Stimulation, strength, focus, and maximum pump! Among the hundreds of pre-workout products we divide several species – products with a delicate operation, with alittle content of caffeine, creatine, AAKG, and beta alanine. Then more complex supplements, containing large amounts of caffeine, supported by tyrosine and norvaline, having both arginine alpha-ketoglutarate and citrulline malate.
- How pre-workout supplements work?
- Main benefits of pre workout supplements
- Pre-workout suppplements comprasion
- Pre workout powder vs pill
- Are pre workout supplements safe?
- Are pre workout supplements worth using?
- Can pre-workout supplements fail drug test?
- When to take pre-workout supplements
- What if it's still not enough for us?
- Preworkouts can be grouped in 4 groups:
- 1. Classic all-purpose pre-workouts
- 2. Blood pump accelerators - NO-Boosters
- 3. Endurance improvers
- 4. Extreme Pre-Workouts - only for Advanced!
How pre-workout supplements work?
Pre-workout supplements mechanisms of actions are very complex, because we have to take in account every substance actions, and additional interactions of those. Nontheless, there are some concrete patterns of actions which we can outline
Increasing the amount of energy sources inside our organism
Muscles doesn't gain energy from nothing (nothing can - basics of physics and principle of conservation of energy, if you want to be completly exact). The source of energy, from which our muscles gain its power, depends on intensivity and longevity of training. We can highlight following:
- Creatine phosphate system
- Anaerobic lactic system
- Aerobic energy system
Creatine phosphate system
Creatine phopshate system is the first-to-go source of energy in our organism. In this system, we can outline two compound - ATP, and Phosphocreatine.
We have to do a little digression here - ATP is direct source of energy for our organism, and every other compound which gives us energy actually regenerates ATP. Only ATP can give our cells bioenergy, through breaking high-energetic phosphorus bond betwwen phosphoric groups, in which reaction ATP transforms into ADP. And ADP has to be changed again to ATP, by adding phosphorous group to its compound. This process needs energy and that's actual "effort" of our organism - to regenerate ADP to ATP as fast, as to meet our actual physical efforts.
Going back to topic - creatine phosphate system is not very effective system and even though it allow us to receive the highest amount of energy, it lasts for about 10 seconds, so taking more care over it is important if you need maximum momentary strength, for example in case of stronglifts. This system is supported mainly by supplementation of:
- Creatine - which increaes the amount of stored phosphocreatine
- ElevATP® - special formulation from MPA Supps brand containing Ancient peat and apple fruit extract, which directly intensifies ATP production
Anaerobic lactic system
This system is used in intensive, short-lasting efforts, through glycogen and blood-glucose depletion. Energy from ketones body can also be used there, but only in if there is a large amount of them in our blood. Such a condition can be meet for example in time of ketogenic and low carb diet, or in times of very intensive training when high amount of free fatty acids circulate through our blood.
The problem with this source of energy is that if intensive training last too long (the more intensive, the less amount of time it has to be maintained), the oxygen intake can not meet its requirements. In such case, acidification of our organism arises, due to higher lactic acid production. Acidification is the reason why our muscles "burn" so much and we cannot do any more exercises. To counteracts it, we can supplement:
- Simple carbohydrates - the most convenient source of energy, which can be easily used without excessive metabolic actions
- Cordyceps - cordyceps increases VO2max - the intake of oxygen for our organism, which delays muscle acidification.
- Beta-alanine - acts as pH buffer inside our body, delaying muscle acidification in result
- BHB - the most convenient fatty-acid related source of energy. It is highly recommended to supplement BHB if you want to improve your training results in time of ketogenic diet. Using BHB on high-carb diet is redundant, because our organism will use carbohydrates after all due to carbohydrates being easier to use source of energy for our organism.
- Carnitine - improves metabolism of fatty acids, which optimal rate is crucial for our fast-access energy in case of low-carb/ketogenic diet
Aerobic energy system
This system is used if we are in the time of long-lasting, low intensive training for example cardio trainings. Here we use compounds which metabolism take some time to receive energy from them - proteins, fats, carbohydrates and glycogen.
