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Pre-workout Supplements: Are They Worth It?

Published: 9/15/14

Any health expert will tell you that the keys to getting fit and healthy are diet and exercise. Getting the right nutrients and vitamins in your diet while increasing your physical activity are vital components to achieving your body’s maximum potential. There’s no denying or avoiding that. But what else can you do to boost your athletic performance and quicken your journey to success? Pre-workout supplements are designed to do exactly that. Are they guaranteed to work? No. But they’re certainly worth a try. For those of you who are new to the world of supplements, pre-workout supplements are specifically designed to improve your athletic potential. They can improve stamina, energy, and overall performance, and while there’s little scientific evidence to prove this, many individuals will share their stories about how well supplements work for them. When choosing to take supplements, it’s crucial to keep in mind that what works for one person – no matter how much they rave about it, may not work for you. The truth is, you’ll probably have to try out a few to see what works for your body to give you the results you want. Here’s a run-down on the most common ingredients you’ll find in pre-workout supplements:


Beta-Alanine: You’ll see Beta-Alanine in many pre-workout supplements. So, what does it do exactly? Beta-Alanines boost the production of Carnosine, which aids in equalizing muscular acidity, or removing lactic acid. And what does this mean? It means that Beta-Alanine can help prevent fatigue as well as reduce the burning sensation you get from a high-intensity workout session, thus increasing your performance. If you spend the majority of the day running around or standing, Alanine may be just the boost you need to tackle that after-work gym session. Again, studies aren’t conclusive and the effects vary for everyone, but it’s certainly worth a try.

Creatine: This aids with the force of muscle contraction, which can help reduce tension and soreness later on.

Arginine: A vasodilator that increases the amount of blood flow to the working muscles, Arginine works to enlarge the muscles while promoting their growth and recovery.

Caffeine: This serves the same purpose as your average cup of Joe. When taken prior to working out you’ll feel an increase in training drive, focus, and a decrease in fatigue. Make sure you are careful with the amount if you have any heart conditions or sensitivities to caffeine.

Protein: Your body absolutely, positively needs protein when you start increasing your workout routine. For every pound you weigh, you should be eating 1 gram of protein per day. If you don’t enjoy a protein packed diet, taking a protein supplement could definitely be something to look into. For vegetarians, vegans, and anyone else who may be lacking protein, a supplement is important to ensure that enough protein is consumed during the day. It’s also important to note that eating too much protein is not always a good thing, as your body (kidneys specifically) cannot process it fully. If you calculate your protein intake properly, however, you’ll be fine. And, if this type of supplement is right for you, you’ll feel the benefits. Keep in mind that you don’t need to increase your protein intake with supplements if in fact you already eat a protein-rich diet.


To Recap:

Each person will experience different effects, as no two people are alike.

Most ingredients in supplements can be found in your food. Eating specific types of food/food groups more or less often can eliminate the need for supplements.

Supplements can be pretty costly.

Supplements can contain additives that aren’t so healthy. When choosing supplements, make sure you go for those that are natural, or close to it.

You may have to try a few out before you find the one that works for your body.

It’s smart to try out different pre-workout supplements. Your body can get used to the product over an extended period of time, which can diminish the results, thus trying out new ones prevents this from happening.

Be informed about the ingredients. Avoid any products labeled “Proprietary Blend” if you are new to the supplement game. These brands do not specify the amount of each ingredient within the blend, which could have severe and averse effects for some individuals. If you’re still unsure, you can actually make your own – talk to one of our personal trainers for more information!

Talk to a personal trainer or medical practitioner if you have any existing medical conditions.


For more useful workout information, please visit our health and fitness articles section.