What’s The Deal With Pre Workout?

It seems like everybody uses supplements these days — pre workout, protein powder, BCAAs, creatine… the list could go on and on. Today I’m focusing on a supplement I’ve used off and on for the past 4 years: Pre workout.

Obviously, as the name implies, this is a product you take prior to working out in the hopes that your energy increases, you have a better workout, and possibly gain what’s known as a “pump” while you’re at it.

There are hundreds of brands and products out there to choose from that all claim they’re the best. So if you’re new to the supplement world the mountains of chaos and silly marketing can make your head explode.

Don’t worry pal, I got you. Let’s break it down nice and easy.

Main Ingredients:


  • Increase energy and stamina.
  • Provide stronger mental focus.
  • Enhance anaerobic performance.
  • Decrease rate of fatigue.
  • Optimal dose: 200-500 mg.


  • Increase protein synthesis.
  • Reduce protein breakdown.
  • Improve workout intensity.
  • Optimal dose: 5 grams in a pre workout and 20 grams per day.

Beta-Alanine: “The Tingle”

  • Increase muscular endurance.
  • Improve training volume.
  • Raise muscle carnosine: potent antioxidant, prevents muscle acid buildup, and helps delay muscle fatigue.
  • Optimal dose: 1.5 – 5 grams


  • Nitrix oxide production.
  • Minimizes muscle soreness.
  • Boosts muscle endurance.
  • Provides a “pump.”
  • Optimal dose: 6 – 8 grams


  • Reduces stress.
  • Improves cognitive function.
  • 500 – 2000 mg


  • Fights oxidative stress.
  • Increase insulin sensitivity.
  • Optimal dose: more than 1 gram

Ingredients are important — always read your labels. Try to shy away from “blends” because this typically means for some reason they’ve chosen not to share what exactly is in their product, or how much.

Timing is everything. Pre workout should be taken about 30 minutes prior to a workout for optimal effectiveness.

Cycle off. Every 4 to 6 weeks try to go a couple of weeks without taking pre workout. This will allow your body’s sensitivity to go back up and your natural energy sources to do their jobs again.

Research. There is still plenty of research to be done within and around the supplement industry. In my personal opinion, pre workouts are half mental. If you believe they’re going to work — then they’ll work. They’re also expensive — so don’t break the bank for a “pump” — your workouts will be just fine without it.

What I use: Currently I’m using C4 50x. (Yes, they have a “blend” but they list out the ingredients within the blend.)

Notice: I am not a doctor, dietitian, or supplement professional. I’m simply a girl who likes to workout and eat healthy. Please, do your own research and talk to the appropriate professionals before making any major health decisions — like trying a pre workout.


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