What To Look For In A Pre Workout

What To Look For In A Pre Workout

What To Look For In A Pre Workout

Embarking on an effective workout journey often involves choosing the right pre-workout supplement. To make informed decisions, it's crucial to understand the key ingredients that contribute to optimal performance. This guide will walk you through the best pre-workout ingredients to look out for, optimal dosage considerations & ingredients to avoid to help you make the right choice.

Best Pre-Workout Ingredients to Look Out For

Caffeine is a staple in pre-workouts, renowned for its ability to boost energy levels and enhance mental focus. It stimulates the central nervous system, promoting alertness and reducing perceived effort during exercise. 

Cymbidium Goeringii
A type of orchid extract found in some of the most potent preworkout supplements such as Doomsday and Hydrazine, this provides energy allied to a strong focus that lets you engage your body and mind to deliver your best gym workouts.

No other ingredient is as well studied as creatine for increasing muscle power, lean body mass and fuelling performance for athletes and bodybuilders alike. However, as great as it is, you would need to dose around 5g a day so it often makes more sense to dose this via a standalone creatine supplement.

Also known as kigelia africana, DMHA is a powerful stimulant which goes beyond caffeine alone when it comes to delivering energy. Best used sparingly for your toughest workouts.

Bitter Orange Extract
Oranges may not sound like they would give energy but bitter orange is actually a stimulant ingredient which enhances energy, mood and focus while also assisting in improving your ability to burn more fat.

Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that plays a vital role in buffering lactic acid buildup in muscles. By reducing muscle fatigue, beta-alanine enhances endurance, allowing for more extended and more effective workout sessions. The only downside is that at a dose of 3.2g per day, this may be better off supplemented via a standalone supplement.

Citrulline Malate
Citrulline malate is a compound that boosts nitric oxide production in the body, leading to improved blood flow and nutrient delivery to working muscles. This not only enhances the "pump" during workouts but also contributes to better overall exercise performance. 

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
Branched-chain amino acids, including leucine, isoleucine, and valine, are crucial for muscle preservation, reducing muscle soreness, and supporting rapid recovery. Pre-workouts enriched with BCAAs in the range of 5 to 10 grams provide comprehensive benefits, aiding in muscle protein synthesis and minimizing the breakdown of muscle tissue during intense exercise.

Doses of Ingredients in Pre-Workouts:

Aim for 150–300 mg for a moderate stimulant effect, boosting energy and focus during workouts.

Optimal effectiveness is seen in a dosage range of 2–5 grams, reducing muscle fatigue during intense exercise.

Citrulline Malate
Look for 6–8 grams for maximum benefits, enhancing blood flow and achieving the sought-after "pump" effect. Alternatively, a dose of 3 to 4 grams of L-Citrulline will deliver much the same pump benefits.

BCAAs (Branched-Chain Amino Acids)
Aim for 5–10 grams to support muscle preservation, protein synthesis, and reduce post-exercise soreness.

Starting with lower doses, especially if new to a pre-workout, is advisable. Individual responses vary, so adjusting based on personal tolerance is key. If in doubt, consult a healthcare professional or fitness expert for personalized advice.

Pre-Workout Ingredients to Avoid

Excessive caffeine 
Products with excessively high caffeine or stimulant content may lead to jitteriness, increased heart rate, and post-workout crashes. It's advisable to choose pre-workouts with moderate stimulant doses or those where they pair more than one stimulant with different profiles which helps provide more sustained energy levels for the user such as Hydrazine or Excelsior.

Proprietary Blends
Products that use proprietary blends to hide ingredient quantities lack transparency, making it challenging to assess effectiveness and safety. Opt for pre-workouts with clearly stated dosages for each ingredient.

Artificial Additives
Pre-workouts with excessive artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners may pose potential health risks, especially for those with sensitivities. Choose products with minimal additives for a cleaner profile.


Why is caffeine a common ingredient in pre-workouts?
Caffeine is a stimulant that boosts energy and focus, enhancing overall workout performance.

Are there specific pre-workout ingredients for muscle gain?
Yes, ingredients like creatine monohydrate and BCAAs are often included to support muscle growth and recovery.

How do I determine the right dosage for me?
Start with lower doses, monitor your body's response, and adjust gradually based on your tolerance and sensitivity.

Are there potential side effects of pre-workout supplements?
Excessive stimulants can lead to jitteriness and crashes. It's crucial to choose products with moderate caffeine levels and minimal artificial additives to reduce the risk of side effects.