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February 25, 2020 8 min read

You know the feeling. Your alarm clock goes off, you drag yourself out of bed in the dark, all because you’re planning to hit the gym before work even though you’d rather hit the sack. Or how about this? You're driving to the gym after an exhausting day at work, and all you want to do is go home and lay on the couch.

In either situation, you not only need the energy to get through your impending workout, but you also need the right fuel for your body so that your workout is more productive. If you’re going to the trouble to go to the gym, why not try adding in a supplement that can help you get your blood pumping, preparing your body for the ultimate workout? Enter pre-workout supplements!

What are Pre-Workout Supplements?

Pre-workout supplements, or pre-workouts, are supplements that contain multiple ingredients that boost both your energy levels and athletic performance. Most often, pre-workout supplements come in a powdered form that you can mix with water. For the best results and the maximum absorption, we recommend drinking your pre-workout at least 45 minutes before you begin a workout.

A Closer Look at Common Ingredients in Pre-Workout Supplements

Not all pre-workout supplements are created equal, and often brands may vary the ingredients they include in their pre-workouts. But have no fear! We've compiled a list of a few of the most common elements in the pre-workout supplements you’ll find in our online store.

  1. Caffeine
  2. Creatine
  3. Beta-alanine
  4. L-citrulline

1. Caffeine

The chances are good that you know what caffeine is and what it does, but if you need a refresher, here you go!

Caffeine is known as a central nervous system stimulant, preventing you from feeling drowsy. Caffeine affects everyone differently, but it is generally the substance responsible for mental alertness, memory, increased exercise performance, and can be considered a fat-burner in your workout.

2. Creatine

Creatine is a compound that's naturally produced in your body, living in your skeletal muscle, providing both energy and muscle strength—two essentials for any productive workout. Research even suggests that supplements with creatine can help improve recovery time and muscle mass.

3. Beta-alanine

Beta-alanine is an integral part of any pre-workout supplements, especially if you take them before a high-intensity workout because of its ability to aid in your muscle’s endurance. Translation: you can work out harder for longer thanks to this amino acid. 

4. L-citrulline

Did you know that citrulline is an amino acid that is present in watermelon? Bodybuilders and weightlifters have turned to various protein supplements that contain citrulline because of its beneficial effects on overall health and exercise performance.

Now that you know a few of the most common ingredients found in pre-workout supplements, let's take a look at some benefits of adding in pre-workouts to your gym routine. 

Benefits of Using Pre-Workout Supplements

One of the most common benefits of a pre-workout supplement is the energy boost, but did you know that's not the only benefit? The ingredients and amino acids in pre-workouts stimulate not only your muscles but also your central nervous system, translating into a productive workout every time.

  • Increased energy from pre-workout supplements

One of the more familiar benefits of a pre-workout is the jolt of energy athletes and bodybuilders receive after each dose, fueling their workout and helping them work out harder, for longer.

  • More strength during your workout

Pre-workout supplements that contain creatine, the number one supplement used to boost performance in the gym, can have a significant impact on increasing muscle mass, strength, and exercise performance. Creatine is essential for creating the molecule ATP.  Your body performs better during workouts when it has extra ATP.

  • Increased muscle size

The presence of citrulline in your pre-workout or protein supplement means it’ll work to widen your blood vessels. You know the phrase, “get your blood pumping?” Citrulline does that—getting your blood pumping faster, thus delivering more blood to your muscles. This translates into more energy in your muscles, and with more energy, comes the bigger muscles athletes and bodybuilders crave!

  • Weight loss

Wherever you are on your weight loss journey, there’s a pre-workout for you. Did you know that because caffeine increases your body’s level of epinephrine, it also turns your body into a lean fat-burning machine? That’s a win-win in our book!

Things to Watch Out for When Using Pre-Workout Supplements

Everyone reacts to things differently, and pre-workout supplements are no exception. A product your best friend loves may not be right for you, and that's okay. You know your body best—trust your gut and try something new until you find the right supplement for you! We've compiled the most common side effects you might experience with some pre-workouts, but we won’t leave you empty-handed! We’ll also provide some tips for what to do if you find yourself in these situations.

  • The jitters

Just like if you downed a ton of coffee on an empty stomach, taking pre-workout supplements without food can leave you feeling a little jittery. Make sure to have food on your stomach before you begin your workout, so the caffeine isn’t hard on your stomach or nervous system.

If you still have the jitters, try slowly increasing your dosage over time, so you can make sure to get your workout in without the jitters.

Another tip: try to avoid large doses of caffeine for at least six hours before you head off to bed so that you can get that vital recovery sleep!

  • Digestive upset

A common side effect, but one that's also easily remedied, is digestive upset. Most often, stomach issues occur when you mix a pre-workout, or any protein supplement, with too little water. This translates into ingredients that are entering your body in a more concentrated form than intended.

Always try to mix your pre-workout supplements and any other protein supplement you take with eight to twelve ounces of water to avoid this. If that still doesn't work, you may need to try out different brands to see if your stomach can tolerate those better.

