The Science Behind Pre-Workout Supplements

pre workout supplements

Taking a pre-workout drink before hitting the gym is a habit for regular athletes and a part of your routine. People, including professional athletes and trainers, swear by pre-workout supplements and claim to experience the benefits firsthand. 

See what the science says about taking pre-workout supplements before exercising.

What are pre-workout supplements? 

These supplements are powder drink mixes that enhance workout performance. There are many different supplements and exercise nutrition brands, so the ingredients can vary widely.

Pre-workout supplements boost your athletic performance by giving you more energy during exercise. These supplements typically contain: 

  • • caffeine, 
  • • creatine, 
  • • beta-alanine, 
  • • amino acids, and 
  • • nitric oxide agents 

Your body gains extra power and strength by consuming high-quality pre-workout supplements before exercising. Moreover, this allows you to push through tougher workouts and maximize your performance. 

How do pre-workout supplements boost energy?

Pre-workouts are often mixed with water and consumed roughly 30 minutes before a workout. This allows the carbohydrates in the supplement to supply glucose to the body. Therefore, raising blood sugar levels and providing additional energy during exercise.

These supplements contain a lot of caffeine. This varies between 150 and 300 mg per serving. If you're new to pre-workout, start low to avoid negative side effects. Too much caffeine can lead to decreased performance and increased anxiety.

When does pre-workout kick in?

Generally, pre-workout supplements start working within 30 to 60 minutes after taking them. However, this varies depending on different factors such as:

  • • the type of pre-workout, 
  • • whether it's in powder or capsule form, and 
  • • whether or not you ate before taking it.

You should take pre-workout 30 minutes to an hour before workouts. This allows the supplement to get into your bloodstream and gives you the desired energy boost before your workout.

What ingredients are best to look for?

Nitric oxide precursors: it is responsible for relaxing blood vessels and lowering blood pressure.

Pre-workout usually contains nitric oxide-producing ingredients. This includes: 

  • • L-arginine, 
  • • L-citrulline, and 
  • • nitrate-containing foods, like beetroot juice.

Caffeine: Pre-workout supplements usually contain caffeine to increase energy and focus. It can improve focus, memory, and athletic performance, and reduce fat.

Creatine: Your body produces creatine naturally. Most of it is stored in skeletal muscles, where it helps fuel energy production

Beta-alanine: you can find it in several pre-workout formulas. Because it prevents acid buildup in your muscles, you can exercise harder and longer.

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs): Help muscles grow and reduces pain.