What are pre-workout supplements?

Pre-workout supplement information can be tricky, but at the heart of the information is some pretty concrete answers.

Pre-workout supplements have exploded in popularity as people have been seeking energy boosts for their workouts. This explosion has led to an endless amount of products and concerns over safety.

Essentially, pre-workout supplements will take a base of Creatine Monohydrate (or another form of Creatine) and Caffeine. Both of these ingredients have long been studied and proven to be effective for athletic performance. If you look at most any product you will see these ingredients surrounded by a mix of many others.

Pre-workout supplements absolutely DO WORK. However, precautions must be taken and people should adhere to the label instructions. Talking to your doctor before taking them is recommended and people sensitive to caffeine should be mindful.

Products may contain anywhere from 50-300+ mg of caffeine per serving. If someone accidentally takes multiple servings, they may have adverse side effects.

Nitric Oxide

Nitric Oxide supplements have played a role in pre-workout supplements for years. Now you will find them stacked in with other compounds likeCreatine and Caffeine.

Nitric Oxide is a molecule related to healthy bloodflow since it dilates the blood vessels. This brings more blood to the tissues and muscles during workouts and improve workout and reduce fatigue.

Many foods contain Nitric Oxide boosters such as Dark Chocolate, Walnuts, Spinach, and Beets. This is why you hear about Dark Chocolate actually being healthy.

Pre-Workout supplements these days are designed to boost Nitric Oxide through amino acids such as Arginine and Citrulline. They both increase Nitric Oxide levels. Though Arginine is directly converted into it, Citrulline actually changes to a bigger amount of Arginine in the blood, so it is likely a better producer of Nitric Oxide.

Bottom Line

When taken safely, these products can increase energy, mental focus, burn fat, and increase muscle. I have gone to great lengths to define their ingredients in our database because it is absolutely critical to watch what you are using in this area.

latest breakdowns




Key Ingredients


Creatine remains king of the supplement world. It may not be the most effective in all studies, but Creatine has been proven repeatedly to be safe and increase atheltic performance. It may cause some bloating so some companies will take this ingredient out and market their product as LEAN or RIPPED. These products essentially include stimulants without the Creatine which may cause bulking.

Creatine is a natural substance found in the body and is found in common foods such as meat and eggs. Much of this creatine is destroyed during cooking.

Creatine is used during the ATP cycle, which simply creates energy for the body to use. Supplementing creatine will boost energy that can be used during workouts. It is also extremely inexpensive. This combination makes it the king of supplements. Many studies have been done using 5-20g with positive results all around.


As we all know, caffeine is found in coffee beans. It stimulates the central nervous system and can increase production of feel-good chemicals in the body.

Although extreme use can be harmful, caffeine is generally viewed as safe and has been proven to improve workouts. The Anhydrous form is simply caffeine that is drained of water, which makes it easily absorbed. 


L-Citrulline is an amino acid. When it enters the body it turns into Arginine, which has long been used to increase exercise performance. Interestingly it has actually been shown to be more effective that Arginine in this form. Citrulline essentially reduces tissue breakdown and eliminates waste which actually improves endurance and reduces fatigue. This combines with Creatine offers a unique combination of strength and endurance. It is bonded to improve absorption and delivery.


Non-essential amino acid that has also been shown to improve athletic performance. It does this by delaying muscle fatigue in a similar way Citrulline does. It buffers the build up of lactic acid in the muscles which should allow for longer training sessions.


An interesting amino acid that is similar to L-Valine, one of the main BCAAs you will find in almost any amino supplement. Norvaline has been shown to inhibit arginise, which cuts off nitric oxide production. By doing so, it increases bloodflow and pumps associated with nitric oxide boosts.


A naturally occurring chemical in the body that aids in functioning of the heart, eyes, brain, and bones. It prevents build up of homocysteine, which is linked to heart disease.