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Pre-Workout Supplements | What Are They & Their Benefits

Pre-Workout Supplements | What Are They & Their Benefits
Dawid Lyszczek
Writer and expert8 years ago
View Dawid Lyszczek's profile

There are a plethora of pre-workout supplements on the market - they boost sports performance and help achieve optimal levels of training. Pre-workout supplements help in pushing an athlete beyond their limits and helps to attain the best out of them.

A pre-workout might contain a single ingredient or might be a mix of more than one ingredient, so research is needed for you to choose the best option for you.

Pre-workouts can be classified into two categories:

  1. Pre-workouts with creatine and its derivatives
  2. Creatine free pre-workouts

Pre-Workout Supplements with Creatine

There are multiple articles on The Zone that discuss the usage of creatine in sports performance. Creatine is a ban-free supplement and is widely used as a performance booster. Creatine has some more advantages than just sports performance though. Present pre-workout supplements use hybrid versions of creatine, like Creatine HCL.

Note: Pre-workouts containing creatine might not be preferred by people who are on cutting cycles.

protein shake

Creatine-Free Pre-Workouts

There is a world beyond creatine - current generation pre-workouts have much more to offer, with many more well-researched ingredients in them about which we will discuss in detail. Creatine-free pre-workouts can be classified into these two categories.

  • Proprietary Blends

A proprietary blend contains different ingredients - these will all be disclosed on the label, though the quantities will remain the manufacturer's secret.

  • Natural Pre-Workouts

Not everyone uses a pre-workout supplement. Eating a decent amount of carbohydrates pre-workout ensures you are full, glycogen levels are at their peak and the body is at its full capacity to train.

Creatine can become a backbone later on. Creatine monohydrate is the first pre-workout to be tried before moving to other blends. If Creatine is not your cup of tea, a cup of black coffee 15 minutes before a workout helps a lot.

Modern Pre-Workout Supplements

As previously mentioned, the pre-workout era has changed a lot - companies are investing more and more into the research to produce amazing groundbreaking products. Pre-workout supplements could contain creatine as well as other ingredients in proprietary blends. Let’s have a look at what all ingredients might constitute a good pre-workout supplement, however it has to be noticed that all companies might not have the same product formula and ingredients lists vary.

  1. Creatine Complex: Creatine is known for giving strength and size. Major brands still add creatine as an active and important ingredient, and creatine complexes might have one or more variations of creatine.
  2. Amino Acids Complex: BCAAs, as well as other amino acids, are added to support metabolism, and they also help in transportation of fluids and minerals, boost energy and aid concentration. BCAAs are very beneficial as a pre-workout ingredient as they promote muscle protein synthesis.
  3. Vitamin-B Complex: Pre-workouts might contain an array of B-Vitamins. These play an important role in maintaining body’s metabolism and promoting energy.
  4. Stimulant Complex: The stimulant complex is the one that is the power punch behind any pre-workout formula. It might contain an array of individual components including caffeine, betaine and beta-alanine. The stimulant might also be a proprietary blend. The stimulant complex provides energy and strength during the workout.
  5. Endurance Complex: To survive a gruesome workout, the body needs endurance, so for this creatine along with citrulline works well. Most brands don’t add citrulline, but it's a powerful ingredient which helps in getting the Nitric Oxide released.
  6. Pump Complex: Every guy wants a great pump and loves to see his veins popping. Arginine is the key player in the synthesis of Nitric Oxide, which creates that pump. Other ingredients that increase the rate of NO production are AKG and L-Histamine.

Benefits Of Using A Pre-Workout Supplement

  • Builds More Muscle

BCAA is a primary component for muscle gains particularly Leucine. Leucine increases the rate of MPS (Muscle Protein Synthesis) which in turn enables mTOR for more muscle production.

  • Fat Loss

Pre-workout containing Caffeine help in burning fat at a greater rate during a workout. Caffeine is an active ingredient in fat burners also. Caffeine also promotes strength and alertness post-consumption. However, it has to be noticed that Caffeine based supplements should not be consumed within 6-8 hours of sleep.

  • Get Pumped

Pre-workout supplements ensure that you have a long-lasting muscular pump. The bigger the pump, the more Nitric Oxide production.

  • More Power, Energy and Focus

Creatine along with caffeine and other proprietary blends is responsible for that long lasting power. The focus is usually assisted by the B-Vitamins and caffeine.

Side Effects Of Pre-Workout


This is one of the major problems associated with pre-workout powders. Caffeine can affect some people's sleep cycle if not consumed at least 8 hours before bed.

  • Nausea, Headaches, Itching, Vomiting

This varies from individual to individual - certain ingredients in the pre-workout powder could cause reactions in some people. It is advisable to stop consumption if any allergic signs surface.

  • Cardiac Issues

Recommended dosages of pre-workout should never be exceeded.


The Best Pre-Workout Supplement

It’s tough to judge which one is the best for you as everybody is different, but research has shown that supplements that have BCAAs along with B-Vitamins, creatine, betaine, arginine, and citrulline in the right amounts prove more beneficial than their counterparts.

When choosing a pre-workout make sure that there are no ingredients to which you are allergic or sensitive to. Propriety blend supplements without any ingredient list are also not recommended.

MYPRE has all the essential Amino Acids with BCAAs and has no proprietary blend. MYPRE blends all the essential ingredients in the perfect ratio and is a powerhouse punch, and delivers instant energy that is long lasting.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Dawid Lyszczek
Writer and expert
View Dawid Lyszczek's profile
Dawid Lyszczek is an expert new product developer, food technologist, nutritionist and personal trainer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition, master’s degree in Food Innovation and Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training. Dawid specialises in evidence-based body-composition nutrition and training for both amateurs and physique athletes, and has been involved in sports nutrition and weight training for over 15 years. Dawid is also a former competitive bodybuilder, UKBFF British Finalist in “Intermediates Over 90kgs” Class of 2013, as featured in Flex magazine. Dawid’s academic area of interest has involved both the role of meal frequency on body composition, and also functional food development, which you can find out more about here: In his current role, Dawid bridges the gap between sports nutrition and food technology, bringing in academic experience backed by real life practice that produces results. You can find out more about Dawid’s experience here: