by Will Grumke October 24, 2022 6 min read
Every time you hit the gym for a workout, you want to get the most out of your training and exercise...
Because working out, moving your body, and exercising all play a role in your results ... no matter what you want to achieve!
But what do you do to make sure that you're able to push yourself and improve your performance while you’re at the gym or working out?
Well, that’s where pre-workout supplements can come in handy.
Pre-workout supplements - often shortened to just "pre-workouts" - are a combination of ingredients intended to help your body operate at it's best during physical activity. The ingredients in most pre-workout supplements give your body the fuel, energy, and endurance you need to go harder and longer at the gym - plus, they often come in a variety of flavors that taste great.
The reason pre-workout supplements are so popular is because they not only taste great in most cases, but some of them have ingredients to increase energy levels and performance quite a bit!
But let's get one thing straight. Pre-workout supplements are not magic powders or capsules that give you superpowers. Nor do they allow you to neglect other important things like your nutrition, rest, and recovery. Without these things, you can't expect to perform at your best, even after taking a pre-workout.
But will pre-workouts help you improve your performance? Yes! But it seems that all too often, people think of pre-workouts as the easy way to reach your goals ... but the truth is, they are not a shortcut or cheat code.
Using a pre-workout supplement AND focusing on your nutrition and recovery is the best way for you to see the real progress that you're training so hard for.
The type of pre-workout you want to use varies depending on the type of activity you are doing, or the goal of your workout ... so, the ingredients you will want to look for will vary as well.
There are 2 main categories that pre-workouts can be broken down into ... pre-workouts with stimulants, like caffeine ... and pre-workouts without stimulants.
When most people hear pre-workout, they automatically think ENERGY and CAFFEINE! They think about "getting jacked up" on pre-workout ... and for some, they crave that.
For others though, they don't want that buzzed feeling ... so they assume pre-workout is not for them.
But that's not necessarily true ... because while energy is a benefit that many seek from pre-workout, it's far from the only benefit of taking a high-quality pre-workout.
As their name suggests, pre-workout supplements should be taken prior to the start of your workout.
Typically, you want to take this about 15-30 minutes before you wish to start your workout.
Pre-workouts are usually taken as drinks, but can also be found in capsules to take with water.
The instructions for each specific supplement - like when and how much you should take - will always be found on the container.
You should only take as much as is directed on the container: taking extra servings doesn’t mean an extra effective workout, and in some cases can be dangerous.
Because not everyone works out the same way or has the same goals for their workouts, and not every pre-workout supplement is the same...
There are some ingredients, like Creatine or Beta-Alanine, that are commonly found in most pre-workouts because they have a variety of benefits and can improve many types of workouts. But other ingredients can vary widely between pre-workout supplements.
Here’s a look at a few ingredients commonly found in pre-workout products:
In general, pre-workout supplements are safe to take if you follow the directions and warning labels listed on the packaging. Just like all supplements, you need to be careful about what you put into your body, and make sure you understand what you're taking in.
Always use pre-workout products as directed.
Pre-workout supplements are intended for adults, ages 18 and older, who do not have a pre-existing medical condition.
Always make sure to read the warning labels ... and if you have any concerns, consult your doctor, because some ingredients in pre-workout supplements may interact negatively with some medications.
Pre-workout supplements are not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Also, you should never exceed the recommended dosage or serving size of any pre-workout product.
You will also want to be mindful of your caffeine or stimulant intake if you are taking a pre-workout with stimulants.
For example, drinking coffee might not make you jittery ... and drinking a pre-workout that contains caffeine might not make you jittery ... but if you were to drink your coffee, and shortly after drink your pre-workout, it could make you jittery!
The same is true for other supplements, such as a weight-loss product, that may have caffeine or stimulants in it.
So be careful, and make sure you're aware of how much caffeine you are consuming.
If you shop around, you'll notice that prices, flavors, ingredients, and number of servings in pre-workouts differs between brands and products from brand to brand and from product to product ... as well as the number of servings in the container, flavors, and ingredients.
With all the choices, be sure to remember the purpose of a pre-workout is to help improve your body's performance during your workouts and training.
Keep in mind that, before you worry too much about improving performance, you want to make sure you are ready to recover post-workout and have your nutrition plan in order, because that is where the majority of your results are earned.
When you have those things in place, then adding in pre-workout to help you push your body even more during training can be effective, since you will be able to recover better and earn real results.
Here at 1st Phorm, we have several different high-quality pre-workouts to help you find the best option(s) for you ... no matter your goal, preference in workouts, or lifestyle.
That said, if you have questions or want help finding the right pre-workout for you, give us a call at 1-800-409-9732! We have a full team of NASM Certified Personal Trainers that are here to help you for free with whatever it is you need!
NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Nutrition Coach, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, NASM VCS Virtual Coaching Specialist, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer