Diet & Nutrition So you are in your gym clothes but you feel like you would rather go back to bed. Regardless of the time of day, sometimes the energy and focus needed to make it through a workout just isn’t there. No one wants to go half-speed during a workout, and working out while tired or unfocused can lead to a possible injury. So do you skip the gym for the day or force your way through? How about a third option – grab a pre-workout supplement! If you want to be focused and energized when you hit the gym, then a pre-workout supplement may be what you are looking for. They’re incredibly popular and have a range of fantastic benefits. Pre-workout supplements are designed to help you get the most out of your gym time. Typically taken roughly thirty minutes before a workout, pre-workout supplements may help to boost energy, help support focus and combat muscle fatigue from exercise. Table of Contents Chapter 1:: The Energy Boosters Chapter 2:: Why Use A Pre-Workout? Chapter 3:: Are Pre-Workouts Dangerous? Chapter 4:: Do They Work? Chapter 5:: How Do I Use A Pre-Workout? Chapter 6:: Basic Guidelines To Using Pre-Workout Supplements Chapter 7:: Things To Look For In A Pre-Workout Chapter 8:: The Top 5 Pre-Workout Supplements Chapter 9:: Conclusion Chapter 1:: The Energy Boosters Caffeine – Research shows that this is the best stimulant for increasing energy and strength. Caffeine also helps to reduce the pain of lifting weights. BCAAs – BCAAs are absorbed quickly into your system, bypassing the liver and delivered directly to working muscles, which helps to deliver quicker energy. Chapter 2:: Why Use A Pre-Workout? Besides from an energy lift, what exactly are the benefits of a pre-workout supplement? These supplements can: enhance focus enhance muscle pump improve muscle recovery boost endurance reduce lactic acid build up The best pre-workout supplements will leave you feeling like you are 100% focused and able to properly perform during your workout. The actual benefits of a pre-workout supplement will vary depending on the ingredients and what exactly you are looking to achieve. For example, some pre-workout supplements focus on providing a muscle pump so that during and after your workout your muscles are looking their best. It is important to read the labels of the pre-workouts as well as their ingredients to determine which pre-workout best fit your needs. Chapter 3:: Are Pre-Workouts Dangerous? Everyone is different when it comes to stimulants, so while pre-workouts are not necessarily dangerous, if you are highly sensitive to certain ingredients (such as caffeine) then pre-workout supplements might not be for you. Chapter 4:: Do They Work? Yes, they do! Again, everyone’s body will react differently to ingredients and supplements but the majority of people will feel the benefits from taking a pre-workout supplement. However, it is important to have a realistic expectation when it comes to supplements. These supplements won’t make you 10 times stronger than you are or immediately pump your muscles three times their size. Your body can eventually grow a tolerance to these products as well, so it isn’t recommended to take a pre-workout supplement every day. If you do, it is advised to take a few weeks off and cycle through the supplement, that way your body does not become accustomed to the supplements. Keep your body guessing! Chapter 5:: How Do I Use A Pre-Workout? A pre-workout supplement is added to water and consumed roughly 25 to 30 minutes before a workout. The amount depends on your tolerance level, but it is best to start out with one scoop when trying pre-workouts for the first time. Even if you have used pre-workout supplements before you might want to start with one scoop when switching to a different brand. You never know how your body will react to different ingredients and amounts. Chapter 6:: Basic Guidelines To Using Pre-Workout Supplements Try to take the pre-workout drink on an empty stomach to help enhance the effects of the product Stick to one scoop for a week or two if you are a beginner, especially if you are working out in the evening. Once you build up a tolerance, add another scoop. Do not go over two scoops. lways follow the instructions on the label and consult your doctor before using any pre-workout products! Take the pre-workout 25 to 45 minute before going to the gym to allow the pre-workout time to kick in. Try to limit the amount you are consuming if you are taking it close to bedtime. These supplements can and will keep you awake! Chapter 7:: Things To Look For In A Pre-Workout The market is flooded with workout supplements. This can be overwhelming to a newcomer to the pre-workout world. The following are some guidelines of what to look for when purchasing a pre-workout. Brand quality and their reputation Quality of production Ingredient list User reviews and feedback Flavor, taste and texture Chapter 8:: The Top 5 Pre-Workout Supplements The following supplements have been deemed the best pre-workout supplements based on user reviews as well as value. With this list it should be easy to determine which pre-workout supplement is the right fit for you and your goals! 5. BSN N.O. Xplode BSN Xplode is one of the most well known pre-workout supplements on the market. Facts: is available in 8 flavors contains caffeine for energy and mental clarity contains amino acids to aid recovery contains essential electrolytes to rehydrate 4. Evlution Nutrition ENGN This pre-workout contains a blend that will boost energy, reduce lactic acid, and enhance muscle pumps. Facts: Includes both caffeine and choline bitartrate to enhance mental clarity Provides a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals Contains two types of creatine to promote intra-cellular ATP production Well suited for a woman’s pre-workout 3. Jym Pre Jym This pre-workout contains BCAAs as well as black pepper extract to increase the absorption of the ingredients Facts: Provides essential amino acids to aid muscles Includes creatine to increase intra-cellular ATP production Include citrulline malate to increase muscle pumps and vascularity Comes in two delicious flavors – Cherry Limeade and Raspberry Lemonade 2. Cellucor C4 Extreme This pre-workout does just about everything you want a pre-workout supplement to do and delivers in terms of quality, price, and variety of ingredients. Facts: Includes vitamin C to aid in controlling cortisol production Contains arginine for muscle pump Includes Niacin to stimulate the nervous system for intense training One of the best priced supplements available Comes in six delicious flavors 1. Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK This pre-workout contains 20 effective ingredients designed to increase pump, endurance, focus and performance. It contains a testosterone complex, making it the best pre-workout for serious bodybuilders, athletes and gym lover who are looking to achieve lean muscle mass. Facts: Science backed ingredients Zero artifical sweeteners, food dyes or other additives Contains 6 grams citrulline malate per serving Contains 4 grams beta-alanine and BCAAs per serving Chapter 9:: Conclusion There you have it – the current top 5 pre-workout supplements. Currently Transparent Labs PreSeries BULK is the front runner, but any of the five pre-workout supplements on this list will help you to achieve better mental focus and energy when in the gym. Unfortunately, not all pre-workout supplements provide the benefits that they claim, regardless of their marketing tactics and fancy labels. Not all manufacturers have the customer in mind and only care about the money being made off the product, which is why it is important to know what ingredients to look for and which ones to avoid. If you are looking for a pre-workout supplement not on this list then be sure to do your research, focusing on the tips above to help you find the right supplement for you and your needs.