The use of pre-workout has grown in popularity as the interest in the fitness lifestyle has started to gain significant traction, and for good reason, too. It has been shown to significantly improve both anaerobic peak power and mean power. This means that the goal of an efficient and effective workout is more possible even after all the possible stresses that come in a day.
Though it is true that basically all supplements can be sourced naturally from our food, many people reach for a supplement for a variety of reasons. Aside from the obvious convenience, a good pre-workout will do more than just energize you for your workout, depending on the product you choose.
There are a number of options on the market and with all the choices it can be difficult to know what the best option is. Many have similar ingredients in them, but some have nearly toxic amounts of certain ingredients under the belief that more is better. Beyond that, some pre-workouts may contain unnecessary and potentially harmful ingredients with sketchy claims and little science to back them up. This is why taking the time to find the right product and understand how it works is so important.
Making a Selection
Many people view pre-workout as nothing more than a nice-tasting energy booster that gives you tingles. While it is true that it can provide ample energy for a workout, there is more to consider here. A good, worthwhile pre-workout supplement will do a lot more than just give you the stimulation that caffeine provides. Understanding the functions and ingredients of a good pre-workout can be helpful so you can make your choice.
When it comes to selection, it is important to make sure that your pre-workout does at least three things: provide the needed energy for your workout, improve your focus for an efficient workout, and supply ample endurance so you can complete the workout. Beyond that, examining the label to make sure the amount of a specific ingredient not only falls within a safe range, but is also at an amount that is actually effective.
When all the right ingredients are formulated just right, you get a pre-workout that is packed with everything you need to be energized and focused for however long your training session is.
Energize Your Body
Participating in any form of high-intensity activity, where energy is demanded, the body ultimately begs for some sort of stimulant. Even when eating high-energy foods, there are often not enough energy suppliers present for what some athletes and trainers do. In a pre-workout supplement, you will want to look for some key ingredients. Let’s go through some of the best energizers there are:
Most often associated with our almighty morning coffee, caffeine is “…a mild stimulant to the central nervous system that quickly boosts our alertness and energy levels.” If you are drained and having trouble acting with a sense of urgency, you may find it difficult to make it through your workout.
Additionally, caffeine has even been shown to potentially help with headaches and general pain relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties through counteracting the effects of poor sleep.
Make sure you pay close attention to the amount of caffeine in a supplement when making your choice, though. Too much caffeine can be unhealthy in a short time frame, and you do not need an excessive amount to get the energy boost you are wanting. Not exceeding 400 mg of coffee a day is generally recommended, and shooting for around 150 mg in a pre-workout supplement is ideal as it is about the same amount in a large cup of coffee.
2. Vitamin B6
Also called pyridoxine, vitamin B6 helps in breaking down proteins, fats, and carbs and converting them to glucose. It has been shown to increase energy in athletes, and reduce fatigue.
Though you may be getting your B6 from the food you are eating, having it included in your pre-workout is guaranteed to contribute to your energy levels. Since athletes require a significantly higher amount of B6 in their system, it makes sense that it would be included in your pre-workout.
Beyond the energy that it will provide, it has also been shown to be significantly beneficial to your health providing a variety of benefits. Aside from supporting general immune and brain health, it may also help fight cancer.
3. Vitamin B12
Because essentially every cell in our bodies is using vitamin B12, it is important to highlight it as an ingredient choice. Deficiencies of B12 are commonly associated with exhaustion and a general feeling of tiredness; it serves the purpose of providing our bodies with the breakdown of fat and proteins. Putting this vitamin into a pre-workout helps to provide you with plenty of energy, but it also gives you a lot more.
In addition to providing the body with fuel for a workout, it has been shown to “…prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels by reducing the levels of an amino acid…” Its effects on the heart and mind are profound. Maintaining proper vitamin B12 levels helps to prevent “…fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances.” That’s to say, it’s doing a lot more and serves a much greater purpose than just supplying your body with ample amounts of energy.
Focus on Your Training
Life’s stress often makes it difficult to stay on task during a workout. Even with all the motivation in the world, you can still find yourself challenged to not get distracted. A good pre-workout uses numerous ingredients to keep your attention on the training during a workout. Here are some of the best choices:
1. Rhodiola Rosea
There are some ingredients that really stand out over others, and rhodiola rosea is one of them. It has been shown to improve athletic performance with its ability to reduce mental and physical fatigue. It has also been shown to minimize reaction time, specifically for healthy young men. Its ability to help with stress makes it an excellent option when you are looking to stay focused.
