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What Should I Look for in a Pre-Workout Supplement?

When training with weights, we know just how difficult it can be. After all, our founder, 6x Mr Olympia Dorian Yates, training consistently for over 15 years!

Now back in the 80s and 90s, there wasn’t really much out there, certainly nothing quite as advanced as what you’d find today. A simple search on Google for ‘pre workout supplement’ and you’ll find an endless array of ‘powerful, hectic, electrifying’ claims of pre workout supplements.

It’s easy to get lost. I mean which do you choose? The one with the bright colours claiming to be the most potent in today’s market, or the one with the fancy name or the one with the simple, elegant packaging. After all, why are you even using a pre workout in the first place?

And more importantly, do you know what’s actually in your pre workout and why it’s in there and if it’ll indeed, add value to your workouts?

Pre workouts are designed to help you to get more out of your training session. More energy, increased focus and a great pump, these are just a few of the benefits. What lies within your pre workout is what will determine the effects!

Let’s explore…

So there’s a few questions you should ask yourself when making your selection.

Will it provide psychological effects from the stimulants and get me dialled in, raring to train?

Will it vasodilate my muscles and brain?

Will it give me an appreciable benefit and reduce the acidity of the blood? Which is the main cause of fatigue!

Whilst there is no real black and white answer because it does typically depend on personal preference and what your goals are, here are three ingredients that you’ll typically find as a staple:

  • Caffeine, probably the most obvious ingredient due to its help with focus, alertness and energy. Making it a great staple for a pre workout potion. It is advised not to take caffeine a few hours prior to bedtime due its potential sleep disturbing effects… and we know the importance of sleep and recovery! But the amount of caffeine per serving really does depend on one’s tolerance, typically speaking 200 – 400mg of caffeine is common.
  • Citrulline Malate, another staple in a pre workout arsenal and rightly so. Citrulline Malate increases blood flow by dilating the blood vessels, thus giving one a shirt tearing pump! The average dosage is at least 3g per serving.
  • Beta Alanine, a popular ingredient in many a pre workout and again for good reason! So this helps athletic performance by increasing ones exercise capacity whilst decreasing fatigue. Beta Alaine reduces acidity in the blood which is the main cause of fatigue… allowing you to train harder for longer! Of course, infamous for that itchy skin sensation, the typical dosage of Beta Alanine is between 2 – 5g per serving. Beta Alanine also helps with increased mind-muscle connection.

So these are the big three, the common staples in any solid pre workout. But wait there’s more.

To enhance the benefits that these and many other ingredients that are in your pre workout, a fantastic ingredient that actually increases the usage of the other ingredients is, Bioperine (or Black Pepper Extract). It is included due to its improved absorption rate and even can help boost brain function.

Another great ingredient that we recommend is the amino acid L-Tyrosine. This amino acid is naturally produced by the body to synthesize proteins. It is a building block for neurotransmitters within the brain and for the connection between the muscles and the brain. In a nutshell, it enhances alertness, attention and focus whilst lowering one’s stress levels. 

So there’s a few ingredients that’ll help offer you maximum benefits to your training regime, of course they should meet atleast the standard guidelines. Also, it’s not what you consume but what you consume it with… the cumulative benefit.

At DY Nutrition, we offer a range of premium pre workout supplements, both with stimulants and stimulant free! Explore our range of pre workout supplements and take your training to the next level.

Once you’ve got your choice of pre workout, here’s a few quick tips to help maximise your usage:

  • It is generally recommended to cycle it with your weeks off training and not to use a stimulant version for every session, maybe save it for those big leg or back sessions. This is because you can build a tolerance to stimulants like caffeine.
  • We do not recommend ‘dry scooping’ your pre workout. You could essentially give your body 300mg of caffeine without any water! It gets into your body way too quickly and there’s nothing to dilute it with. Sure some people will take a swig of water with it but that’ll probably be say 50ml water with potentially 20g of ingredients! You could over-exert the kidneys. You need a significant amount of water to properly dissolve all of the ingredients and for it to properly go into solution.
  • A final quick tip… shake the tub before opening it. Some ingredients are heavier than others and could sink to the bottom, so give it a little shake so that you can get an even distribution of ingredients.

So there you have it, some tips on what to look for in a pre-workout and some bonus tips on how to make the most of it!

Stay tuned for more blogs and explore our full range of supreme supplements.

Posted by Aaron Johal