Many pre-workout supplements also contain other stimulants such as geranium extract and synephrine to further boost energy and focus.

Creatine is another common ingredient. Beware though, as many pre-workout supplements list creatine on their label but hardly put any actual creatine in the product. Your pre-workout should provide a bare minimum of 3g of creatine, as any less really won’t have much effect.

Nitric oxide boosters such as arginine AKG, agmatine sulfate, and citrulline malate are also often included to increase the pump experienced from lifting, volumizing the working muscles. Nitric oxide boosters are not absolutely essential for a good pre-workout supplement, but many people like the effect that they give.

Beta-alanine is an ingredient that you will want to be sure is in your pre-workout. Beta-alanine delays fatigue and reduces the burn felt in the muscle which tends to limit one’s ability to pump out more reps. Your pre-workout should contain at least 1g beta-alanine, though the ideal dose is higher.

There are many more ingredients with different functions that may be included in a pre-workout supplement, but these are the most common. While your pre-workout supplement may have a great ingredient profile, make sure that adequate doses of each ingredient are supplied. For example. if your pre-workout supplement contains a proprietary blend of 10 ingredients at 3g/scoop and creatine is listed last, then there is probably not much creatine in the product! Different people may find that different pre-workouts may be best for them, but just make sure that you aren’t paying $40 for a bottle of caffeine and that your pre-workout supplement actually contains real muscle building ingredients.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cassie is a chemistry major and national level bodybuilder. Questions or comments? Talk to Cassie on the FORUM or on FACEBOOK.

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