The use of this power ingredient dates back to ancient times where it was used as a form of treatment for a number of health issues. When included in your pre-workout, you are clearly getting a lot more than just the benefit of focus.
An ingredient well known in the world of skincare for its anti-aging benefits, DMAE—also known as Deanol, 2-dimethylaminoethanol, or dimethylethanolamine—is a compound that has been used to help boost mental health and more specifically those with attention disorders. Naturally occurring in the human brain, as well as fish oils, it is an excellent natural option for an added dose of focus in a supplement.
More research is being done on the use of DMAE to smooth out the edges of what research is available regarding how effective it is, but the studies are promising. There have been no reports of “…serious adverse effects…with DMAE'' and the amount you will find in a pre-workout supplement is both safe and effective.
You’ll find only quality pre-workout supplements are taking advantage of DMAE because it has excellent potential as a way to improve your focus.
Amino acids are incredibly important for the body and mind, so it makes sense to include them in a supplement. L-Tyrosine happens to stand out among the amino acids, especially when it comes to a pre-workout. Though it has a variety of benefits, it is highly recognized for its ability to assist with stress. It is able to enhance cognitive function especially in demanding situations where you would otherwise be more prone to feeling the effects of stress hormones.
Because of its ability to counteract these effects, it has also been shown to improve memory and cognitive flexibility. As a result, it helps the brain to stay focused and on task rather than having stressors interfere with a good workout.
Endure the Workout
If you have ever done an efficient workout, or perhaps a particularly long one, there’s a chance you’ve found it difficult to complete. Maybe you cut it short or just generally struggled to push through. Finding a pre-workout to give you the needed endurance is a must if you want to have efficient training. Check the label for these ingredients:
1. CarnoSyn Beta Alanine
One of the most studied forms of beta-alanine, CarnoSyn is a reliable ingredient in a pre-workout. It has undergone a number of tests proving its effectiveness. While it offers a variety of benefits, beta-alanine mainly serves the purpose of providing lasting endurance to the trainer. As a result of this, there is improvement in overall power and performance.
When reaching for a pre-workout supplement, you want to make sure CarnoSyn beta-alanine is present on the ingredient list. Oftentimes a supplement will make no specification or completely omit any sort of beta-alanine in their product, but it is arguably one of the best examples of a quality ingredient.
2. Calcium and Magnesium Lactate
Though in the past lactic acid has been identified as something to avoid for athletes and fitness enthusiasts, it's important to note that the latest research has proven otherwise. The use of lactic acid has been shown to “…[increase] exercise performance during high-intensity cycling ergometry to exhaustion” and “…increase time to exhaustion in short, high-intensity work bouts.”
When doubled with caffeine it provides optimal endurance while caffeine maintains high levels of energy. In short, you’ll maintain necessary energy levels for a longer amount of time. The idea here is that the normal crash that can come with taking a pre-workout supplement can be somewhat avoided.
3. L-Citrulline Malate
Another amino acid naturally occurring in the body, L-Citrulline makes for an excellent ingredient in a pre-workout supplement because it provides a number of benefits. Among these benefits is the ability to provide the body with endurance, making oxygen use more efficient.
What’s more, is that it has been shown to improve muscle growth. Any ingredient that offers an added bonus is welcomed in a supplement.
Let’s Get After It
Quality pre-workout will use a variety of ingredients that are each serving a purpose beyond just a jolt of sudden energy. It will give you energy, yes, but it is going to help you stay focused on the workout and give you the kind of long-lasting energy you need, all while avoiding a crash. It’s meant to be a product benefiting you in more ways than one.
Additionally, the brand providing the supplement will back their ingredients with research and more or less provide proof of their product’s success. They will rely on what science has presented and go as far as providing proof. They will pay attention to the details of the product when it comes to how much of whatever ingredient is being included and do so intentionally.
When it comes to making a selection, the Xwerks Ignite Pre-workout stands out by far because it checks all the right boxes. Aside from having all the right ingredients—and a few added bonuses—it was made by a company that believes in transparency. You will find XWERKS goes as far as educating their customers on the ingredients and the benefits while providing studies and research. Beyond that, they have all the faith in their product and are willing to completely refund and replace any product that does not satisfy.
With all the brands and products out there that have been under fire for toxic and unhealthy amounts of ingredients, it is important to purchase from a brand you can trust. Brands like XWERKS will fully acknowledge the sources and go as far as to explain why they believe in their product are not just in it for the money. This is why XWERKS Ignite Pre-workout is the best.
You won’t know unless you try for yourself though. Get your pre-workout and start experiencing the difference in your training.