All gym goers want to make the most out of their training, and a good pre workout can help with that. The problem is that it’s hard to know what the best pre workout supplement is with so many options on the market now. Tougher still, it can be tough to choose a product as many won’t detail what’s in their “proprietary blends”. While this means you may have to “trial and error” your way to finding your favorite, here is a list of ingredients you should look for.
Caffeine – The Old Standby
As old and possibly even seemingly outdated as caffeine might be, don’t think it shouldn’t be in the running for your best pre workout supplement. It’s still a tried and true stimulant that can help you push a little harder for longer in the gym. It also acts as an appetite suppressant, blunting your hunger. People have been using it for temporary boosts in energy for as long as you can remember, so don’t think it still doesn’t work. Even Stallone favoured it at one point. Look for doses in the range of 200-300mg.
Creatine – Bodybuilding’s Popular Choice
Besides possibly protein powder, creatine is bodybuilding’s most popular and effective supplement. Not just good for recovery and building size, taking a dose prior to your workout can have strength-improving benefits, too. What size of a dose you take will depend on the type of creatine you’re using, but take it a good 30 minutes or so prior to training.
Nitric Oxide – The Fun New Supplement in Town
Many would say that right now, if nitric oxide wasn’t the best pre workout supplement, it’s definitely the most popular. Though nitric oxide is known for improving recovery and reducing fatigue during volume-heavy workouts, its main source of popularity is due to the insane muscle pumps that can occur when you take it. This is because nitric oxide is a known vasodilator. When blood vessels expand in size, more blood can be pumped to the muscle.
Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline – The Thinking Man’s Pre Workout
Alpha-Glyceryl Phosphoryl Choline, or often called GPC for short, is gaining in popularity for reasons different than most supplements. Though GPC has been reported to have some growth hormone boosting effects, it’s largely used because of the way it affects the brain and neurotransmitters. Taking a popular dose of 300mg prior to a workout can improve your focus, reaction time, and even your “mind-muscle” connection during workouts.
Beta-Alanine – Hit Harder
While some experience a significant “flushed” feeling the first time or two they take beta-alanine, lifters still make it a part of their pre workout supplement program because of how it improves endurance and recovery. However, what’s often more impressive is how it can increase strength and power.
In fact, one study in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism showed a significant improvement in strength and power by boxers taking beta-alanine. After four weeks of use, boxers improved their punching rate and force during the last 10 seconds of simulated rounds by as much as 2000%.
There are many different pre workout supplements you could take, and it can be hard to find individual ingredients to take separately. However, trying and finding one with a combination of the above (and possibly more) can improve your workouts, pump, recover, and even up your motivation to hit the gym.