To support our energy efficiency from that system, we should include in our supplementation:
- Convenient meal replacements (energy bars, energy gels) - in long-lasting training it's important to not get hungry. Easily digestable and handy meals will be the perfect choice for supplementation
- Isotonics - maintaining the proper level of water and electrolytes inside our body is crucial for optimal energy metabolism level
Improving your mood
What is interesting, mood is a huge factor in terms of training efficiency. It's difference between getting angry after first set of your routine, or making a training of your life, and additionally running back from your gym on your feets, rather than in your car!
Daily performance is seriously taken in account in case of various contests. That's why a week or two of deload time before competition is a good idea.
If you want to improve your mood at training, you should mainly focus on psychostimulants. For example:
- PEA and Hordenine, DMHA, DMAA, L-Dopa, Tyrosine - those substances increases dopamine and norepinephrine levels, which in the short way makes you feel happy!
- Caffeine - simply yet still the most effective substance in pre workout boosters. Decreases the intensivity of pain perception, which allow to take your limits higher!
- Theanine - improves your training focus. And it combines perfectly with caffeine!
Optimilizing your energy metabolism
This is somewhat related to amount of energetic substances in our organism. Even though we have a large amount of them inside our body, they have to be metabolized to ATP. And here we have to take in account compounds, which are responsible for such metabolism. Here, we should focus on:
- B Vitamins - B vitamins are the part of enzymes which take part in nutrients metabolism. The more food and energy you need, the more B vitamins you should take. Their recommended daily intake is positively correlated with amount of calories which you eat. Remember, to choose supplements which have bioactive forms of those vitamins, for optimal benefits of theirs supplementation.
- Digestive enzymes - those are important in meal replacement products used in time of training. In such, digestive processes intensivity is decreased, because your body focus on giving out all its energy to muscles. Digestive enzymes will counteract that issue, and let you achieve the most optimal nutrients bioavailability
- NO Boosters - NO boosters have vasodilatiory effect, which widen the size of your blood vessels. This in result improves nutrients transport throughout your body. This in result increase your energy metabolism efficiency.
Main benefits of pre workout supplements
Pre workout supplements can be used:
- to increase strength
- to lose weight faster
- to give you more energy
- to build muscles more intensively
- to increase endurance and stamina
Pre-workout suppplements comprasion
Pre workout supplements vs energy drink
At the beginning, energy drinks was just a combination of water and caffeine, with addition of bubbles. Nontheless, in response to still higher requirements and expectations, energy drinks are starting to be more like light pre workout supplements. A set of B vitamins, taurine, BCAA is starting to show more often next to caffeine. A breakpoint in blurring the line in differencies between pre workout supplements and energy drink, was adding a Bang pre-workout in form of energy drink by VPX Sports to dietary supplements market offer which is fully fledged pre workout supplement, but just in form of drink.
So - you have to choose basing on concrete products ingredients, not just looking at the form of supplement!
Pre workout supplements vs BCAA
BCAA is definitely less complex formulation than those contained in pre workout supplements. Yet, the pre workout supplements often contain BCAA (set of leucine, isoleucine and valine, for clarification), which is cheap addition of endurance-increasing compounds.
So, if you funds are limited, and you want to focus on improving your endurance (for example in long-lasting training with low intensitivity) BCAA could be a good choice also.
Pre workout supplements vs coffee
Coffee is probably the first pre workout supplement which you try in your life! It's perfect choice if you don't want to spend money on pre workout supplements, and you like things to stay simple and effective. Caffeine will boost your awarness and stimulate you delicately (thus it depends on how strong is coffee which you are drinking), when other substances will boost your metabolism.
Pre workout supplements vs fat burners
Again, the line between pre workout supplements and fat burners is really blurry. Their compositions are very similar, yet fat burners contain more thermogenic substances. In short they are delicately more complex, than typical pre workout supplements.
Perfect example of supplement, which is awesome pre workout supplement, and the same time contains effective fat burning blend is Blitzkrieg from Apollo Hegemony
Pre workout supplements vs whey protein
Those are two completly different supplements. Whey protein is just an supplementation of protein in your diet, when pre workout supplements is direct energy shot just before the training. So it's really hard to comprise which one is better. Both of those types of supplements is awesome!
