What Are Pre-Workout Supplements? How To Take Them?

Are you feeling low on energy? Your mind and body are not in tandem during your training routine? Want to ramp up the intensity of your workout? If yes, you have found the right article!

What if I told you there is ONE solution to all the complaints mentioned above? Say hello to pre-workout supplements.

With the competitive market surrounding these supplements, it isn’t easy to get legitimate information about them. Hence we did the groundwork for you! Our goal is to discuss the science-backed benefits of pre-workout supplements!

In this article, we will walk you through seven ingredients that should be in your pre-workout supplement and how to consume them for the best results!

We will also answer some frequently asked questions!


What Is A Pre-Workout Supplement?

It is unrealistic to expect that you will always feel energetic while going to the gym! I am sure we all have had days when we are less motivated, tired, sleepy or even stressed, and hence decided to skip the gym!

For such a day, a pre-workout supplement can prove very beneficial! Most gym-goers consume whey proteins and supplements post-workout, but they often overlook the need for supplements for their pre-workout nutritional requirements.

As the name suggests, these supplements should be consumed before the workout. These magic powders or pills perfectly blend everything your body needs to do challenging exercise routines.

It has ingredients like caffeine that can boost your stamina and concentration. It is also loaded with amino acids that can promote muscle recovery and muscle repair.

These supplements can delay the onset of fatigue, thus making it possible to do longer workout routines. If you have a 60 minute HIIT routine or an intense strength training session, you must give these supplements a try!


Pre-Workout Supplement Ingredients

Now that we have established the benefits of pre-workout supplements, let us look at some of the most common compounds used to formulate these energy booster supplements! These formulations can help you enhance your workout and speed up your recovery! Let us see how!

The ingredients used in creating these magic pills are well researched to aid stamina, muscle building, and muscle recovery!

1. Branched Chain Amino Acid

Branched Chain Amino Acid

Have you ever been so exhausted after a workout that you didn’t want to exercise the next day?

Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that increases in concentrations after prolonged exercise. Serotonin has been associated with lethargy, sleep, bone health, blood clotting, etc. High levels of this chemical can result in muscle fatigue! BCCA to the rescue! It is known for its ability to reduce the level of serotonin in the body! 

Additionally, research has suggested that people who take BCAA-rich supplements before meals lose more fat than muscles! It helps in maintaining a healthy fat to lean ratio.

Further research has also proven that BCCA supplements can aid in muscle recovery and prevent inflammation that can induce muscle damage.


2. Caffeine


We all love our coffee! But did you know that caffeine can also impact lipolysis? According to studies, a moderate dose of caffeine promotes fat oxidation and indirectly affects muscle performance!

Muscles use stored glycogen as an energy source; naturally, the glycogen will get exhausted during an intense workout. However, muscles can also utilize fat as a source of power generation! Caffeine shifts the breakdown of glycogen to fat; this can prevent the muscles from wearing out!

Researchers examined the ability of participants to bench press after taking caffeine; they found that individuals who consumed caffeine could perform bench presses with greater strength than those who did not.

It can also promote alertness and awareness, thus making caffeine is a potent ingredient in pre-workout supplements.


3. Beta-Alanine

Beta Alanine

It is an amino acid that is a precursor of a compound called carnosine. Carnosine is found in the muscles, and it is an excellent pH buffer.

Acidosis is associated with muscle fatigue. During intense workout routines, the level of hydrogen ions increases in the muscles; this results in acidosis. Since it is a buffer, it can control these ions’ accumulation and delay acidosis and thus fatigue.

During longer workout routines, the muscle breaks down glucose to produce lactic acid. Eventually, the accumulation of lactic acid can act as a negative control and hinder the breakdown of glucose. It can cause muscle fatigue and reduce the effectiveness of the workout.

Since beta-alanine can indirectly prevent muscle fatigue and act as a stimulant, it is a widely used pre-workout supplement.