  • Headaches

Citrulline, as you now know, is a common ingredient in pre-workout supplements, increasing blood flow in your muscles, but it can also have the same effect on your brain, causing headaches or migraines.

If you suffer from headaches already, it might be worth making sure your pre-workout or protein supplements don’t have citrulline included, or you can find products with a lower dosage.

  • Tingling in hands and feet

In some people, beta-alanine can cause something called paresthesia, which just means a slight tingling sensation in your hands and feet. It goes away on its own and is nothing more than a simple nervous system reaction, but some people find it distracting or uncomfortable.

If you find that your pre-workout makes you feel tingly, check out how much beta-alanine is present and try a formula with less or look for a sustained-release formula that will prevent this side effect.

Pre-Workout Powerhouse Picks

If you’re ready to step up your workout game and adopt a pre-workout routine, we’ve come up with a list of a few of our powerhouse picks—popular with our team and customers. No pre-workout is the same, so do your research and find the one that fits the bill for your gym goals. 

  1. Cellucor C4 Original
  2. ANS Performance Prophecy
  3. Allmax Impact Igniter
  4. Mammoth Pump 

 1. Cellucor C4 Original

C4 has a solid reputation, and for a good reason! From the delicious flavour options - including fruit punch, icy blue razz, orange burst, pink lemonade, strawberry watermelon, and cherry limeade - to the energy, endurance, focus, and pumps it provides, C4 Original can help you unlock your full potential in the gym. Plus, with the addition of CarnoSyn® Beta-Alanine, C4 can help support your muscle's endurance, keeping you lifting longer!

2. ANS Performance Prophecy

Looking for the ultimate performance experience out of your pre-workout? Look no further than Prophecy by ANS Performance. Not for the faint of heart, one scoop of Prophecy delivers a whopping 400mg of caffeine. For those that can handle it, Prophecy also provides limitless energy and focus with no crash, plus the delicious flavours have zero sugar and no artificial colours! Check out Prophecy in flavours like blue bombsicle, peach mango, lemon drop, and sour gummy today!

3. Allmax IMPACT Igniter

IMPACT Igniter by Allmax is known for being a fully dosed and highly effective pre-workout that’ll give you not only the results you want, but will also improve the more you use it. Thanks to IMPACT Igniter, you'll have an increase in strength, reps, recovery, muscle swelling that you can feel, and an amplified metabolism—making burning fat easy. You won't need to grit your teeth to drink down IMPACT Igniter, either, because it comes in five delicious flavours: fruit punch, blue raspberry, green apple candy, pineapple mango, and tart black cherry.

4. Mammoth Pump

For a quality pre-workout that delivers on its name, check out Mammoth Pump from Mammoth Supplements. Fully loaded with scientifically researched ingredients in the most effective dosages, Mammoth offers massive muscle pumps, energy, and gains every time. Mammoth Pump aims to pump you up before the workout, keep you going through it, and lasts long after your last rep to make that gym time worthwhile. Plus, with the addition of taurine, you’ll be more focused and alert, and less likely to cramp up mid-rep or once you hit the showers.

If you’re still looking for your favorite pre-workout, check out our blog, full of even more of our favorite brands and products—including bestsellers and customer favorites!

Now that you feel comfortable with your pre-workout routine, you need to make sure you're providing your body with the right nutrients after your pumping session to fuel those muscles. Enter whey protein!

What’s Whey Protein Got to Do with It?

Whey protein is a popular protein supplement and for a good reason! Whey protein is the obvious next step in any workout routine, especially if you’ve just adopted a pre-workout supplement that you love. Whey protein can take those hard-earned gains and help them form into big muscles, but that’s not all!

What is Whey Protein?

If you think it has something to do with milk, you’d be right! Whey is one of the two types of proteins found in milk. You’ve likely seen it in person if you’ve ever seen the watery liquid on top of your yogurt. But, why is whey protein so essential in a protein supplement, and why do you need it? Let's take a closer look.

Why Do I Need Whey Protein in My Protein Supplement?

Whey protein typically doesn't taste good on its own, which is why you'll see it flavoured like chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry in your favorite protein supplement. Adding in a supplement with whey protein is a great way to add more protein into your diet, no matter if you're trying to lose weight, build muscle, or both! Because whey protein absorbs and your body utilizes it quickly, it’s a great idea to try and get your whey protein supplement before, during, or right after a workout to help maximize your muscle growth. Whey protein continues to be the most effective protein supplement on the market today, based on how well it responds to the body.

Keep in mind, however, that if you have any milk allergies, you might want to be careful when choosing a protein supplement, especially if it contains whey protein. Some users have experienced allergic reactions to a whey-based protein supplement if they have a milk allergy. You know your own body best, so make sure to choose the right protein supplement for your goals and lifestyle.

Step Up Your Game Today—We Can Help!

Here at Supplement Superstore, we want you to have your best workout every time, and that starts with your pre-workout. Let us help you cut through all the noise and confusion so you can find the right pre-workout supplements for your specific needs. And if you need whey protein or another protein supplement, we’ve got you covered there, too! Whatever your fitness goals, crush them with the help of the right supplements and nutrients every time!



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