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Should You Start Taking Pre-Workout Supplements?

crossfit supplements

Over the years, the popularity of pre-workout supplements has increased, and more and more people are looking into different brands that can help them make the most out of their workout. While many advocates claim that they effectively give your fitness a boost, experts also say that not all the things that pre-workout supplements claim are necessarily true. 

Not to mention that some experts also say that they do the opposite and instead do more harm than good. Because of the popularity that these pre-workout supplements have been getting, more and more scientists are looking into pre-workout supplements and see if what they claim to be is true or false. 

But of course, there is always a disclaimer that it’s different for everyone and every circumstance, so you should see if the pre-workout supplement you’re using is suitable for your health. That said, what is a pre-workout supplement, and how does it work?

What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplements, more commonly known as pre-workouts, are dietary supplements with multiple ingredients. They are designed to help the consumer become more active and do more with their fitness routine. They give you a boost in performance in simpler terms, leading to more robust and effective training. Usually, they are in powder form, which you can mix with water to consume before starting your workout routine. 

Of course, every brand has its own formula, but there is still a consistent ingredient that you can see in almost all brands. Several examples of this are amino acids, creatine, vitamins, caffeine, and artificial sweeteners. Also, the quantity of these ingredients can vary with every brand. There are actually a lot of pre-workout formulas that you can choose from more than you realize. 

For example, some companies put carbs in their formula, while some are advertised as carb, calorie, or caffeine-free. Another thing that is most common in pre-workouts is caffeine, which supposedly helps you when in your fight or flight mode by dilating your blood vessels, resulting in more blood flow in your muscles. 

Some pre-workouts even include deer antlers, which they claim increases your insulin growth factor, a hormone responsible for increasing muscle growth. If you look into the scientific aspect of the pre-workouts, the results are conflicting with one another, with no clear and specific answer. This is most probably due to most test groups being small in number. 

One study suggests that while pre-workouts help the consumer be more focused and high energy, the physical results are lacking. Another study also suggests that pre-workouts give you lots of energy, resulting in increased muscular endurance and anaerobic capacity. Let’s talk about the common ingredients found in a pre-workout supplement.


Caffeine is the most common ingredient in pre-workouts, and for a good reason. This is because caffeine helps athletes have improved endurance, and lowers the rate of perceived exertion. For example, studies suggest that caffeine benefited an individual’s strength and power output when they drank coffee before a workout routine.

Nitric Oxide Boosters

Nitric Oxide boosters are some of the most common ingredients you can usually find in a pre-workout mix. They are usually composed of L-arginine, L-citrulline, and L-norvaline. These chemicals can enhance the blood flow to the muscles, resulting in a feeling of having pumped muscles that everyone likes to see. 

One thing that these are common in is beetroot juice. They also have nitric oxide boosters, and they are a good alternative for pre-workouts if you’re looking for one.


Another common ingredient in pre-workouts is creatine. In fact, creatine can be categorized as another pre-workout in and of itself because there are brands and products focused entirely on creatine. So what is creatine, and why is it so popular? Creatine is a naturally-produced chemical generated inside your skeletal muscles that increases energy production and muscle strength.

As mentioned earlier, it is a common ingredient in pre-workouts and is also a standalone food supplement. It’s particularly popular among bodybuilders and power athletes because of what it gives to the consumer. Not only that, but researchers also suggest that an increased amount of creatine inside the body can help people improve their muscular strength, decreased recovery times, and enhanced workout performance.

So Should You Take Pre-workout Supplements?

If you’re a recreational fitness lover or just a casual person being health conscious, then you  probably shouldn’t be taking pre-workouts. Incorporating pre-workouts should be taken into complete consideration. This is because they also have their side effects when taking them. One of the most common downsides of taking them is allergies.

If you want foods that can help you with your fitness, then there are other natural products you should probably try first before getting into pre-workouts like beet juice, matcha, coffee, and whole-food proteins. These are natural exercise enhancers without the risks. In fact, if you feel that you need to incorporate pre-workouts in your fitness routine, don’t. You don’t need pre-workouts to have an efficient and effective workout.

But, if you feel that you lack the effectiveness of your workout or you feel that you need more from your workout routine, then pre-workouts can help you with that. This is especially true if you’re planning to increase your exercise capacity after months of rigorous training. If you do decide to check out the best tasting pre-workout supplements this year and the 12 best pre-workout supplements in 2021, it’s important to do your research first. Of course, looking into its reviews on Amazon is not enough. 

You should scan the ingredients used in the formula and look up reviews from several sites. And of course, if you’re still not sure, you can ask your dietician and see if they approve the brand you chose or approve of you getting a pre-workout supplement in the first place.

To Sum it Up

Pre-workouts are helpful; there’s no doubt about that. However, if you feel like you need them to make sure your workout routine is effective. As mentioned before, with the right routine and diet, your workout routine is enough. But if you want more out of your fitness routine, then a pre-workout supplement, or even stenabolic supplements, are a good way to increase your exercise capacity.

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The Rx Review is an independent fitness website, reporting on the Sport of Fitness, functional fitness news, The CrossFit Games, health and diet related information, and also provides reviews on sports performance products.