4. Creatinine


Taking whey protein and creatine is a holy grail for athletes and gym-goers looking to gain muscle, improve endurance, and lose weight. Creatinine is an amino acid, with over 95% of it is stored as phosphocreatine in the muscles.

Phosphocreatine stimulates the body to produce ATPs. The more ATPs we have, the more energy we have in our bodies, and hence the greater our athletic endurance.

Another study reported that taking creatinine before workouts improved body performance by 14%! Also, creatinine can promote muscle recovery, fat loss, and muscle building.


5. Nitrates

We all know how important it is to breathe correctly throughout a workout routine! Have you ever wondered why beet juice has become so popular among gym enthusiasts? Well, because it is high in nitrates!

Nitrates are substances produced by the body to increase blood flow by broadening the blood vessels! They can positively impact the supply of blood, nutrients, and oxygen to the muscle and boost endurance during an intense routine.


6. Electrolytes


Electrolytes are charged ions such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, etc., that help maintain the fluid balance in the body. Sodium is an electrolyte that is essential to maintain fluid levels in the body and promote hydration. Almost 80% of the potassium is present in muscles; it can stimulate muscle contractions and relaxations.


7. L-Glutamine


Have you ever felt like not hitting the gym due to muscle fatigue or soreness? Meet your new best friend: Glutamine! According to research, glutamine can aid in muscle recovery by repairing the muscle tears the body endures during heavy strength training routines.


How To Consume Pre-Workout Supplements?

Just like many other supplements, these are also not approved by the FDA. However, it is advised to consume around 30 grams per day to get the best results.

You can blend the recommended quantity of the powder in milk or water and consume it almost 3o minutes before you hit the gym.

Drinking the same blend can get monotonous and boring! Hence, let me share a unique and exciting way to consume the pre-workout snack!

I have shared the perfect on-the-go pre-workout bites that you can make with the most common ingredients.


  • Pre Workout Powder (Check the recommended amount)
  • 2 cup dry oats
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 6 almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon honey

How To Make It:

  1. Take a mixing bowl and gently whisk all the ingredients together.
  2. Add a pinch of salt and cinnamon powder and place the bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  3. Once the batter is cold, gently roll the mixture in between your palms into bite-size pieces.
  4. Enjoy!



Complete knowledge is a must; hence we will answer some commonly asked questions.

1. Can I take pre-workout supplements while working out?

Ans: Although it is advisable to take these before starting your workout routine, consuming them during your training routine will also benefit you. It will help you boost your stamina and push your endurance and hence make your workout a success.


2. Is it necessary to take these supplements?

Ans: It is not necessary to take them, but considering that we cannot meet the needs of some of the most crucial nutrients that support muscle building and recovery, a supplement can be the fastest and most convenient way to solve this issue!


3. Are there any BCCA-related adverse effects that are pre-workout supplements?

Ans: Multiple studies have demonstrated an association between overconsumption of BCCA and diabetes. Even though BCCA can promote insulin synthesis, overproduction can trigger insulin resistance. Eventually, due to the presence of excess insulin, the cells become less sensitive to it. Over time, the blood sugar levels increase.


Also Read:

When Should I Take BCAA?

What Are Proteins And What Do They Do?

Best Multivitamin Tablets for Men & Women in India



We all want to test our limits in the gym, sprint faster, climb higher, lift heavier. And even though we are committed to this journey, there may be days when our mind and body will not co-operate!

A pre-workout supplement can help boost stamina and endurance; it can promote blood flow directly into the muscles, reduce acidosis, prevent muscle tears, etc.

Make sure you consume the directed amount to avoid any unwanted effects and complications. It is not a replacement but a supplement, hence, complement it with a balanced diet.

Don’t forget to let us know in the comments below if you found this article helpful. Do mention if you tried the recipe and how it turned out.

+ posts

Dr. Med. Raoul Hasert is a specialist in dermatology and venereology. He is a senior physician in Praxisklinik Dr. Hasert.

Leave a Comment