4 min read

Every time you hit the gym, you want to get the maximum physical benefits possible from your training andexercise. You may already have a plan in place to boost your recovery and buildmuscle post-workout, with the proper post-workout combo. But what do you do to make sure that while you’re at the gym you’re working out at yourbest, increasing your reps and sets, and upping the intensity during eachworkout?

That’s wherepre-workout supplements, often shortened to just “pre-workout,” can come in handy. Pre-workout powders can often come in fruity, candylike flavors including rocket pop, miami vice, watermelon, strawberry, and more! If you mix them with water, you have a fruity drink that gives you extra energy without the extra carbs from energy drinks high in sugar.

Pre-workout Supplements

Think ofpre-workout supplements a little bit like Popeye the Sailor’s cans of spinach.

Whenever things get down and dirty for Popeye, he pops a can of spinach, and within moments hismuscles are bursting as hisbody is infused with unbelievablestrength andenergy tohelp him through whatever challenge or opponent he faces.

The idea behindpre-workout supplements is pretty much the same as Popeye’s spinach: to give yourbody a boost inenergy,strength,endurance, andperformance. The more you can accomplish whiletraining yourbody in aworkout, the stronger yourbody will become for futureworkouts. By using apre-workout supplement, over time, you can see faster progress than you would without it.

How DoPre-workout Supplements Work?

As their name suggests,pre-workout supplements should be taken prior to the start of yourworkout. Usually, about 30 minutes before you wish to start training. This gives time for theingredients to go to work to enhance yourbody’sstrength andendurance for betterperformance and a more effectiveworkout. They are usually taken asdrinks but can also be found in capsules to take with water. Take only as much as is directed on the container: taking extra servings doesn’t mean an extra effective workout.

Though eachpre-workout supplement is different, they often do one or more of these things:

  • Boostenergy — Moreenergy means you can work out longer and harder, with more reps and more sets, leading to bigger power and greater gains.
  • Increase focusExercise takes as much willpower as it does physicalstrength, and that extra brain boost canhelp you push through when things get tough.
  • Supplyamino acidsAmino acids, found inprotein, work to repair and buildmuscle, and they work as a buffer against lactic acid, reducing pain so you can push yourself a little further.
  • Eliminate negative effects of stimulants — Whileingredients such ascaffeine can boostenergy and focus, they can make other aspects of aworkout more challenging unless otheringredients counteract those effects. For example, stimulants like caffeine can restrict blood flow and decrease your pump… which brings us to the next point.
  • Enhance pump — Ramping up your vascular system to increaseblood flow, oxygen, andamino acid intake helps yourbody work at its peak, push beyond its usual boundaries, and maintain a more challenging pace for longer.

How DoPre-workout Supplements Differ?

Because not everyone works out the same or has the same goals for theirworkout, not everypre-workout supplement is the same. If you shop around, you’ll notice that price differs from brand to brand and product to product, as well as the numbers of servings, flavors, and ingredients. 

Ingredients especially can vary widely betweenpre-workout supplements. Here’s a look at a fewingredients commonly found inpre-workout products:

  • Caffeine Anhydrous — A concentrated form ofcaffeine, a stimulant that gives a distinctenergy boost.
  • Theacrine — A stimulant that works with thebody’s metabolic processes to improveenergy, mental clarity, motivation, and mood while negating some of the side effects ofcaffeine (such as jitteriness).
  • Betaine Anhydrous — Anamino acid thathelps balance hydration in and aroundmuscle cells, givingmuscles extraendurance during aworkout and improvingmuscle synthesis during and after aworkout
  • Creatine Monohydrate — Provides quickenergy tomuscle cells andhelps to buildmuscle mass and improvestrength over time.
  • Beta Alanine — Anamino acid thathelps in theproduction of carnosine, a compound that impacts musicalendurance during high-intensityexercise byhelping to regulate lactic acid buildup.

Another key aspect ofpre-workout supplements is whether they are stimulant based or non-stimulant based.Stimulant based pre-workout supplements can give you a greater feeling of intenseenergy and focus because they restrict parts of your vascular system, whilenon-stimulant basedpre-workout supplements can give you more physicalstrength because they give a powerful boost to your vascular system without those effects being dampened by stimulants.

ArePre-workout Supplements Safe to Use?

Always usepre-workout products as directed.Pre-workout supplements are intended for adults ages 18 and older who do not have a pre-existing medical condition. It’s important to check with a physician before usingpre-workout supplements because differentingredients may interact negatively with some medications.

Never exceed the recommended dosage or serving size of anypre-workout product, and be careful not to take it if you’re using another supplement, such as aweight-lossproduct, that may cause you to exceed the daily limit of any of theingredients.Pre-workout supplements are not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Extra pills or powder doesn’t correlate with increased effectiveness or more weight loss.


1st Phorm doesn’t waste your time with ineffective pre-workout supplements. We have different pre-workouts that are designed to be the best option for you no matter your goal, preference in workouts, or lifestyle. You will love the difference 1st Phorm pre-workouts will make during your training and for your results.

Check out 1st Phorm’s pre-workout supplements today!

*This post was written by Will Grumke. He is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, NASM Certified Weight Loss Specialist, NASM Certified Behavioral Change Specialist, and CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.

Will Grumke
Will Grumke

Also in Articles

Berry Cool BCAA Popsicles
Berry Cool BCAA Popsicles

1 min read

Who wants some absolutely delicious BCAA Popsicles? 

Well, Emily Frisella does it again with these delicious treats, just in time for summer ... and aside from the ridiculously good flavor, there are less than 36 calories per popsicle! 😱 [...]

Read More
What Are Digestive Enzymes?
What Are Digestive Enzymes?

6 min read

Have you ever heard of digestive enzymes? Do you know what they do?

In this article, we’ll explain what digestive enzymes are and what they do.

We’ll also explain how you could benefit from consuming more of them as well as how they’re different from probiotics. What Are Digestive […]

Read More
HIIT Cardio: Optimize Results with Fast, Effective Workouts
HIIT Cardio: Optimize Results with Fast, Effective Workouts

8 min read

Are you getting the most out of your workouts, or simply "punching the clock" when you show up at the gym? It's true that any movement is better than no movement, but why not minimize your time investment while maximizing the results that can be achieved?

If you are tired of subpar results from your workouts, then it might be time to [...]

Read More

Join the Legion of Boom