Pre workout supplements or creatine
Creatine is probably the most universal supplement on the market. It increases your strength, endurance, cognitive abilities and overall health state, so surely adding it to pre workout supplement will be beneficial. You have to take two things in account there. Firstly, basic form of creatine can be more stomach upsetting, so if you are prone to it, try to choose pre workout supplements without creatine, and add creatine after the workout. Secondly, creatine is often already a part of pre workout supplements, so check it composition to not waste money on uncessesary supplementation!
Pre workout powder vs pill
Pre workout in capsules or pills will always be more expensive than pre workout in powder. Capsule or pill shells are additional expension for producer, other than making just effective pre workout in powder form. Also, pills or capsules have to be digested before freeing powder inside them so you have to take in account longer team before pre workout kick in. Also, shells can make your stomach upset, which is definitely uncomfortable during workout.
Are pre workout supplements safe?
If you are using with producers recommendation, and you are completly honest with yourself in case of your health state - there shouldn't be any problem. You should be especially cautious in case of cardiovascular or nervous system diseases.
Are pre workout supplements worth using?
They are surely worth trying. For some people, coffee or even nothing is enough to make a good training. Others for example cannot imagine training without proper amount of stimulation. You have to try them for yourself, to make up your decision.
Can pre-workout supplements fail drug test?
Yes, they can, if they are taken from shady, unofficial source, or if they contain specific substances. You have to be aware of:
But, on the other hand if they are simple pre-workouts containing caffeine and some NO-Boosters - they are good to go.
When to take pre-workout supplements
Well, that's simple. As the name says, it should be taken somewhere near your training. Optimally 30 minutes before training, or intensive mental effort.
What if it's still not enough for us?
Then, with the help come true hardcore supplements containing agmatine sulfate, geranium or alpha-yohimbine. The new very potent substance in buisness is DMHA which is often used as a replacement for geranium because of it legality. They are products of the highest quality, manufacturers’ beading. The use of this type of preparations allows not only to do a good workout, they enable us to exceed our limits!
Keep in mind that a large range of pre-workout products contain substances not tested or harmful.
A common phenomenon among manufacturers is adding substances that cause maximum stimulation in the first batches of products, however, these are preparations not available for sale or causing side effects.
In our ranking there are only proven and the most effective products from reputable manufacturers. The supplements are confirmed by quality certificates of manufacturers.
Preworkouts can be grouped in 4 groups:
1. Classic all-purpose pre-workouts
MZ Pre-Workout - this is unique combination of ingredients with the highest efficiency. Suitable support is provided by synergistic combination of AAKG, caffeine, and Beta-alanine. Ingredients strengthening the muscle pump provide the right comfort of workouts. With this product, you always perform a good workout!
2. Blood pump accelerators - NO-Boosters
Agmatine- it's a products for everyone who ever said, that single ingredient cannot be as effective as complex preworkout. Here you are wrong kiddo! Agmatine is comprehensive measure of a recognized brand on the market. An absolutely innovative active ingredient (agmatine), will allow you to discover a new definition of "muscle pump"!
READ MORE ---->AGMATINE - BENEFITS<----
3. Endurance improvers
4. Extreme Pre-Workouts - only for Advanced!
DISCLAIMER - below, we are showing only the most effective formulations, which should be used only by advanced sport adepts
Blitzkrieg - our current, and undoubtable king of pre-workouts. We can say that for a long time, there was no product, with such an interest from our customers, than new formulation from known Apollos Hegemony. An combination of DMHA and Yohimbine is just nuts!
If you are looking for new dimension of "training" - Blitzkrieg should be at your supplementation shelf A-L-W-A-Y-S. End of thread!
After Blitzkrieg we could end that list, really... But - everybody love some other choices, doesn't we?
Jack'd Up - formulation from veterans of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals (is there anybody who doesn't know them?) Theirs products are always somewhere on top, or close to that, in every ranking of energizing products. Nothing strange here! Unusual forms of creatine, stimulating DMAA-Caffeine-Schisandra blend, and reputable brand! Everything what we need on gym is here!
PWO MAX - a not well known underdog of our list. But is it bad? Definitely not! We've tried an can or two of it in our team, and it do the trick! Nervous system improving blend (DMAE-NALT-Choline) is helping in side effects of stimulants (Caffeine and DMAA complex), so if you are prone to side effects, this one is for you!