Pre Workout Supplements 101: Ingredients & More

When trying to maximize workout performance, pre-workout supplements are great for improving endurance and gaining muscle. Pre-workout supplements give you energy, helping you stay motivated to work out.

There are many types of pre-workout supplements that give you a boost of energy before a workout. But what are the different kinds? Is one more effective than the other? What should you look for in a pre-workout supplement?

This article discusses pre-workout supplements, the different kinds, and whether or not they are effective.

Type of exercise

The right pre-workout supplement for you depends on what kind of exercise you do as well as your goals. When it comes to pre-workout supplements, the ingredients in the different types work to improve specific aspects of workout performance.

You should know which ingredients in pre-workout supplements are best for different exercises so that you can determine which would work best for you.

Many websites put together top lists of the best pre workouts out right now. Take a look and see if you find a product that suits your goals.

Main ingredients in pre-workout supplements


This amino acid helps reduce muscle fatigue by combatting the acid that builds up in your body during intense exercise. Taking beta-alanine can improve exercise performance during intense workouts.

Beta-alanine is best for short exercises (between one and four minutes) such as weight training sets. It is not as effective for long-term endurance exercises.


Branched-chain amino acids, or BCAAs, are made of valine, isoleucine, and leucine. The combination of these are found in many high-protein foods.

This type of supplement is used mainly for muscle building, but they are not as effective as whole protein. BCAAs can be found in dairy, eggs, and meat and helps improve running endurance and reduces physical as well as mental fatigue.

BCAAs are good for endurance runners who experience fatigue and want to reduce muscle soreness after running.


Caffeine is a popular ingredient in pre-workout supplements that helps improve exercise performance. Too much caffeine can cause side effects, so it is important to consume the right amount.

Caffeine stimulates the brain and increases alertness, making you feel more awake. This ingredient is best for those who sprint, weight train, and cycle because it helps you produce force quickly. Caffeine also improves performance for long-duration events like running.


Another amino acid found naturally in the body is citrulline and may be effective at increasing exercise performance. Citrulline increases blood flow, which helps bring oxygen and other nutrients your muscles need to perform.

Citrulline is best for body-weight trainers who want to reduce muscle fatigue after a workout without any side effects.


This ingredient is popular in dietary supplements because it is involved in energy production in the body and has been tested and found to be safe. Creatine is excellent for increasing strength and power by giving you more energy to perform better.

Creatine safely increases muscle mass, exercise performance, and strength. Taking creatine supplements helps you improve performance over time. This supplement ingredient is best for those who are weight training.


Nitrate is produced in the body and is beneficial for exercise performance. Nitrate can be converted into nitric oxide, which increases blood flow. This helps enhance workouts by carrying more oxygen to your muscles.

High levels of nitric oxide in the blood can help running feel easier because you do not need as much oxygen as you normally do.

Nitrate is good for those who perform endurance exercises such as running or cycling.

Pre-made workout supplements

There are many options to choose from when it comes to pre-made pre-workout supplements. Most pre-workout supplements have a combination of the above ingredients with different dosages of each.

Before buying a pre-workout supplement, check the ingredient list and compare it with the ingredients you know you want in your pre-workout supplement. Avoid supplements that don’t tell you how much of each ingredient is in it.

High stim/non stim pre-workout supplements

High stim (stimulant) supplements refer to a higher dosage of stimulant ingredients such as caffeine. High stim pre-workout supplements will contain much more caffeine and yohimbine than other pre-workout supplements.

Non stim pre-workout supplements are made without stimulant ingredients, so they are caffeine-free. These are best if you don’t need a burst of energy, like when you are working out in the evening.

Individual ingredients typically found in pre-workout supplements have been tested and found to be safe and effective. However, pre-workout supplements are not regulated, so they may not be as safe or effective as they claim to be.

The best thing to do is research the main ingredients and know what they are used for in pre-workout supplements. Caffeine, BCAAs, and nitrates are good for endurance exercises, while beta-alanine, citrulline, and sodium bicarbonate are good for shorter, intense exercises.

A combination of caffeine, creatine, and citrulline will help you perform at your best. You can also experiment with different ingredients to see which is best for you.